Calls > Session 13

13 – Territories and fiction: from construction to reception and appropriation

Co-facilitators: Alfonso PINTO (EVS), Géraldine MOLINA (ESO) & Bertrand PLÉVEN (Géographie-cités)

The aim of this session is to study the role of fictional material, such as can be found in literature, comics, cinema, TV series and video games, in the construction of socio-spatial representations and the production of imagined spaces and places. How can fictional material be questioned as a matrix (Molina, 2007) contributing to the normalisation or subversion of territorial meanings? And, conversely, how can space and place, in their ideal and material dimensions, influence or even determine fictional productions? In this session, we will try to explore territorial representations, the interactions between fictional works and territories, and the phenomena of appropriation and instrumentalisation that are at work. What are the processes involved in the contruction of the imagined and the effects of fiction on territorial identities and ‘visibility regimes’ (Lussault, 2007).

Due to their ability to reproduce a non-static landscape, audiovisual products can generate a representational approach based on the relationship between the diegetic field (the fictional reality produced by a movie, for example) and the extra-diegetic field (the material reality outside fiction). Similarly, they can be regarded as a powerful way of creating imagined spaces/places that help in defining the intersubjective knowledge of space as well as in the construction of the visual identities of territories. In a similar manner, but using different codes, we would also like to study literary productions, comics and video games and examine their ability to produce and convey spatial meanings as well as the relationship between space/place and fiction.

The different approaches may concern not only the process of construction (focusing attention on the authors), including identity construction, and the reception and appropriation by the audience (relationships between “perceived space” and “lived space” Frémont, 1972), but also the ways in which space representation and fictional imagined worlds are used by the people involved in spatial management and planning. The ultimate aim is to bring together the different branches of geography (geographies of art, literature and cinema, for example) and to bridge the gap between the latter, literary and film studies, visual studies, and the sociology of art and the media.


Baron C., 2011, « Littérature et géographie », in Kremer, N., Le partage des disciplines, Fabula, revue LHT, n° 8, 4.
Collot M., 2014, Pour une géographie littéraire, José Corti éd.
Desbois H., Gervais-Lambony Ph., Musset A. (dir.), 2016, Annales de Géo fiction, n° 709-710, « géographie et fiction ».
Dupuy L., Puyo J.-Y., 2015, L’imaginaire géographique. Entre géographie, langue et littérature, Presses universitaires de Pau.
Fournier M. (dir.), 2016, Territoire en mouvement, « Géographie, littérature, territoires », n° 31 [en ligne].
Jousse T., Paquot T., 2005, La Ville au cinéma. Une encyclopédie, Paris, Cahiers du cinéma.
Lussault M., 2017, L’homme spatial. La construction sociale de l’espace humain, Paris, Seuil.
Molina G., Guinard P. (dir.), à paraître, numéro spécial de la revue Articulo, « Arts in Cities - Cities in Arts ».
Peraldo E. (dir.), 2015, Literature and Geography: The Writing of Space Throughout History, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Staszak J.-F. (dir.), 2014, Annales de géographie, n° 695-696, « Cinéma et géographie ».

Expected types of paper

- Theoretical and epistemological reflections on the relationships between spatial studies (geography, planning, urban studies) and fiction.
- Methodological proposals about fiction codes and scientific or non-scientific discussion.
- Focused contributions on the relationship between fiction and territorial processes (literature, movies, comics, videogames).
- Contributions from other fields focusing on representation and the imagination of space.
More precisely:
- Fiction and space representation: practice, methods and theories.
- The construction of imagined space: codes and ways used in representation and the creation of diegetic spatial universes.
- Audience acceptance (studies on extra-diegetic reception and circulation).
- Construction and circulation of territorial identity and visual regimes.
- Perceived and lived space.
- The role of fiction in urban planning practices, architecture, spatial management and place marketing.

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