Call for paper « Comparative Border Studies »

Call for papers « Comparative Border Studies »

Special Issue of Comparative American Studies on “Comparative Border Studies”

This special issue is devoted to the comparative study of global border regions. Since the emergence of border studies in the 1950s and 1960s, geographers, economists, anthropologists, and social and political scientists have examined a variety of national boundaries worldwide, sometimes in a comparative fashion. The more recent humanities focus on the U.S.-Mexico border that originated in Chicana/o studies has helped transform U.S. American Studies into a transnational discipline through an emphasis on issues of citizenship, region, and migration. But the exclusive attention to the U.S. boundary with Mexico in U.S. American studies has elevated this site to a position of undeserved uniqueness, which threatens to replicate the very notion of U.S. exceptionalism that an interest in the border between the United States and Mexico was meant to overcome.

This special issue encourages the comparative examination of national borders located in or across the continents of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Especially welcome are contributions that examine national borders within theories of gender, ethnicity, citizenship, human rights, social justice, environmentalism, regionalization, migration, trafficking, enforcement, biopolitics, health and language policy, among others. While essays may address how a comparative framework enriches, challenges or modifies theories gained from the study of the U.S.-Mexico border, other approaches could also highlight the interrelationships among various border regions or explore international boundaries without reference to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Please send inquiries and abstracts to Claudia Sadowski-Smith at The deadline for completed 6000-word essays (using the Chicago Manual Citation Style) is May 31, 2011.