The Space&Place Research Collaborative was originally established at the University of Minnesota in 1999 by Dr. Sonja Kuftinec (Theatre Arts & Dance), Dr. Jani Scandura (English), and Dr. Karen E. Till (Geography); Dr. Margaret Werry (Theatre Arts & Dance) joined as co-convener in 2004. Space&Place remains an intellectual collaborative at the Institute for Advanced Study at UMN.
In January 2011, under Dr. Karen Till, Space&Place was launched as an Irish collaborative, hosted by the Department of Geography at NUI Maynooth. It now includes staff from the Department of Geography, NIRSA, an the Department of English at NUIM, and collaborates regularly with scholars, artists, and practitioners from GradCAM, CREATE, IMMA and DublIntellectual in the Dublin area.
In May 2011, Space&Place formed a new network alliance with the Ómós Áite Space/Place Research Group at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway under the directorship of Dr. Nessa Cronin. Space&Place/Ómós Áite coordinated and hosted their first international conference and series of workshops, Mapping Spectral Traces IV, at NUI Maynooth and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 25-27 May 2011.
A second, sister event marked this national collaboration with Ómós Áite, MSTV: Bodies, Space, Memory, held at NUI Galway, the Black Box Theatre, Galway City and other locations in County Galway from 19-21 April 2012. The international conference, public art clinic, workshops, book launch and public lectures on the role of place in Irish culture today ran in partnership with an international Dance Festival, curated by Dr Ríonach Ní Néill, Galway County Council Dancer in Residence, and performance arts member of Ómós Áite. The event was covered in The Irish Times and TG4.
International Collaborations: Space&Placeregularly collaborates with Land2 (University of Leeds and UWE-Bristol), such as for its ‘Memory Matters Summer Studio’ in Minneapolis in the summer of 2009, a week-long exchange that ultimately leading to the first three ‘Mapping Spectral Traces’ conferences and exhibitions at Leeds, Bristol, and Blacksburg and Roanoke, VA (USA). We also participate in many of the Land2 Symposia, including the most recent 10th anniversary event (July 2012), Close to Home: Artists Reconsider the Local, which included an exhibition at East Street Arts.
Following the success of the MSTIV conference and workshops at Maynooth and Dublin, the Space&Place Research Collaborative and Ómós Áite were invited in the summer of 2011 to become convening collaborative members of the Mapping Spectral Traces international network: www.mappingspectraltraces.org.
With the inclusion of the two Irish research groups and the launch of a new public website and blog in September 2011, the MST Network now has a national presence in Ireland, as well as creates both face-to-face and virtual international communities of scholars, artists and community partners.