REPRESENTATIONS OF HOME 2
Conflict and/or (Be)longing: Thinking with Stories and Images
School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, 16-17 November 2017
People not only think about stories; far more consequentially, people think with stories.
Arthur W. Frank, Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology, 2010: 47.
The idea of home was something they lived so completely that they would have been at a loss to define it. But they would have known to be inadequate phrases such as: ‘It’s where you’re from,’ ‘It’s the place you live,’ ‘It’s where your family are.’
Deirdre Madden, One by One in the Darkness, 1996: 75.
In a world deeply marked by conflicts, persecutions, and scarce and/or poorly distributed resources, where some are driven out of their homes by war and poverty, while others feel that their (national) homes and ways of living are under threat, it is important to reflect about the notions of home that underpin personal and communal behaviour.
This conference focuses on representations of home in literature and the visual arts as the site where dynamics of conflict and/or (be)longing are played out. Home, particularly the imagined home, is a quintessential space of refuge from an external, unknown and potentially threatening, but also enticing, world. In Classical as in religious texts, home is both a place of departure and of quest and arrival, and throughout history the longing for home has persisted in the midst of the recurring challenges of belonging. Conflict has also elicited concerted efforts to find viable frameworks for coexistence, as epitomized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), in the wake of the Second World War, or the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2016), in response to current concerns about our collective home.
If homes are often sites of tension and conflict, to what extent does the imagined home shape, and to what extent is it shaped by, our experience of homes?
Rhian Atkin (Cardiff University, UK)
Simone Lazaroo (Murdoch University, Australia)
Lee Maracle (University of Toronto, Canada)
José Pedro Serra (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
The conference language is English.