CFP: Women Creators: Representations of Space and Place in Women’s Writing


Themed issue: “Women Creators: Representations of Space and Place in Women’s Writing” (publication in May/June 2025)

Key words: women artists, women as creative actors, space, and place.

Guest Editors:
Dr Alinne Balduino P. Fernandes, Modern Languages, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Dr Melissa Sihra, Drama Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

In 1985, Ilha do Desterro published its first issue exclusively dedicated to women writers. Bilingually titled Women Writers/ Mulheres Escritoras, the issue was edited by Prof. Susana Bornéo Funck, one of the pioneers in women studies at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, and the pioneer lecturer in women’s writing at UFSC’s Modern Languages department (Departamento de Língua e Literatura Estrangeiras). With this special issue, we pay tribute to our predecessors and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ilha’s first issue dedicated to women writers.

To celebrate this anniversary, we would like to stimulate reflections upon representations of space and place by women-identifying writers. Following anthropologist Denise Lawrence-Zuniga’s (2017) definition of the terms, here ‘space’ refers to a location, or physical geography, whereas ‘place’ refers to space with meaning, or personality. That is to say that spaces become places when there is cultural meaning attached to them. We would like proposals to address some of the following questions: How do women writers question or subvert traditional narratives of space and place? How do they envision the future or new readings of the past? How are places reframed and spaces reshaped by means of those interpretations and memories?

In his canonical work The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard beautifully reflects on the ways we experience intimate places and ponders, for instance, that the house, especially that remembered from our childhood, bears ‘maternal features’ (1964, 7). Houses, as inhabited spaces, supposedly provide us with shelter. It is notable, however, that the house can also highlight issues of mental health and domestic violence. During the pandemic, for example, violence against women soared all around the globe, reaching an increase ‘to record levels’ becoming in itself a ‘shadow pandemic’ (Mineo & Yang 2022).

On a different and yet complementary note, Verena Conley, in Spatial Ecologies, suggests that the ‘spatial turn now curves toward an ethics of living and working collectively on a planet whose habitability seems to be problematic’ (2012, 1). The ‘spatial turn’ consists of a ‘wide arc’ in critical thinking, as Conley suggests, which enables us to think of how we relate affectively to public and domestic places, natural and human-made ones, to landscapes of childhood and memory, as internal projections onto place and ideological construction of places, and those that have been gentrified. Equally important is to think of the roles of geography to the construction of gender and gender relations, as Doreen Massey put forth in the introduction to her 1994 edited collection Space, Place, and Gender.

For this special issue, we welcome contributions that examine representations of space and place in women’s writing in the Anglophone context, writers working with other languages but in comparison with works by Anglophone writers, or works translated into English or from English. We invite contributions that will respond to or question how women writers have reframed place and reshaped space, whether internal, remembered or imagined in the writing of plays, film scripts, novels, short stories, poems, and non-fictional texts.

Hence, we invite contributors to address the following sample topics:

  • Social and domestic ecosystems
  • Public spaces
  • Queer spaces
  • Socio-spatial ecologies
  • Eco-criticism
  • Classed and gendered environments
  • Enclosures and confinements
  • Domestic and/or gender-related violence
  • Nostalgia and memory
  • Trauma
  • In-between spaces
  • Future spaces
  • Spaces of the past
  • Media spaces
  • Spaces of the weird and the fantastic

Potential contributors are invited to submit an abstract of approximately 400 words, along with a biography of maximum 250 words.

Please send any enquiries and abstracts with bios to the editors: &

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 06 May 2024

Full research articles by: 04 November 2024 (to be submitted through Ilha do Desterro’s online platform)

Themed issue to be published in May/June 2025

We accept submissions in English and Portuguese.



Bachelard, Gaston. 1964. The Poetics of Space. Translated by Maria Jolas. New York: The Orion Press.

Conley, Verena. 2012. Spatial Ecologies: Urban Sites, State and World-Space in French Cultural Theory. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Lawrence-Zuniga, Denise. 2017. “Space and Place.” In Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford: OUP. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199766567-0170

Massey, Doreen. 1994. Space, Place, and Gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Mineo, Liz and Marianna Yang. 2022. “‘Shadow pandemic’ of domestic violence.” The Harvard Gazette. June 29.,Eastern%20Europe%2C%20and%20the%20Balkans.