1st Edition

Border Culture Theory, Imagination, Geopolitics

    298 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    298 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book introduces readers to the cultural imaginings of borders: the in-between spaces in which transnationalism collides with geopolitical cooperation and contestation.

    Recent debates about the "refugee crisis" and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have politicized culture at and of borders like never before. Border culture is no longer culture at the margins but rather culture at the heart of geopolitics, flows, and experience of the transnational world. Increasingly, culture and borders are everywhere yet nowhere. In border spaces, national narratives and counter-narratives are tested and evaluated, coming up against transnational culture. This book provides an extensive and critical vision of border culture on the move, drawing on numerous examples worldwide and a growing international literature across border and cultural studies. It shows how border culture develops in the human imagination and manifests in human constructs of "nation" and "state", as well as in transnationalism. By analyzing this new and expanding cultural geography of border landscapes, the book shows the way to a fresh, broader dialogue.

    Exploring the nature and meaning of the intersection of border and culture, this book will be an essential read for students and researchers across border studies, geopolitics, geography, and cultural studies.

    1 Introduction, Border Culture on the Move: Bridging Border Studies and Culture Theory  2 Foundations: Situating Border Culture in Border Theory  3 Border Imaginaries and Cultural Production  4 National Narratives and Counter-narratives at the Border  5 Cultural Production and Border Crossings  6 Borders With/in Transnational Culture


    Victor Konrad is Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University, Canada, and formerly Director of the Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine, USA, and founding Director, Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program.

    Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary is Professor at Grenoble-Alpes University, France, and head of the CNRS Pacte research unit, a pluri-disciplinary social sciences research centre.

    "Two of the world’s leading border scholars have produced an important text focusing on the cultural dimension of borders. Unlike most border texts which focus on the political and the security dimensions of the lines which divide us, this book reflects the important cultural and social dimensions of borders as they impact upon us individuals and as groups, and play an important role in the way in which human identity is formed and is perpetuated through varying levels of exclusions and inclusions along a continuum of physical and social separation. The book highlights the fact that any form of border, at whatever social or spatial scale, is much more complex than the simplistic notion of lines on maps, or fences and walls in the landscape. The ways in which borders and their images leave an indelible imprint on our understanding of local spaces and environments enables us to understand the more complex and richer meaning of what actually constitutes a border and how this impacts upon our lives."

    David Newman, Professor, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

    "In Border Culture, Victor Konrad and Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary bridge the gap between cultural theory and border studies, providing an engaging and smart contribution that deepens our understanding of how borders have implications on culture well beyond the borderlands. Highly recommended."

    Reece Jones, author of White Borders and Nobody is Protected, Professor, University of Hawaii, USA

    "While borders are consubstantial with globalization, border culture is at the heart of geopolitics in this transnational world, and is rooted in border experiences of globalization. The authors thus guide us in the mesh of these processes, at the junction of nations, where the suture is performed between and within border cultures, for they are manifold. An essential book as we may be entering, as the authors state, an era of post-globalization."

    Élisabeth Vallet, Director, Center for the Studies of Geopolitics, Raoul-Dandurand Chair, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

    "With Border Culture, Konrad and Amilhat-Szary are inviting us to reflect on the theory, imagination, and geopolitics or borders. A ‘tour de force’ into the border literatures, imaginaries and narratives, it is a superb book. A must read for cultural geographers."

    Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, Professor, University of Victoria, Canada

    "This book is the first of its kind in the emerging field of Cultural Border Studies, an intriguing study of global border culture. Offering an extensive approach to the multiple intersections of borders and cultures, it will open up a much-needed debate on the roles of borders and the politics of culture."

    Astrid M. Fellner, Professor, Saarland University, Germany

    "Our world has become more bordered than at any time in human history. This sophisticated interrogation of international borders as culture offers a set of tools to help us understand, interrogate and look beyond the cartographies of our often-dismal age."

    Nick Megoran, Professor, University of Newcastle, UK

    "In a completely new perspective, Victor Konrad and Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary explore the relationship between borders and cultures. As creators of culture and cultural diversity, borders are home to new cultural forms, as well as being cultural productions involving particular imaginaries, which in turn are capable of transforming borders."

    Patrick Suter, Professor, University of Bern, Switzerland

    "Bridging border and culture studies, the authors of this captivating book invite us to overcome modern oppositions between theories and narratives, and between representations and experiences, by highlighting instead how their interplay can produce new interdisciplinary knowledge capable of reconceiving border cultures as mobile, relational, and multidimensional entities, having different symbolic and material forms, functions, and


    Chiara Brambilla, Professor, University of Bergamo, Italy

    "To understand borders, you need to understand their cultural dimension. This indispensable book gives pressing arguments for including culture in any study of borders in geopolitics and everyday life, along with a thorough and insightful overview of ongoing research in the field."

    Johan Schimanski, Professor, University of Oslo, Norway