Call for Paper Panel – What is Border Studies?

Chairs: Christian Wille (University of Luxembourg) and Grégory Hamez (University of Lorraine)

The societal events of the last decade have challenged Border Studies more than ever before. This can be seen not only in the field’s growing institutionalisation but also in its developments in research: these include the relativization of geopolitical perspectives by cultural studies approaches, the spatialisation of the border concept (e.g. zone, third space, exter/internalisation etc.), the decentralisation of the border in favour of processes (e.g. b/ordering, othering etc.), the pluralisation of the border concept (e.g. walls, differences, (dis)continuities, demarcations) or the complexification of the border (e.g. scapes, textures).

The panel is treating these developments and other turns as an opportunity for a long-overdue self-examination, which in the light of the resurgence of borders seems necessary from both a societal and scientific perspective. For that the plural already inherent in the word Studies is being taken seriously, with an attempt to initiate a debate on the identities, challenges and perspectives of Border Studies. We welcome papers from border scholars in a wide variety of disciplines and trend areas which:

  • Seek to illustrate the disciplinary spectrum of Border Studies and systemise/differentiate typical issues, established approaches and divided basic assumptions in the field
  • Pick up theoretical and conceptual developments in social sciences and cultural studies and reconstruct their productive reception in Border Studies
  • Shed light on theoretical contributions of Border Studies from an epistemological perspective and trace their evolution
  • Examine the relation between Border Studies and other related fields (e.g. migration studies, gender studies, governance studies, surveillance studies),
  • Use specific issues or theoretical problems to illustrate the added value which multidisciplinary approaches bring to Border Studies
  • Tackle the opportunities and limits of Border Studies for critical contributions to societal processes
  • Set out the future needs for Border Studies, for example in terms of theoretical and conceptual blind spots or potentialities
  • Outline future Border Studies issues in the context of current societal developments

Please send proposals to: and

Deadline for proposals: 15.08.2017

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.