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Call for Participation: “Infrastructuring Borders” at the 8th Tensions of Europe Conference “Borders and Technology”, 7-­10.09.2017, Athens, Greece

Deadline: 30.04.2017 ++

The 8th Tensions of Europe Conference will have as its main theme the history of borders and technology, precisely the relationship between borders and infrastructures. Hidden technological linking and delinking that reinforced or challenged border delineations and demarcations are in the focus just like the redefinition of borders due to the use of technology (and vice versa) (see for further information: http://8toe2017.phs.uoa.gr).

The panel “Infrastructuring Borders” seeks to discuss the role of “infrastructure“ in the constitution of borders/boundaries. Influenced by the concept of “boundary infrastructures” (Star/Ruhleder), we understand infrastructures to be not only the physical materiality but also the communicative as well as affective enabling conditions of borders. As ordered and ordering structures, they assemble/arrange objects, technical systems, discursive and non-‐ discursive practices which relate actors and in this way participate in the production as well as the adherence and dissolution of borders. By shifting the focus on infrastructures as underlying conditions for borderings, we expand a one-dimensional understanding of borders to all kinds of spatial, temporal and social dimensions that constitute them.

The objective of this panel is to discuss questions like: Which theoretical concepts (e.g. interfaces, assemblages, boundary objects and infrastructures) as well as methodological considerations may ground and support an analysis of border/boundary infrastructures? What kinds of hard (e.g. traffic facilities, rails, electrical lines) or soft (e.g. people, communication channels, information networks) infrastructures play a crucial role in border contexts? How are borders/boundaries (e.g. spatial, temporal, social, cultural) constituted by infrastructures? In what way do infrastructures facilitate the basic functions of borders to connect or divide? How can the interplay of the symbolic and material dimension of infrastructures be grasped? Topics of interest are for example border surveillance, border mobility, community boundaries, migration flows, cross-­border integration.

We invite you to submit empirical or conceptual/theoretical contributions on the constitutive role of infrastructures in manifesting borders. The call addresses scholars from the field of sociology, political sciences, cultural studies, geography, science and technology studies, mobility studies, migration studies and others.

Please send an abstract (300 words) as well as a short biographical note until April 30th to: gerst@europa-­uni.de. The panel will be hosted by Dominik Gerst and Peter Ulrich, both research associates in the research group “border & boundary studies” at the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION, located at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany.

Organizers
Dominik Gerst and Peter Ulrich, Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

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Call for Participation