Course content

This course addresses the so-called ‘spatial turn’ in the humanities and offers PhD candidates theoretical and methodological tools to critically analyse space and its cultural significance from an interdisciplinary perspective and across time periods. The students will be acquainted with a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches that have been applied in humanistic research in the past decades. This includes, for example, natural and culturally constructed spaces, urban and rural places, private, imaginary or sacred spaces, or the portable spaces we construct to shield us off from the surroundings and the intensity of daily life.

During the course we will focus on questions like: How are spaces constructed? What is their social significance? In what way do the changes in the natural landscape – for instance land rise or climate change – affect social spaces? A critical understanding of what spaces are, how they function, how they are constructed and named, how this concept has affected contemporary research, and how it can be made a tool for the participants’ own analysis, is an essential goal of this course.

Learning outcomes

For a grade pass on the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe and explain in an analytical manner the ways in which the spatial turn has influenced different fields in the humanities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically discuss a selection of key concepts in the field, and reflect upon them in relation to their own doctoral work
  • Demonstrate the ability to actively work with interdisciplinary theories, methods and empirical material related to the concepts ‘space’ and ‘place’.

Practical information

The course has the following obligatory elements: completion of written assignments in the form of a learning journal; an oral presentation; attendance in lectures, seminars, and an excursion.

The course is assessed through written assignments in the form of a learning journal, a short oral presentation, and completed seminar exercises, which include text discussions and field exercises during excursions.

The course consists of lectures, seminars, and a one-day excursion.

Period: Autumn semester 2019

Course dates (preliminary): October 21 — December 17

Language of instruction: English

Course director and Examiner: Kurt Villads Jensen

Theme coordinator: Inka Moilanen

Course title in Swedish: Rumslighet och plats i modern humaniora: teorier och tillämpningar

The course is offered by the Department of History in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, the Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, and the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish Studies.

The course is part of the theme Space and Place in the Humanities