Conceptualizing Spatial Stories


When we began to organize this conference more than a year ago, we were inspired by a quote from geographer Doreen Massey: “Space, instead of being a flat surface, it’s more like a pincushion of a million stories.” We ran with this inspiration and titled the conference “Stories-so-Far: Spatial Knowledges and Imaginaries.” 

If space is alive and inhabited by stories, this begs the question: how do we study it? How do we interpret space beyond its physicality? How can we understand space as social relations? As intimate and abstract? And as a container for “the myriad stories in which we are all living at any one moment”?

By centering space and place as critical fields of inquiry, we hope to rethink how space has been theorized within anthropology, as well as stimulate conversation about ways that theory and methods from critical cartography can be brought into our research practices. A spatial lens invites new ways of conceptualizing how space is constituted through movement, as well as new interventions for remapping how space and territory are imagined, remembered, and narrativized. 

- 2020 AiT Steering Committee 



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Contributed date

February 3, 2020 - 11:56pm

Critical Commentary

Building from the idea that space is not stagnant, but rather alive and occupied by a million stories—ones that have come, are, and yet to be, the 2020 AiT Conference is titled "Stories-so-Far: Spatial Knowledges and Imaginaries. 

Cite as

Kaitlyn Rabach, "Conceptualizing Spatial Stories", contributed by Kaitlyn Rabach, Jessica Slattery, Danielle Yorleny Tassara and Gina Hakim, Center for Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 10 February 2020, accessed 9 May 2021.