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Borders: Social – Political – Cultural


Thursday, July 4, 2002 thru Friday, July 5, 2002

Karl Marx Study Center Trier (Johannisstr. 28)



“Borders” conceptually represent the separations and distinctions that exist or come to exist between people or between social, political and cultural areas which have been delineated. Simultaneously this also refers to interrelationships, to the sense of belonging and differentiation of practice, which have come into being on one side or the other of a border. Distinguishing characteristics of regulations, regarding borders and the manner in which borders are established, are brought out and made more apparent. Hence “borders” mark an “in-between”, a place from which one is separated from another; they can be defined as both a barrier - that which serves to exclude - as well as an area of transition. However, in this "in-between", the regulations of this side and that of the other lose their validity. The “in-between” is a place of international commuters, who, rejected and dismissed, are permanently on the edge and marginalized, being neither on this side nor on that, belonging neither here nor there.
In the modern era border difficulties are closely connected with the formation of nation-states. The establishment of borders represents, however, only a part of the process of nation building. The process of establishing borders is rather a complex process of development within a society, through which the existing political conditions and reference points are upset and new ones defined: these find new expression, both to the outside and also within. Without doubt inward changes are affected through the shifting of social and cultural limits. These can be defined anew, enlarged and/or constricted. Learned behaviors, perceptions and judgments of the world prove, thereby, to be ambivalent reference points: on the one hand they enable people to interact in their cultural space; on the other, however, they simultaneously restrict attempts to change existing social relationships and conditions.

In the context of the conference the problems pertaining to borders will be examined from very different perspectives. The political considerations that affect the mapping of borders, as well as the social and cultural implications, will be addressed. In the discussion concerning the literary description of limits, their thematic usage, as an act of collective as well as individual self-assurance, becomes clear. However, borders will also be examined in their manifest sense of restricting the freedom of movement of people. This social dimension is treated particularly with reference to regional contexts. Here the social, political and cultural consequences of drawing up and shifting borders are specifically analysed.



Thursday, July 4, 2002


19.00 – 21.00 h

Welcoming and the opening of the conference

Thomas Geisen, M.A. Sociology/ Political Scientist (Trier)


Plenary 1: Refugees and the National State

  1.  “Shifting the Borders: The Concentration Camp World of the Australian State,
    International Norms and Refugees
    Alastair Davidson, Prof. Dr., Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne


Friday, July 5, 2002


9.00 – 12.30 h

Plenary 2: Region und Development

  1. „Gambling and the Economic Security of the American Indian:
    The Case of the Eastern Band of the Cherokees”
    Anthony Hickey, Prof. Dr., Western Carolina University, USA
  2. „US-Philippines ‘Special Relations’ Revisited: National Sovereignty,
    Human Rights and the ‘War Against Terror’”
    Kathleen Weekly, Prof. Dr., Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne)
  3. “Luxembourg and the Region Trier. Concerning the Mobility of Work and Capital”
    Hsueh-Fang Lin, Diploma - Economist (Trier)
  4. “The Social Situation. An Example of Poverty in a District of Trier“
    Melanie Werner, Dipl. Education (Trier)
  5. “Armenia, Turkey und Germany: Genocide until the Present"
    Ilyas Uyar (Trier)
  6. “Jewish Immigration and the Spread of Yiddish in Argentina“
    Ane Kleine, M.A. Yiddish (Trier)


13.00 – 14.00 h Lunch


14.30 – 18.00 h

Plenary 3: Borders and Literature

  1. „The English Colonization of Ireland in the Seventeenth Century:
    John Milton’s Rhetoric of Hegemony”
    Mimi Fenton, Prof. Dr., Western Carolina University, USA
  2. “Boundaries in the Life and Work of the Japanese-Korean Author Yu Min“
    Kristina Weickgenannt, Japanese Language and Literature M.A. (Trier)
  3. “Australia – a Region of (European) Immigration”
    Jochen Marmit, M.A. German Language and Literature (Trier)


Plenary 4: Borders and/or Borderless?

  1. “Drawing Borders: Theoretical Concepts Regarding Borders”
    Christel Baltes-Löhr, Dipl. Education (Trier)
  2. “Borders as a Prerequisite for Democratization”
    Winfried Thaa, Prof. Dr., Universität Trier



The Institute for Regional und Immigration Research (IRM) Trier


The Institute for Regional and Immigration Research (IRM) intends to examine specific aspects of the change of ideas relating to mobility and their effects upon the alteration of individual and collective mentalities. A particular emphasis of the research activities of the Institute is to examine the processes and conditions relating to migration. Since mobility is always undertaken in well-defined areas, the Institute for Regional and Immigration Research (IRM) Trier has set as its goal, an examination of the conditions and results of specific migration processes, as well as their economic and social impacts regionally. Thereby both aspects of this theme are topics for inter-dependent research concepts.


Place of the Event:

Karl Marx Study Center
Johannisstr. 28, 54290 Trier



  • Institute for Regional and Immigration Research (IRM) Trier
  • Multicultural Center of Trier
  • Heinrich Böll Foundation RLP
  • DGB Region Trier
  • International Center at Trier University
  • Academic Foreign Office of Trier University



Institute for Regional and Immigration Research (IRM) Trier

Gervasiusstr. 2, 54290 Trier



Multicultural Center of Trier
Gervasiusstr. 2, 54290 Trier
Tel. 0651/48497, Fax 9943617






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