Border Thinking and border (as) culture

MA Seminar taught at the Media Culture Analysis program at the Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf in Winter 2018–2019.

In this seminar we will interrogate and intervene on the political and cultural implications of borders, articulated through a decolonizing approach. By understanding the materiality of the border as a zone of exclusion (of bodies, subjectivities, experiences), fundamentally entangled with the colonial project of modernity, together we will explore the idea of the borderlands as a liminal space of enunciation of different pasts, challenging presents, and pluri-versal futures.

This seminar takes two routes: the first unravels from the notion of thinking from/through the border, taking into account plural worldviews from alternative modernities in order to assemble an ontoepistemological approach to Cultural Studies. The second route will lead us through an exploration of border(ed) spaces, from colonial histories to the contemporary ubiquity of border work, be it through technological divides or the so-called “migration crisis” of Europe. Our approach to these border(ed) spaces will make use of border thinking as a framework of inquiry, meaning that our investigation of the cultural entanglements of borders will be necessarily enunciated from a decolonizing place.

The main theoretical framework for this seminar stems from Latin American and Caribbean thinkers; by giving such a strong focus on these places of knowledge production, we already begin our journey in border thinking by positioning ourselves with and within a geopolitical space.

Full Syllabus (PDF)