The Finnish Doctoral Programme in Art History and The Finnish Doctoral
Programme for Literary Studies will organize international conference
Imagined Worlds – Worldmaking in Arts and Literature, 21-23, August
2013 at the University of Helsinki.



The conference /Imagined Worlds/ will focus on the imagined worlds
created by artistic and literary works. To think of such works in
terms of ”worlds” (or the mental representations they create in the
minds of their audience) means concentrating on the representational
dimensions of art and literature.

The idea of worldmaking opens new perspectives in the study of art
forms and their genres. It was formulated in philosophical terms by
Nelson Goodman in /Ways of Worldmaking/ (1978). His approach
encompassed a broad spectrum of worldmaking across all art forms,
sciences and cultural discourses and emphasized the idea that we
create worlds on the basis of already existing ones. Worlds are built
from the world(s) of our experience and cultural models or from
already existing imagined worlds through various types of

Recent studies in cognitive narratology where questions related to how
readers build up story worlds have opened a new field of study which
can also function as a starting point for broader visions of the
cultural imagining of worlds: ”mapping words onto worlds” to make
sense of textual worlds can be more broadly understood as mapping
signs onto worlds. Like texts, art and images do not merely mirror the
world but also investigate ways of worldmaking.

Worldmaking also relates to the ideas of the works of art and
literature we embrace. Asking the question ”When is art?” permits one
to see different anachronisms and the messy temporalities of images.
How an object or event functions as a work of art can explain how it
may contribute to a vision and to the making of a world.

Imagined Worlds explores all of the various dimensions whose interplay
accounts for the nature of the worlds rendered through art and
literature and their genre-specific and historical manifestations.

We thus propose the following themes:

* Worldmaking and Genres
* Worldmaking and Reception
* Spatial and Temporal Aspects of Imagined Worlds
* Reality-Effects or Fantasy: How Imagined Worlds Negociate their
Relationship to the Actual World.

Deadline for abstracts: *January 30, 2013.*

For more information and abstract submission go to

with all the best wishes,

Dr Paula Arvas & Dr Hanne Selkokari
Conference organizing committee’s coordinators