Global Humanities Junior Research and Teaching Stay at Freie Universitaet Berlin
May - August 2016
Literary Architecture: Built Spaces in Narratives
Since the 1970’s, the humanities have been inflected by a “Spatial Turn” under which the three dimensions of the material world would now be studied along that of time. Fields such as geocriticsm, geopoetics, and ecocriticism also helped us better understand the relationship between the physical world and its literary inscription. Vincent Gélinas-Lemaire’s research, which engages with these perspectives, seeks to identify modes of representation that would be common to all narratives and would help us comprehend literary strategies at play in a variety of texts, fictional or not. He has, up to now, been able to define five essential modes of “literary architecture”: the geometric, localized, allegorical, dynamic, and technical aspects of space.
Before obtaining his Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures at Harvard University (2015), Vincent Gélinas-Lemaire’s studies at the Université de Montréal covered both architectural design and French and Francophone literature (M.A. 2010). Both fields influenced the theoretical findings of his doctoral dissertation, titled La représentation de l’espace dans le récit [Representation of Space in Narratives], which served as a foundation for further case studies of novels and literary history, now published. Vincent Gélinas-Lemaire’s current research, being pursued as a Visiting Professor at the University of Miami (Ohio), focuses on an interdisciplinary approach of the built world, which combines urbanism, architecture, and literary studies.