Cfp Between XIV.28 (November 2024). “The Public Dimension of Dwelling”


Call for Papers of “Between” and “Comparatismi” journals


“Between” XV, 28 (November 2024)
The Public Dimension of Dwelling

Call No. 9 of “Comparatisms” (2024)
The Private Dimension of Dwelling


Inaugurating a practice intended to foster research in the field of comparative literature, the journals Between and Comparatismi, by mutual agreement, have decided to launch a call with common features but also with a different focus on the same topic.

Scholars are therefore invited to respond to the call according to their preferences.

This issue is edited by Clotilde Bertoni, Massimo Fusillo, Giulio Iacoli, Marina Guglielmi, Niccolò Scaffai.

Submission deadline: extended to 2024-05-31 (Friday)
Estimated review date: 2024-07
Publication date: 2024-11-30 (Saturday)


Between” XV, 28 (November 2024)

The Public Dimension of Dwelling


«Space that has been seized upon by the imagination cannot remain indifferent space subject to the measures and estimates of the surveyors. It has been lived in, not in its positivity, but with all the partiality of the imagination» (Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Boston: Beacon Press, 1994).

This in-progress issue intends to focus on dwelling as a practice, an experience of lived space narrated by literature, the arts, and the media. This implies a special focus on the significant crossings of these inhabited spaces, on the encounters, the relationships that are formed and the encounters that take shape there.

Proposals should address the public dimension of dwelling, which can be a temporary or continuous experience, and can take place either in institutional, social or cultural spaces privileged by literary and artistic representations or in scarcely travelled, unseen, and unthought-of places.

To give just an example, the co-presence of highly differentiated public dwelling spaces in Alice Munro’s short fiction – be they topical or exceptional – can provide an instructive comparison. On the one hand, we can see a retirement home – an end-of-life space that ideally encompasses the fate of a whole town, Hanratty, where Rose, the protagonist of the stories in Who Do You Think You Are? (1978), grew. Next to it, Toronto hospital, dull and grey, where Janet’s father, the protagonist of the eponymous story (1978) of The Moons of Jupiter (1982), awaits a decisive operation. These two places are flanked and contrasted by the breath-taking planetarium, where Janet finds refuge and inspiration, bringing back with her notions of astronomy to share with her hospitalized father.

However, it is not hard to understand how this is a significant, long-term relationship between individuals and public environments that potentially embraces the whole of modernity, without excluding interpretative hypotheses referring to previous ages.

Chronotopes or emblematic places of modernity such as cafes, libraries, bookshops, and museums. Heterotopias such as boarding schools and boarding houses, prisons, hospitals, and sanatoriums, as well as studios, workshops, and gymnasiums. The places of such an inescapably partial list can all take on the meaning of ‘home’ in a personal, metaphorical, alternative, occasional or ironic way. They describe in any case an intense relationship of the individual with the place: the meaning of dwelling differentiates, in a decisive way, from that of merely crossing or rapid passage, at the basis, for example, of our experience of contemporary non-places.

Along with Bachelard’s suggestions with which we started our introduction, proposals will focus on different types of relationship individuals establishes with places, and on their emotions, and imaginative investments. This also means focusing on the different styles of living and the meanings of this experience, reflected in private life and public interactions.

Authors are invited to consult the summary bibliography at the end of this call for papers.

In case of any doubts and/or for any further information, please e-mail the editors.

Articles ready for publication (no longer than 40,000 characters including spaces, paginated on the provided Template, along with title, abstracts and metadata in English) must be sent to the journal by May 15, 2024, following the instructions available on the Submissions page of the Between's website. Accepted articles will be published on November 30, 2024.

Submissions are accepted in Italian, English and French or in a bilingual version. Submissions in a language other than Italian or in a bilingual version (one of which in English or French) are appreciated and encouraged, especially for papers relating to foreign authors.

This issue is edited by Clotilde Bertoni, Massimo Fusillo, Giulio Iacoli, Marina Guglielmi, Niccolò Scaffai. For further information please write to;;;;, or to


Call No. 9 of “Comparatismi” (2024)

The Private Dimension of Dwelling

Inhabiting a place is a human practice that responds to atavistic needs. However, it was German Romanticism to introduce into philosophical reflection the idea that the act of “taking up residence” has to do with the destiny of the human being, as well as with the fulfillment of a process of intimate adherence to reality. Indeed, the Latin verb habitare is ambivalent, as it refers both to the actions of “value” and “possess,” thus conveying an idea of ownership and belonging. To inhabit a place thus corresponds to a practice of personal appropriation through which subjects attempt to respond to the ancestral need to be there and recognize themselves. In this sense, home can be described as a practice of taking up residence in the world to establish an identity, and this relates to the semantic field of familiarity and pleasantness, while house conveys the idea of an impersonal living structure.

During the 1920s, Martin Heidegger defined the home as the privileged place of our destiny, a unity of meaning irreducible to the “four walls” of a building. Similarly, in La Poétique de l’espace Gaston Bachelard identified private homes as the privileged place of memory and individual identity: everything that represents us would stand in plain sight in the living room, our most censored desires in the cellar, our childhood memories in the barns. In other words, homes seem to take on the features of a carapace capable of containing and defending from oblivion the subject’s psychic experiences.

Our body is not only located in space but inhabits it: the body organically integrates space within its own life experience: this is the reason why to each living area is assigned a particular function and a specific semantic label deduced from the activity we perform there, or rather from the meaning that this activity takes on for the subject who performs it. After the nineteenth-century phase of the fragmentation of residential interiors into functional and ergonomic classes, only today we are rediscovering a way of thinking about homes through the emotions they suggest, in the very way Edgar Allan Poe theorized it in his extraordinary, futuristic Philosophy of Furniture (1850).

At the same time, inhabiting a place is an experience that is not only enacted within specific spaces, but also involves the adoption of peculiar temporal coordinates: the time of dwelling is an eternal present in which everyone has to construct his or her identity from both autobiographical memories and future expectations, so that the same time can also be represented “spatially” (thus explicitly opening to the theme of the genius loci).

In this constant interplay of spatial and temporal coordinates, identity meanings and ancestral needs, certain morphological constants seem to influence the understanding of the private home, starting with the crucial topological inside-outside distinction. Indeed, the ability to differentiate an inside area from an outside area seems to play a peculiar semantic role in that it allows to distinguish an enclosed space ­– protected and governed by its own laws and claustrophilia – from the outside space of the surrounding world, which is often unfamiliar and perceived as a problem to be managed (claustrophobia).


No. 9 of “Comparatismi” is devoted to a grammar of private habitation with reference to literary texts, real testimonies, and transmedia works with no historical and geographical limits. By way of example, “authorial” homes can be considered as textual metonymies (e.g. Horace W. Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, Alexandre Dumas père’s Château de Monte-Cristo, Gabriele d’Annunzio’s Vittoriale, Mario Praz’s Palazzo Primoli, etc.), houses as chronotopes and incubators of plots (e.g. Oblomov’s “defensive” house in Ivan Goncarov’s eponymous novel, the real estate located fictionally in Paris at 11, rue Simon-Crybellier in Georges Perec’s La Vie mode d’emploi, Ala al-Aswani’s Yacoubian Palace, etc.), dwellings as transgenerational memory (the Buddenbrook Palace in Lübeck) or round characters endowed with pasts and identity orientations (the Overlook Hotel imagined by Stephen King in Shining and then by Stanley Kubrick, Isabel Allende’s Spirit House etc.), living spaces as neuro-markers (e.g. the hyperspatial skyscraper towering in J.B. Ballard’s High Rise) or places of confinement capable of empowering the imagination (Farnese Tower in Stendhal’s Chartreuse). The theoretical aspect will also be welcome; the social, neurocognitive, emotional, behavioral and representational effects involved in the private dimension of dwelling can be taken into account. “Comparatismi” welcomes articles that address these aspects, respecting the pluralism that characterizes contemporary research.

Proposals for articles (complete with author’s name, an abstract of no more than 1000 words with bibliographical references and a brief bio, affiliation, and email) must be sent by March 1, 2024, following the instructions available on the journal website (under “Submit a proposal”). By March 30, 2024, each author will receive a response (be it positive or negative) from the editorial staff. The articles must be delivered in their final version by September I, 2024. The articles that will be definitively accepted after a double blind peer-review round will be published in November 2024. Proposals in languages other than Italian are appreciated and encouraged (preferably in English; alternatively, in French).

The call is curated by Stefano Calabrese and Giampiero Moretti.

For further questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Filippo Pennacchio at



Summary bibliography for The Public Dimension of Dwelling / The Private Dimension of Dwelling:

Anselmi G. M., Ruozzi G. (a cura di) (2003). Luoghi della letteratura italiana, Bruno Mondadori · Bachelard G. [1957] (1975). La poetica dello spazio, Dedalo · Bauer D., Kelly M. J. (2019). The Imagery of Interior Spaces, Punctum Books · Bruno G. [2006] (2015). Atlante delle emozioni. In viaggio tra arte, architettura e cinema, Bruno Mondadori · Calabrese S. (2020). Neuronarrazioni, Editrice Bibliografica · Cantatore L. (2015) Parva sed apta mihi. Studi sul paesaggio domestico nella letteratura per l’infanzia del XIX secolo, ETS · Capurro R. (1997) Bauen Als Denkaufgabe : Text Eines Vortrags ... 30. November 1995 Am Institut Für Grundlagen Der Gestaltung Lehrstuhl Für Grundlagen Der Architektur Der Universität Karlsruhe, Univ. Karlsruhe (TH), Inst. F. Grundlagen der Gestaltung · Cavicchioli S. (2002). I sensi, lo spazio, gli umori e altri saggi, Bompiani · Costa M. (2016). Psicologia ambientale e architettonica. Come l’ambiente e l’architettura influenzano la mente e il comportamento, Franco Angeli · Crouch, D. (a cura di) (1999). Leisure/Tourism Geographies: Practices and Geographical Knowledge, Routledge · Dance A. (2017). Science and Culture: The brain within buildings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(5), pp. 785-787 · Dillon M. R. (2021). Rooms without walls: Young children draw objects but not layouts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General150(6), pp. 1071-1080 · Donati R. (2016). Critica della trasparenza, Rosenberg & Sellier · Filighera T., Micalizzi A. (2018). Psicologia dell’abitare. Marketing, architettura e neuroscienze per lo sviluppo di nuovi modelli abitativi, Franco Angeli · Fludernik M. (2014). Description and perspective: The representation of interiors. Style48(4), pp. 461-478 · Fludernik M., Keen S. (2014). Introduction: Narrative Perspectives and Interior Spaces in Literature Before 1850. Style, 48(4), 453-460 · Giannitrapani A. (2013). Introduzione alla semiotica dello spazio, Carocci · Hammad M. (2003). Leggere lo spazio, comprendere l’architettura, Meltemi · Hamon Ph. [1989] (1995). Esposizioni. Letteratura e architettura nel XIX secolo, Clueb · Hasse J. (2008). Die Stadt als Wohnraum, Alberverlag · Hasse J. (2017). Wege der Wohn-Forschung, Springer · Helleman G., Wassenberg F. (2004). The renewal of what was tomorrow’s idealistic city. Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer high-rise. Cities, 21(1), pp. 3-17 · Innocenti L. (a cura di) (1995). Scene, itinerari, dimore. Lo spazio nella narrativa del ’700, Bulzoni · Johnson M. J. (2022). Il significato incarnato dell’architettura in Robinson S., Pallasmaa J. (a cura di), La mente in architettura. Neuroscienze, incarnazione e il futuro del design, Firenze University Press · Kukla Quill R. (2012). City Living: How Urban Spaces and Urban Dwellers Make One Another, Oxford University Press · Lefebvre H. [1968] (2014). Il diritto alla città, Ombre corte · Lipsedge K. (2012). Domestic space in eighteenth-century British novels, Springer · Lopatko E. (2022).Bust the Roof off Everything: Private Space and Social Life in Modernist Literature, University of California · Moretti F. (2019). Un paese lontano. Cinque lezioni sulla cultura americana, Einaudi · Perrot M. (2003). Gli spazi del privato in Moretti F. (a cura di), Il romanzo. Temi, luoghi, eroi, vol. IV, Einaudi · Pedone S., Tedeschini M. (a cura di) (2014). Abitare. Sensibilia, 8. Perrot M. (2011). Storia delle camere, trad. it., Sellerio · Richardson P. (2017). House of Fiction: From Pemberley to Brideshead, Great British Houses in Literature and Life, Unbound Publishing · Ruffel L. (2014). The Public Spaces of Contemporary Literature. Qui parle, XXII (2), pp. 101-122 · Santana-Acuña Á. (2019). Interior Spaces in Literature: A Sociological and Historical Perspective in Bauer D., Kelly M. J. (a cura di), The Imagery of Interior Spaces, Punctum Books, pp. 219-236 · Schulz C.N. (1979). Genius Loci. Paesaggio Ambiente Architettura, Electa. Schweighauser Ph. (2006). The Noises of American Literature, 1890-1985. Toward a History of Literary Acoustics, University Press of Florida · Vasilyeva M., Lourenco S. F. (2012). Development of spatial cognition. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 3(3), pp. 349-364 · Vitta M. (2020). Dell’abitare. Corpi, spazi, oggetti, immagini, Einaudi · Winter S., Ackermann K. (a cura di) (2014). Spazio domestico e spazio quotidiano nella letteratura e nel cinema dall’Ottocento a oggi. Franco Cesati · Zago G., Callegari C., & Campagnaro M. (a cura di) (2019). La casa. Figure, modelli e visioni nella Letteratura per l’infanzia dal Novecento ad oggi, Pensa multimedia.