Border Poetics / Border Culture
...a discourse which was at the same time obsessively fixed upon, and uncertain of, the boundaries of society, and the margins of the text. [Homi K. Bhabha]
The frame of the structure, its self-contained boundary, has a very similar structure for the social group as for a work of art. [Georg Simmel]
Territorial borders have received renewed academic attention in this age of transnational mobility, though often in a fragmentary and isolated fashion in the humanities. As an ever present, if not always simply definable element in human life, they are commonly represented in narrative and symbolic forms.
The Border Culture/Border Poetics Research Group sets out to develop theoretical and practical strategies (a "border poetics") for examining the function of these forms of representation in the intersection between territorial borders and aesthetic works. Analysing primarily border-crossing narratives in cultural expressions, it aims to test three main theses: 1) that narrative and symbolic representation is a central element in border formation and experience; 2) that textual or medial borders within or around aesthetic works are related to the borders represented in these works; 3) that figurations of borders in cultural expressions matter for social, political, and historical processes of bordering.