In light of the devastating tsunami of 2004, which stained our collective consciousness with the reminder of human fallibility, we find ourselves at an important moment in contemporary history — one at which a global perception of "the beach", as both a real and metaphorical place, might very well be shifting. 'Twixt Land and Sea, an international conference held in Berne, Switzerland, aims to evaluate that perception, exploring the beach from the perspective of literary and cultural theory and conceptualising it both as a creative trope and as a socio-cultural site. Approaching the beach as an ambiguous heterotope, the conference will bring into dialogue its multiplicity of meanings and functions – as a natural environment engendering both desire and fear in the human imagination, as a social space inspiring particular codes of behaviour and specific discourses, as a geographical frontier between land and water, as an historical site of contact and conflict, and as both a setting and a subject of literature, film, photography and art. By exploring the intersection of literature with other disciplines, such as visual, cultural, postcolonial and tourism studies, political geography, environmental sciences, and art history, 'Twixt Land and Sea will secure a comprehensive treatment of problems of space and the environment, which promise to be core concerns in the 21st century.
Samira Lütscher firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the original poster (pdf, 2,5 MB) here.