Banner Viadrina

Open Calls

Border (Inter)Action
Hosts: Concha Maria Höfler (Nottingham Trent Univ.); Sabine Lehner (St. Pölten Univ. of Applied Sciences); Maria Klessmann (Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION, EUV)

Interaction, understood as the "communication among those present" (Kieserling 1999), can be linked in various ways to borders and boundaries. These go beyond interactions at borders, such as cross-border cooperation, passport and customs controls, or smuggling. More broadly, borders and boundaries are complex manifestations of multiple relational practices. Boundary drawing comes into play in interactive situations through ascriptions, ways of speaking and how these are perceived and differentiated/categorized (Busch & Spitzmüller 2021), indexing social categories, discursive positions and re/producing social orders. Finally, there are questions about the boundedness of interactions per se, distinguishing them from one another (Muhle 2017).
The panel seeks a detailed analysis of the production of boundaries in concrete interactions, as well as micro perspectives on interactions at borders and the practices which manifest borders. To this end, theoretically grounded empirical analyses from various disciplinary fields will be welcomed into conversation.

The panel will explore questions such as:

  • How are borders/boundaries articulated/expressed/manifested in interaction?
  • How does one examine boundaries in interaction?
  • How are borders/boundaries established in bordering practices/through border work and how do practices come to form a set of border/boundary manifestations?
  • How are borders/boundaries and social orders negotiated, subverted, contested or (temporarily) deconstructed/dissolved in interaction?

We invite theoretical as well as empirical papers, focusing on the interplay of borders and interaction. We strongly encourage early-career scholars to submit a presentation proposal. We aim at an interdisciplinary approach towards the topic, and therefore would be happy to accept relevant presentation proposals from various disciplines.

Please send an abstract (300-400 words) and a short bios of the presenter (affiliation, academic background) to:,, 
Deadline for sending abstracts: 10/31/2022.

Researching Digital Borders – Taking Stock, Challenges and New Directions of Research
Hosts: Nina Amelung (Lisbon Univ.); Silvan Pollozek (European New School, EUV)

Since more than a decade digital borders and the datafication of European migration and border control has become an extensively studied field of research. At the intersection of critical migration and border, security, surveillance, and science and technology studies, a vibrant research community has emerged. This panel introduces, takes stock, and looks beyond the current state of the art of research on digital borders and the datafication of European migration and border control. By inviting scholars who contributed to the development of the research field and know the research community well, this panel aims to map out prominent trajectories and current challenges of research. It will outline blind spots and gaps and discuss promising directions of research that in Donna Haraway’s sense continue to 'stay with the trouble'.

Among other things, this panel may discuss about

  • EU databases, tech-maintenance institutions, and interoperability initiatives
  • rationalities of biometric and algorithmic borders
  • digital borders in post-colonial constellations
  • data justice, transparency, and accountability
  • datafication and autonomy of migration
Please send an abstract (300-400 words) and a short bios of the presenter (affiliation, academic background) to:,
Deadline for sending abstracts: 10/31/2022.

Imagining and Contesting Future Borders
Hosts: Hannes Krämer, Dominik Gerst (Univ. Duisburg-Essen)

The future plays an increasingly important role in the self-image of contemporary societies. Since the beginning of the 21st century, multiple experiences of crisis have contributed to an increased degree of foresight. The awareness of the finite nature of society in the face of the climate crisis is only the most visible example of society's gradual orientation toward what is to come. Research in the social and cultural sciences has shown that this orientation towards the future can be seen in many forms, with a view to a wide variety of social fields. Against this backdrop, the panel will explore the question of whether and how society's forward-lookingness is also evident at its borders. The leading question of the conference, “how societal orders in the 21st century are changing through new forms of border and boundary drawing and how the borders of the 21st century are shaped”, will therefore be supplemented by a decided reference to the future. The panel follows the idea that the imagination of tomorrow also shapes the today. In this way, a research gap in contemporary multidisciplinary border research is addressed. Whereas interest has so far focused on a retrospective description of border change, the panel follows the idea of viewing border change as a prospective process.

Possible questions that could be addressed and interrelated during the panel include:

  • What imaginings of future borders do contemporary societies produce; what are they reacting to?
  • How are inscriptions of the future expressed in everyday borderwork?
  • Which visions of what is to come are decidedly negotiated at the borders?
  • What is the connection between diagnoses of a "renaissance of the border" and descriptions of social expectations of the future?

Of interest are perspectives from the social and cultural sciences; there is no prior narrowing down to specific future scenarios and/or border constellations.

Please send an abstract (300-400 words) and a short bios of the presenter (affiliation, academic background) to: and
Deadline for sending abstracts: 10/31/2022.

Forced Migrants from Ukraine: Negotiations of “Here and There”
Hosts: Zeynep Yanaşmayan-Wegele (DeZIM); Irina Mützelburg (ZOiS)

The recent escalation of the war in Ukraine has put forced migration into the centre of political debates in Europe. Several European countries have witnessed en masse arrivals of people seeking protection from Ukraine. Whether these were relatively new (i.e. Poland) or more established reception (i.e. Germany) countries, these movements have led to heated discussions about European border and asylum regimes. Yet with displacement dragging on longer, crucial questions about the contestations of not only “physical” borders but also of societal borders/boundaries have become burning. Starting with registration in respective European countries, forced migrants from Ukraine are daily confronted with a wide range of bureaucratic agents from employment agencies and welfare agencies to school administrators. It is in these encounters that practices of inclusion and exclusion redraw and reproduce societal boundaries.

This panel is going to address the following questions: 

  • How do displaced migrants from Ukraine perceive and negotiate this production of boundaries?
  • How do they perceive and negotiate being “here and there”, combining victimhood and agency?

Looking at choices and practices in different spaces and arenas, such as mobility and education, this panel takes stock of the ways in which displaced people from Ukraine cope with borders, boundaries, and their position in and between Ukraine, their host country, and a potential third destination.

We welcome contributions from various social science perspectives.

Please send an abstract (300-400 words) and a short bios of the presenter (affiliation, academic background) to: and
Deadline for sending abstracts: 10/31/202.

Migrant Entrepreneurs and B/Order Asymmetries as a Resource
Hosts: Carolin Leutloff-Grandits (Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION, EUV); Judith Möllers (IAMO Halle/S.); Ulf Brunnbauer (IOS Regensburg)

In their function of migration management, state borders often pose a barrier which is difficult to cross, especially for so called third-country nationals who want to enter the EU. Goods and capital, on the other hand, seem to cross state and EU borders relatively unhindered – or at least under different conditions. In this panel, we want to link migration and material and financial cross-border flows and ask in which way migrant entrepreneurs use borders as a resource in order to open a profitable firm in their countries of origin – be it for the national market or an international one, or both. More generally, we want to focus on the meaning of borders for migrant entrepreneurs and their enterprises. For this, we understand borders not only as lines on the map, dividing two states, but also as social and symbolic boundaries dividing those socially constructed as “us” from “them”, creating differences which can be - among others – also economically exploited.

For our panel, we invite contributions that address the following questions from a variety of disciplinary (social anthropology, sociology, history, economics, and others), as well as interdisciplinary approaches:

  • To what extent do (state and EU) border asymmetries – be it in the form of finances, access to labor and sales markets and tax conditions, human mobilities etc. impact on the material and non-material flows across borders and may be successfully used or also represent obstacles for migrant entrepreneurs and their businesses?
  • In which way do migrant entrepreneurs rely on knowledge, ideas and networks achieved and maintained “across the border” in order to open and run their businesses?
  • In which way do border asymmetries find entry in the branding of certain products as “German” or “EU standard”, as such implying to be of a high(er) quality, and what kind of imaginaries and hierarchies, as well as economic success are built in them?
  • In which way does the (state) border serve as a development marker, and what kind of implications does this have for businesses opened by migrants, but also for the communities in question? In which way can our findings contribute to a critical conceptualization of “development”?


Please send an abstract (300-400 words) and a short bios of the presenter (affiliation, academic background) to:
Deadline for sending abstracts: 10/31/2022.
Organized by

Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

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In Cooperation with:


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This Conference draws on research supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.