A transdisciplinary research project (2010-2012) under the Research Council of Norway KULVER programme, initiated by the Border Poetics Research Group at the University of Tromsø.
This project investigates how changing perceptions of borders relate to shifting practices of aesthetic evaluation. In so doing, it draws upon two guiding observations that must inform any notion of a border aesthetics, these being a) that aesthetic theories and practices regularly invoke and engage with notions of the border; and b) that borders are in turn capable of producing aesthetic effects and can themselves be conceived of as aesthetic objects.
It will pursue its primary objective both through theoretical reflection and a sequence of interlocking case-studies that focus on the literature, film and video art produced by creative artists working in or imagining border regions and the Barents Region in particular. In the process, it will also explicitly address the question of how aesthetic activity participates in the processes by which people relate to the real and conceptual geographies in which they live and through which they move. This focus is both socially-engaged and inquisitive about the dynamic ways in which cultural phenomena are ascribed value through aesthetic practice.
At the same time, it situates the project at the vanguard of current thinking about aesthetics. For the concentration on border regions enables the project not only to explore and develop further the, relatively new, field of migratory aesthetics, but it also requires the formulation of what might provisionally be called a zonal aesthetics. Indeed, one of its principal goals will be precisely to establish how a new 'aesthetics of space' of a kind likely to be required by its study of the divergent groups, objects, values and activities that inhabit and pass through the border zones it surveys is to be instantiated, negotiated, evaluated and described.
More information on project
- Border Aesthetics was awarded the research dissemination prize for 2011 from the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education at the University of Tromsø
- Facebook and twitter for discussion and information
- Filmgrenser film showings (first series) with introductions at Tromsø Cinematek Autumn 2010 - full schedule - cinemateket information - programme booklet - Nordlys article (and cover) - Utropia article
- Filmgrenser film showings (second series) with introductions at Tromsø Cinematek / Verdensteatret Autumn 2011. full schedule - cinemateket information - programme booklet - iTromsø article
- Writing competition: Литература без границ ("Literature without Borders"), a writing competition in the Murmansk region organized by the literature portal MurmanLit.ru, the Border Aesthetics project and the University of Eastern Finland research project Writing Cultures and Traditions at Borders - deadline 11 November 2010 - details
- Guest lecture and introduction to film showing by Henk van Houtum, Tromsø 27-29 September: “The Abducted and Gated Europe” - “Welcome Europa” (Bruno Ulmer, 2006) - details
- Guest lecture by Urban Wråkberg, Tromsø February 23: "Assessing the Barents Region: Contemporary Contests and Alliances in Cross-Border Communities" - details - lecture video
- Guest lecture by Mari Ristolainen, Tromsø March 16: "Faceless Gatekeepers? Russian Border Guards' Poems Online" - details
- Guest lecture by Mireille Rosello, Tromsø April 6: "The Vulnerable Participant Observer and Native Informant: 'Gadjo Dilo' and the Representation of Roma-French cultures" - details
- Seminar on Borders Research at UiT / Border Conversations with Chto delat?, arranged together with Oslo and Tromsø Art Academies and Pikene på broen, Tromsø Art Academy May 6 with Chto delat? artist talk and film screening at Verdensteatret Cinematek May 5 - details.
The Research Programme on Assigning Cultural Values (KULVER) is the Research Council of Norway's programme for cultural research for the period 2008 to 2012.
2010 Internal initial workshop, Kirkenes
2011 Internal case studies and book planning workshop, Rome
2012 Open conference on "Border Aesthetics", Tromsø - call for papers
- the Barents Region (case study articles)
- the Mediterranean and other transnational border regions (case study articles)
- Border Aesthetics (collaborative monograph)
Participants at the University of Tromsø
See Border Poetics Research Group for more details on individuals.
- Gerd Bjørhovde, English and Canadian literature
- Anne Heith, comparative literature (now at University of Umeå)
- Ruben Moi, Irish literature
- Holger Pötzsch, document studies and film studies
- Timothy Saunders, classical studies (now at Volda University College)
- Johan Schimanski (co-leader), comparative literature and arctic discourses
- Stephen Wolfe (co-leader) British and transatlantic literature
- Nadir Kinossian, urban planning
External project network
- Chiara Brambilla, cultural anthrolopology, Università degli studi di Bergamo
- Reinhold Görling, media studies, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
- Henk von Houtum, geopolitics and political geography, Nijmegen Centre for Border Research, Radboud University Nijmegen
- Lene M Johannessen, American literature, University of Bergen
- Mari Ristolainen, Russian literature and culture, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland
- Mireille Rosello, comparative literature, Universiteit van Amsterdam and the Amsterdam
School of Cultural Analysis
- Urban Wråkberg, Senior Researcher, Barents Institute
- Pikene på broen, a company of Norwegian and Russian female art curators and producers based in Kirkenes
Internal web site
for project participants only: http://borderaesthetics.wikispaces.com/