Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION


ABS Annual Conference April 24-27, 2019, San Diego, California

The organizing theme for the 2019 annual conference is “BORDERS HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE” - these are non-contiguous borders such as airports, seaports, but also logistics platforms and transportation networks that straddle past national physical boundaries, state and provincial boundary lines whether they are territorial or even legal/regulatory limits, even sometimes virtual; they are connecting the local with the global nexus; Some of them are a-territorial in nature (an exception in the past – the new norm today),  and often, they are superimposing themselves onto traditional territorial borders, which remain prominent but are at the same time profoundly transformed. These affect the flows of goods, and also human mobility occasionally in murderous ways. They are here, there, and possibly, everywhere, and can be found in the middle of cities miles away from international boundary lines.

This theme encompasses a wide range of topics and approaches; it enhances the continuing theoretical challenges of defining what borders are and how they work – hence this call’s few suggestions and questions for papers and panels:

Are specific disciplinary approaches more or less able to address fundamental theoretical questions regarding borders in globalization? What is the role of comparative approaches and interdisciplinarity? Are borders only vacillating, mobile and also in motion?  Are borders resources, or otherwise ‘suturing’, but also borderscaping?  Both imagined and socially constructed, both hard or soft, or possibly regulatory, virtual and invisible, what are they?

Are borders actually changing in the 21st century? Are they historically and culturally contextual? How are they impacting environmental and sustainability issues?  How are flows of trade and human mobilities adapting to borders and borders in globalization? And, are borders and borders in globalization evolving to address major trade flows and human migration, and also issues of security? Is there a new governance of borders in globalization?

How are border regions and borderlands, such as the United States – Mexico border region (where our conference will be held), affected by those borders? Are border regions and borderlands the ideal laboratories to understand changes due to globalization but also human migration and concurrent transnationalism?


Registration to the conference and payment of 2019 ABS membership dues are required to participate in the conference. Notifications of acceptance will be send early in January 2019 and a preliminary program will be published at the end of this month.


2019 ABS Program Advisory Board:

Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (UVIC, Canada), Conference Chair

Leisy Abrego (UCLA, USA)

Naomi Hyunjoo Chi (Hokkaido, Japan)             

Helga Kristin Hallgrimsdottir (Victoria, Canada)           

Kathleen Staudt (UTEP, USA)

Elisabeth Vallet (UQAM, Canada)

Birte Wassemberg (Strasbourg, France)

Rosio Barajas Escamilla (COLEF, Mexico)

Joan Anderson (USD, San Diego)


Partnership with COLEF, Mexico:

The Association of Borderlands Studies and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, a CONACYT research center specialized in border studies, are pleased to announce their partnership on the occasion of the 2019 WSSA/ABS annual meeting to be held in San Diego. Panels will be held at COLEF campus in San Antonio del Mar (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) on Saturday 27th . A winery tour visit is also in the plans. Logistics and other details forthcoming.

You can find more information and the preliminary programme here: