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CfP: «Islands and Remoteness in Geography, Law, and Fiction»

Dear AIDEL Members,  I send you the Call for Papers for a Conference organized by Professor Matteo Nicolini and Thomas Perrin on “Islands and Remoteness in Geography, Law and Fiction” next November 2019 in Verona. 


«Islands and Remoteness in Geography, Law, and Fiction»
convened by Matteo Nicolini (Law Department, University of Verona, Italy) and Thomas Perrin (UFR de Géographie et d’Aménagement, Université de Lille)

Proposals are sought for papers to be given at an international conference on ‘Islands and Remoteness in Geography, Law, and Fiction’.

The conference will take place on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 November 2019 at the University of Verona, Italy.


The conference seeks to explore how, in many ways, islands appear to be “geographical paradoxes”. Indeed, they are spatially remote places, which are, at the same time, bound to a continent by social conventions. The grounds of such puzzle are manifold. It is firstly a matter of spatial area. Secondly, the puzzle depends on how political power projects authority over circumscribed spatial realms, including non-continental realms. In so doing, authority forges
the concepts of remoteness and bounds.

Many European and Non-European countries include within their national borders insular  territories, distributed all over the Earth surface. Most of them have been historically object  of conflicts, colonial struggles, and territorial disputes. Furthermore, the territorial scope of the European Union comprises outermost regions and overseas countries and territories. At euroregional level, the Islands Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe represents the interests of more than 20 European regional island authorities located in the Mediterranean, North Sea, Baltic Sea and the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Due to their specific position in the national spaces and narratives, insular territories have been traditionally granted a differentiated legal status. Remoteness, thus, does not mean isolation, but it can entail strong territorial sovereignty when it comes to maritime borders. This specific character of islands has not only triggered a geo-political imagination and action, but it has also nourished a literary and fictional corpus. Different atlases and books portraying “state of the islands” have recently been published (to quote just a few, see Judith Schalansky, Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot on and Never Will, 2010; Roger Lovergrove, Islands Beyond the Horizon. The life of twenty of the world’s most remote places, 2015; Barry Smith, The Island in Imagination and Experience, 2017).

The conference «Islands and Remoteness in Geography, Law, and Fiction» aims to fostering a renovated reflection on the topic, regarding, in particular:
– The legal framing of geographical remoteness, i.e. the way in which the legal systems take into account insularity in order to favour both socio-economic and territorial development;
– Remoteness as a fictional device that triggers imagination, narratives, or representation in different creative fields;
– The policy responses to both remoteness and bounds at different scales (national, regional, European, international);
– And, more generally, the interactions between the different legal, socio-political and fictional approaches to remoteness and to “state of insularity”.


Hence, the topic is open: it lies at the crossroads of different fields of research – and therefore may be scrutinised both diachronically and synchronically, involving theoretical reflections, comparisons, and case studies. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are appreciated.  Therefore, we suggest proposals should address the topic mobilising different disciplinary features, from at least two of the following areas: geography and planning; law; politics; literature and arts; cultural studies.

To this extent, scholars with different backgrounds are welcomed to participate in the debate.

Any proposal for a paper which fits the workshop theme is welcome.

Proposals are welcomed from scholars at any stage in their career (including doctoral researchers).
Proposals for papers are due by 31 May 2019 and should be sent to and, as should any queries regarding the conference.

Acceptance will be notified by 24 June 201 9.

Please note that the organising committee can cover accommodation expenses for the selected papers only for the night of the 21 November in Verona.

The selected papers will published in the international review Pólemos – Journal of Law,
Literature and Culture,volume 14 (2020) Issue 2.

The deadline for first draft papers submission is due by 15 January 2020.

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Prof. Avv. Cristina Costantini

Prof. Matteo Niccolini

Prof. Paola Carbone

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