As I discussed in Chapter 1, the spatial turn in literary and cultural studies has occasioned a remarkable expansion in the number and quality of critical works on space, place, and mapping with respect to literature, and this has been most evident in the transdisciplinary field known as “theory.” It is not merely that matters of space, place, and mapping have increasingly informed the research of literary and cultural theorists, but also that theory is itself a crucial domain of spatiality studies. As David Harvey has argued,

[b]eneath the veneer of common-sense and seemingly "natural” ideas about space and time, there lie hidden terrains of ambiguity, contradiction, and struggle. Conflicts arise not merely out of admittedly diverse subjective appreciations, but because different objective material qualities of time and space are deemed relevant to social life in different situations. Important battles likewise occur in the realms of scientific, social, and aesthetic theory, as well as in practice. How we represent space and time in theory matters, because it affects how we and others interpret and then act with respect to the world.

(Harvey 1990: 205)