Inter-American borders: aesthetic, narrative, and temporal (dis)orders

Jobst Welge (Leipzig)


Over the past decades, the Inter-American field of Hemispheric Studies has interrogated and expanded the disciplinary boundaries that were traditionally separating the study of the cultural productions of North and South America. The Mexican border with the United States is only the most flagrant and well-known example for the political and cultural negotiations that have accrued around the various forms of borderlines (linguistic, geographical, discursive) that accompany the history and the present of inter- or intra-American intersections. This panel proposes to look closely at discrete cultural objects and productions (from the 19th to the 21st century) that challenge or reconfigure given aesthetic genres/forms or temporal regimes, against the background of established or unestablished borders between the Americas, or within distinct regions or communities of the Americas in light of the North- /South-axis. The panel sets out to ask how narrative and aesthetic practices respond to the historical and political negotiation of (national) borders, by focusing on their strategies to reconfigure or reimagine their own formal, spatial, or temporal principles of ordering. For instance, how do cultural works incorporate concepts of movement, travel, translation, or archive/collecting into their attempt to represent or reconfigure the temporal and spatial dimensions of inter-American borders? Contributors are also encouraged to analyze not only the ways in which the cultural work(s) respond(s) to the policing and production of borders, but also to the disciplinary, social, or linguistic locations and boundaries which these works in turn address or transgress. Borders within and between the Americas should not be conceived of as fixed demarcation lines in the present, but in light of the historical currents and future possibilities that they connote or provoke. In her study of the "haunted" Hemispheric topographies, María del Pilar Blanco urges us to address "the challenging question of how we relate evolving notions of a landscape's history and politics to matters concerning the aesthetic forms by which that evolution is evoked" (182). Therefore, the panel welcomes contributions that propose to ground their analysis in discrete objects of cultural production (border narratives, art, images) that respond to the evolving configuration of Inter-American boundaries with their own practices of reimagining the given orders of time and aesthetic form.


Between Miami and Puerto Rico: (B)orderless Caribbean Spaces in Jaquira Díaz' Ordinary Girls

Anne Brüske (Heidelberg)

Zwischen Mauern und Wänden: die Angst vor dem ‘Anderen’ in La Frontera de Cristal von Carlos Fuentes

Rene Ceballos (Leipzig)

Nepantleras: Trancultural and Intersectional Border Thinking in the Work of Gloria Anzaldúa

Jasmin Wrobel (Berlin)

Visibility and Invisibility in US-Mexico Border Art: Guillermo Galindo and Alejandro González Iñárritu

Markus Heide (Uppsala)