Call for Paper Panel – Border Textures: Interwoven Practices and Discursive Fabrics of Borders

Chairs: Astrid M. Fellner (Saarland University) and Christian Wille (University of Luxembourg)

In view of the current political developments in Europe, the scientific study of borders has increasingly gained importance. Cultural Studies has reacted to these developments by generating complex and more and more detailed theories and tools for describing and analyzing border phenomena. Cultural border studies champion approaches which do not examine spatial, material, temporal or cultural aspects in isolation but investigate their intersectional and performative interactions. This panel provides a space for explorative investigation of potential approaches for cultural border studies, focusing on interactions between material and immaterial manifestations of the border. In particular, it wants to present theoretical tools that help reveal border (re)production processes, understand their complexity, multi-layeredness, and dynamics, and thus contribute to the critical extension of the oftentimes simplistic discussion of borders and border areas. This shall further promote a concept that we call border textures, which refers to the (im)material fabrics of practices and discourses that constitute borders. Border textures understand borders as complex fabrics in which social and cultural as well as material and imaginary references become interwoven following diverse “weaving patterns.” This particular view on borders promises heuristic benefits and refers equally to (overlapping) procedures of closure and opening. Border textures thus aim both at the composition of actual borders and at the underlying logics of border demarcations, i.e. the “weaving patterns.”

Proposals by social scientists and cultural studies scholars who offer theoretical-conceptual contributions, who engage with the concept of border textures or who link the concept to case studies are particularly welcome. Case studies may refer to borders between national, political or legal entities in Western Europe as well as to categories of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or other assigned social categories. Theoretical and conceptual contributions may highlight the processuality of border textures, deepen the performative and material aspects of practices and discourses or examine the “weaving patterns” of border textures integrated in the concept of border textures as an analytical category.

Please send proposals to: and

Deadline for proposals: 01.09.2017

Proposal structure:
•    Title of the talk
•    Speaker(s)
•    Abstract max. 500 words (incl. bibliography)
•    4-5 keywords
•    Contact information (name, university affiliation, institute, mailing address, email)
•    Biographical information (max. 300 words)
•    Papers should be in English.