Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Postgraduate Study Half Day 2020
Call for papers
6 May 2020 – Milldam Building, University of Portsmouth
Keynote: Dr Alison Carrol, Brunel University London
Where dominant groups form in particular places and they start to define their own coherent identity, borders may be imagined as a demarcation line between distinct communities. Yet in
reality, borders are not ‘natural’, their meanings are constructed, and they are often hotly contested. For example, dominant powers have historically drawn up borders arbitrarily to
divide and bound annexed, conquered and colonised societies, of which complicated legacies persist. The contemporary implications of these legacies tend to be a quite macro discussion, of which bottom-up perspectives are missing.
Crucially, many scholars today emphasise the importance of peripheral agency in alternative understandings of how borders are (de)constructed, not only by national actors, but also by
regional, international and transnational ones. The theme of agency is key to researchers who consider how local populations live with, understand, transgress, and make borders
meaningful, as well as changes of opinion over time. New case studies in different spatial and relational contexts on cross-frontier exchanges, networks, transfers, and relationships are
particularly useful for offering insight into how borders can be understood as both points of contact and conflict (Carrol, 2018).
Whilst physical geographical borders have recently sparked political debates about immigration and the right to belong, simultaneously the internal construction of invisible
cultural barricades imagined along cultural, racial, gendered and religious lines have been critically analysed by scholars.
This study day seeks to bring together postgraduate students who are interested in borders, both real and imagined. We encourage proposals that interpret ‘borders’ as widely as
possible. We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers in English that include, but are not limited to, history and society, literature, politics, linguistics, film and visual cultures, philosophy, critical theory, and other disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary approaches.
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
- Disciplinary barriers
- Periphery vs Centre
- Myths and ‘reality’
- Grassroot activism and Elite policy
- Trauma, neurodivergence, bodily restraints
- Death, silence, taboos
- Exile and refugees
- Buildings, objects and sites
- Gender and Sexuality
- Footnotes to history
- Power and Revolution
- Security, terrorism and war zones
- Area Studies
- Language, discourse(s) and translation
- La Francophonie, beyond the
- (Post)colonialism, (de)colonialism,
- Nationalism, Multiculturalism
- Forgotten histories, disconnected pasts
- Limits and Liminality
- Ordinary and Extraordinary
- Transcending and Transforming
- Containment and contestation
- Integration and exclusion
- Belonging and Dissociation
- Closure and conflict
- Intervention and Interpretation
- Threshold of tolerance
- Revision and relocation
- Intercultural crossroads
- Subversion and Resistance
- Boundary-thinking, Boundary-breaking
- Master Narratives, Vernacular Voices
- Acts of memory/le devoir de mémoire
- Institutions, spaces and places
- Competitive/ irreconcilable narratives
Abstracts of no more than 300 words, in English, should be sent to BordersatPortsmouth@gmail.com. Submissions should be received by 9:00 AM UK time on Friday 20th March 2020.
The Study Half Day provides an opportunity for MA and MSc students to engage with PhD students and senior academics from other institutions. It is generously funded by the Graduate School at the University of Portsmouth and is supported logistically by our hosts at the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature. Attendance is free. Travel reimbursement will be made available for speakers. All conference venues are fully accessible, and we are very happy to discuss particular needs that participants might have and how we can best accommodate these.
Organising Committee: Antony Horne, Dieunedort Wandji, Megan Ison and Patience Manhovo.