Ninth Biennial MESEA Conference

May 29th – June 1st 2014
Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken Germany

“Crossing Boundaries in a Post-Ethnic Era – Interdisciplinary Approaches and Negotiations”

  1. Invitation for Contribution
  2. Instructions for Authors
  3. PreRegistration Info: Lunch & Dinner Options and Additional Program Information
  4. Call for Papers
  5. Local Organizing Team
  6. How to get to Saarbrücken
  7. Campus Map
  8. List of Hotels
  9. Final Program

Proposal submission

Submissions are closed.

Submitters will receive notification of acceptance by January 1, 2014.

Preference will be given to complete panel proposals with an inter/transdisciplinary and/or transnational focus. Panels may not include more than 2 participants from the same institution. Presenters must be members of MESEA or MELUS in 2014.

As in previous years, MESEA will award two Young Scholars Excellence Awards.


Moving into the second decade of the twenty-first century, interdisciplinary border studies are still in need of new theoretical approaches that not only move beyond the “borderless” discourses of the post-Cold War era, but that also respond to the urgent need that was articulated in the late 1990s for a conceptualization of borders/boundaries as the sum of social, cultural, political, and economic processes. Following the 9/11 attack in the U.S., the reality of increased border securitization as part of the “war on terror” has undermined the neo-liberal rhetoric of the “borderless world.” At the same time, partly as a reaction to globalization and partly as a response to emerging regionalism and ethno‐regionalist movements, a number of states have set in motion a process of re‐scaling in which they have devolved part of their power in governance to supra‐state and sub‐state regions (Paasi 2009). As a result of the above, the complex roles of borders and boundaries have become more relevant than ever, necessitating a reconceptualization that sees them as processes, discourses, practices, even symbols, through which power functions.

“Crossing boundaries” is to be understood literally as well as metaphorically; possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Ethnic/National/State boundaries
  • Redrawing boundaries, modifying ethnic categories—expansion or limit?
  • Ethnic conflict versus decentralization—redesigning political arrangements, mapping out new borders
  • Boundaries in literary criticism: world literature; comparative literature; national literature
  • Boundaries (physical and discursive) and the material reality of cultural production
  • Crossing language borders – multilingualism
  • Social or class boundaries
  • Migration processes and global/national/regional mobility; eg. tourism, work migration, human trafficking
  • Religious boundaries– from religion to fundamentalism
  • Contemporary and historical globalization processes from the epoch of “discoveries” (16th/17th century), to the imperial expansion of the West (19th century), and the global “virtual village” of the 21st century
  • Technology and borders; virtual biopolitics
  • Post–ethnic border performances
  • Negotiating North-South divisions (Europe/Americas) and economic disparities
  • Theories and realities of post-ethnicity
  • Deterritorialization and/or reterritorialization
Local Organizing Team

Contact Details
Please send all e-mails to:

Prof. Dr. Astrid Fellner
Chair of North American Literary and Cultural Studies

Dr. Simone Puff
Postdoc Assistant

Jennifer Moos, M.A.
Doctoral Assistant

Bärbel Schlimbach
Research Assistant

Secretarial Assistant
Bettina Lau, M.A.
Phone: +49 – (0)681 – 302 – 2770
Fax: +49 – (0)681 – 302 – 2710

Program Director

Jopi Nyman, PhD DSocSc
Professor of English
School of Humanities
University of Eastern Finland
P. O. Box 111
FI-80101 Joensuu
Tel. +358-2944-52143

Saarbrücken 2014