Conference Concept


The challenges of the early decades of the 21st century relate to the survival of humanity as a species. While the covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated a global-scale awareness of the limits of human life on Earth, climate change has for long been putting to the fore the interactions between social, cultural and natural processes. In this context a whole new understanding of the essence and role of Borders, in its multiple dimensions, needs to be brought into focus, and include as well the notions of physical boundaries and territorial control.

In this sense, the definition of the Anthropocene as a stage in the history of the Earth entails a radical reshaping of the traditional chronological divisions based on a vision of human history disconnected from nature and reduced to the account of social and technological change. Redefining the idea of border in its multiple dimensions, in present days and through history, becomes of critical importance.  

Political and geographic frontiers require attention too. Up until the covid-19 crisis, national frontiers seemed to be on a vanishing process: in the post-Cold War world, mass media and popular culture have favoured a narrative of the world open to synergic interconnections. However, this view of globalization has always presented an incomplete picture of reality. Borders, although dispersed and controlled through their constant shifting and movement, may have indeed proliferated rather than disappear, whilst becoming more resistant to particular activities and peoples.

Additionally, the boundaries of human society require renewed critical approaches on issues of gender, class, ethnicity, religious beliefs or ideology.  Instituted forms of dehumanization, animalization or reification relate to the establishment of social and cultural frontiers throughout history. A focus on the divisions, intersections and hierarchies between human and non-human species, animals, plants and minerals is of paramount importance.

Finally, rethinking the traditional, culturally mediated relations between beings and objects demands a thorough disciplinary critique. This approach is a means of assessing frontiers in the quest for knowledge as established by modernity in order to overcome their normative representations and to propose new forms of self-consciousness as well as multi- and inter-disciplinarity.


We invite scholars from all humanities and social sciences, as well as from related natural and environmental sciences, to submit panel proposals on the following themes:

  • Boundaries of knowledge and disciplinary work: frontiers between the humanities, the social and the natural sciences.

  • Urban frontiers: inclusion and segregation in contemporary cities.

  • Ecologies of identity. Fluid boundaries: Renegotiating gender identity.

  • Mestizo mindscapes and the new frontiers of racial constructs in the 21st century.

  • Earth unbound: indigenous leaderships and ecocultures.

  • Humans vs non-humans and other forms of specist boundaries.

  • Temporalities, chronologies and the organization of time.

  • Expansion, Resistance and Negotiation: agency at the edges of the European Empires.

  • Nationalisms and the definition of frontiers.

  • Overcoming frontiers: migrations and forced displacements.

  • A world of trade: hubs, economic zones and global routes.

  • Science at the Frontier: exploration, plunder and restoration.

  • Confinement and self-isolation in pandemic times.

  • Climatic change and citizenship.

  • Beyond natural borders: land and sea heritage.



Call for Panels: 13.11.2020 - 20.12.2020
Communication of Panels Acceptance: 10.01.2021

Call for Papers: 15.01.2021 - 28.02.2021
Communication of Papers Acceptance: 20.03.2021