Border Complexities

If border were once only perceived as markers of territorial relationships, this definition is no longer sufficient. The recent societal developments and the increased need for knowledge regarding their dynamics require a more comprehensive approach. This methodological shift registered in border studies, aims at describing and investigating borders in more complex ways. The University of Luxembourg launches a workshop focusing on border complexities to conceptualise and discuss them in a five-part series from different disciplinary and thematically angles.

Borders in times of mobility

The enormous increase in the mobility of people – as well as things, ideas or capital – in the past decades has led to a changed understanding of borders. Research in social sciences and cultural studies no longer regards borders as fixed markers of territorial relationships, but is primarily interested in the processes of their production and (de)stabilization. The application of this bordering approach shows that the analytical perspective is not yet sufficiently developed to adequately grasp and understand the pressing societal challenges in Europe and beyond. 

Understanding the complex functioning of borders

Criticism of the bordering approach aims at insufficient conceptualization and under-complexity and has recently led to a break down of bordering processes in order to better understand the functioning of borders and their various interlinked dimensions. This development points to a complexity shift in border studies, insofar as border phenomena are attempted to be understood in their complexity, relationality and performativity. In this perspective, borders stand for results and crystallization points of interactive formations of different actors, activities, bodies, objects, and knowledge. The concept of border complexities encompasses such dynamic constellations, which either cause or result from borders.

Approaching border complexities

Border complexities are at the centre of the project ” Border Complexities. A German-French-Luxembourgish workshop series” and will be conceptualised and discussed through different analytical lenses and empirical examples. For this purpose, a series of workshops will be carried out to enable an interdisciplinary exchange on a recent development in border studies. The series funded by the Franco-German University consists of five thematically linked workshops each focus on a specific aspect of border complexities: complexities of borders, logics of dis/orders, spatialities and networks, temporalities and change, materialities and corporealities. The project results will be published in two volumes of the book series “Border Studies. Cultures, Spaces, Orders”.

How to join the workshop?

Young researchers from the participating partner universities and beyond are invited to actively participate in the workshops. If you are interested, you can always contact a representative of the project. 
Due to the current situation around the COVID-19, the workshop series must also be adapted. We are currently discussing various possible solutions within the project consortium. 

More information on www.bordercomplexities.org

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