CFP Spaces of Illness

Through the project Spaces of Illness, the research group Health, Art and Society (HAS) at UiT the Arctic University of Norway seeks to investigate the significance of space for illness and illness experiences among patients and relatives.


 Traditionally, time seems to have been a more popular topic of exploration than space within illness narratives (Rimmon-Kenan 2006, Henriksen 2014, Nesby 2017). However, systematic attempts to draw connections between illness and milieu were made as early as in Ancient Greece, and written accounts of these attempts can be found in the Corpus Hippocraticum. Within literary science, places and their significance for human existence have been explored through theoretical approaches such as marxist literary theory and deconstructivism. Within narratology, the study of spaces also has a central place. Jakob Lothe provides a basic and inclusive definition of narrative space: ”By the term narrative space, we understand the fictive universe represented by the narrative discourse” (”Med narrativt rom forstår vi det fiktive universet som den narrative diskursen framstiller” Lothe 2003: 76).

The place or space is of cental significance within several disciplines, and carries various meanings. It may include geographical, concrete and mental spaces. Examples of such spaces may be, but is not limited to:

Institutional and private spaces The body Historical spaces Literary spaces Nature and landscapes Religious spaces Medial and digital spaces

The project Spaces of Illness will organise a workshop at Sommarøy outside of Tromsø in Norway 8-10 June 2020 ( The organisers hereby invite researchers to submit abstracts of maximum 300 words for evaluation. With Spaces of Illness, we encourage contributions that will address space or place in connection to illness. The contributions should have a narrative perspective. Interdisciplinary contributions are particularly welcome. We aim to publish the contributions as an anthology within the book series Narratologia at de Gruyter

Based on the accepted abstracts, a selection of scholars will be invited to submit a finished article draft and to participate at the workshop, where all the articles will be discussed and commented. Deadline for abstracts is October 10, 2019. Deadline for submission of article draft will be April 15, 2020. Please submit your abstract to

On behalf of the research group Health, Art and Society (HAS) 

Linda Nesby and May-Lill Johansen


References and selected literature:

Bachelard, Gaston (1969). The poetics of space (Vol. 330, Beacon paperback). Boston, Mass: Beacon Press

Barthes, Roland (2013). How to live together. Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Translated by Kate Briggs. Columbia University Press

Casey, Edward S.  (2013) The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History. 1st ed. University of California

Greve, Anniken (1996) Kort om stedsfilosofi. Vinduet 50.4): 20-23. Web.

Greve, Anniken (1998). Her. Et bidrag til stedets filosofi. PhD thesis, UiT

Henriksen, Nina (2014). Hjemløsheden, rejsen og den kronotopiske identitet - en litteraturteoretisk analyse af en selvbiografisk kræftfortælling. Tidsskrift for forskning i sygdom og samfund, 11(20), Tidsskrift for Forskning i Sygdom og Samfund, 05/19/2014, Vol.11(20)

Hippokrates (2000). Om legekunsten (Translated by E. Welo, introduction by T. Berg Eriksen). Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene

Lothe, Jakob (2003). Fiksjon og film: Narrativ teori og analyse. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.  

Moss, Pamela & Dyck, Isabel (2002). Women, body, illness. Space and identity in the everyday lives of women with chronic illness. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.

Mønster, Louise. (2012). At finde sted. En introduktion til stedsbegrebet og dets litterære potentiale. Bøygen 24.1 17-37. Web.

Nesby, Linda (2017). Når livet møter fortellingen.  Cecilie Engers Mors gaver (2013) som selvbiografisk sykdomsfortelling. Norsk litterær årbok, 107-124

Norberg-Schulz, Christian. (1980). Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. London: Academy Editions

Rimmon-Kenan, Schlomit. (2006). What can narrative theory learn from illness narratives? Literature and Medicine, 25(2), 241-254

Tygstrup, Frederik. 1999. Det litterære rum. Passage - Tidsskrift for Litteratur og Kritik, vol. 14, no. 31/32

Vestad, Geir, and Eva-Marie Syversen. 2008. Stedet i litteraturen. Vallset: Oplandske Bokforlag.

Starter: 10.10.19 kl 19.38
Slutter: 15.10.19 kl 19.38
Hvor: UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Sted: Tromsø
Målgruppe: Studenter, Gjester / eksterne, Ansatte
Kontakt: Linda Nesby
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