Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION


Panel: Bordering the Intimate: Research on borders and social reproduction, at the ISA 60th Annual Convention, March 27th - 30th, 2019, Toronto, Canada

Conference title: Re-visioning International Studies: Innovation and Progress. ISA 60th Annual Convention

Panel: Bordering the Intimate: Research on borders and social reproduction

Discussant: Prof. Rachel Silvey, Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute and Professor at the Department of Geography of the University of Toronto

Call for Paper Proposals:
International borders are a taken-for-granted subdivision of the international system. As national boundaries, borders are material and symbolic barriers that demarcate access to national belonging. As tools of territorial enclosure, borders shape and are shaped by processes of mobility and connection. As such, borderlands are liminal transnational spaces where life is sustained, reproduced, negotiated, and conditioned. In other words, borderlands are sites of Social Reproduction and Intimate Labour, which we define as everyday processes that sustain life and underpin capital accumulation (Pichio, 1994; Katz, 2001; Mitchell et al, 2004). This session takes these concepts as starting points for understanding the asymmetries of power which (re)produce border spaces. In an effort to make the embodied and intimate more visible in analyses of border spaces, we invite papers from diverse disciplines which engage with the intimate as a geopolitical space (Pratt & Rosner, 2012; Mountz & Hyndman, 2006), and intimate labour as a type of work (Boris & Parreñas, 2010). In this way, the panel seeks to contribute to Enloe’s (2011) provocation to understand the mundane as political, finding “the intellectual stamina to follow much more extended chains of causality, from the micro to the macro” in the context of borderlands. After all, as Stoler (2006) writes, to study the intimate is not to turn away from structures of dominance, but to relocate their conditions of possibility.

A Panel Proposal will be submitted to the ISA on June 1st.
Further information on the ISA Conference can be found at