Spatial Excess: Symposium at Tampere University

Excess is too much — more than what is prescribed, agreed upon, or desired. But to be in excess is also to be in motion through space, the prefix ex- leading us out or away, overstepping a boundary: social, material, or affective. But how much is too much? And when is too much not enough?

Far from excessive, the question of “excess” has been essential to recent intellectual history and literary theory. What are Marxist “surplus” labour, deconstruction’s scapegoats, the racial policing of “animated” bodily affects, psychoanalytic jouissance, the queer poetics of waste, or the politics of sentiment but attempts to think with, through, or against excess? 

For this one-day symposium, we ask what role excess currently plays in spatial studies and the environmental humanities – and, perhaps more importantly, what role it could play. After all, much of recent spatial and environmental theory – whether by cultural geographers, geo- and ecocritics, architects, or Indigenous philosophers – has been concerned with understanding space in its dynamic relationalites, experienced complexities and heterogeneous multiplicities, and with models of spatial thought that exceed (step out of, go beyond, or simply lie outside) the rationalist and colonial models of space that undergird the scientific and geopolitical orders of modernity. In their 2019 paper on oceanic ontologies, geographers Kimberley Peters and Philip Steinberg attempted to open “new frames of thinking about spatial experience”: 

The ocean within, the ocean beyond, the material ocean, and the signifieds to which we connect all of these oceanic signifiers (the ‘imagined ocean’) become melded as one: a Hypersea, an ocean in excess, that transcends conventional distinctions between experience, perception and environment; between ontology, epistemology and phenomenology. (2019, 305) 

. . . an ocean in excess: who will join us for a dip?

Tulevat tapahtumat

Menneet tapahtumat


Research group Spatial Studies and Environmental Humanities (Plural Research Centre, ITC Faculty, Tampere University)


Johannes Riquet (johannes.riquet@tuni.fi)