Borders and Walls
2nd Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference


Sunday 30th May 2021 – Monday 31st May 2021
Prague, Czech Republic

In a contemporary moment where human migration is at an all-time high and globalization has enabled unprecedented flows both of people and capital, the meanings of borders are in need of renewed exploration. Indeed, borders exist within complex networks where movement is codified by factors such as race, class, and country of origin. For example, the absence of hard national borders within consolidated economic spheres, such as the European Union, enables citizens of member nations to enjoy free and uninhibited movement across the continent. In contrast, the US-Mexican border of the post-9/11 world and Israel-Palestine border are examples of militarized demarcation maintained by physical structures, weapons and surveillance technologies. But as the novel coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has swept across the globe without regard for borders and walls, the responses of nations and states have created a new context in which to interrogate the concepts of borders and walls. Conventional notions of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ have acquired greater significance when used to justify the distribution of medical resources. While some leaders have closed state and national borders to limit the spread of the coronavirus, others have allowed free movement to continue. Some leaders have expressed the need to ensure nations are able to produce vital products, such as ventilators, rather than rely on buying it from another country, thereby signaling a shift away from a globalist perspective. As some government’s impose nation-specific travel bans, prohibit non-citizens from accessing economic relief arrangements, and discuss prioritising particular nations for access to vaccines that may be developed, the demarcations that are signified by borders and walls appear more relevant than ever. 

Moving beyond notions of borders as static lines separating ‘us’ from ‘them’ and ‘inside’ from ‘outside’, this conference aims to open a non-essentialist conversation about borders and walls. While our focus is not limited to the impact of the coronavirus, we acknowledge that this devastating event has changed the terrain on which borders and walls exist. Any attempt at exploring the multifaceted implications of borders and walls requires an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon the toolsets and frameworks of a many different fields. These include, but are certainly not limited to, architecture, sociology, urban planning, history, anthropology, linguistics, political science, philosophy, sociology, and literature. Furthermore, a diverse range of formats and media are useful for engaging with and attempting to understand borders in their myriad iterations. In addition to empirical research, these forms also include art, poetry, performance, journalism, ethnography, fictocriticism, and cartography. Indeed, the more interdisciplinary the study of borders and walls, the more robust our understanding of their meanings become. We welcome both traditional and nontraditional formats ranging from empirical research and analysis, ethnography, and journalism to poetry, performance, film, and fictocriticism. Drawing upon this multiplicity of perspectives from people directly affected by borders, our objective is to invite critical reflection with respect to the presence of borders in contemporary society, their transnational histories, and multidimensional significance. We seek to imagine border alternatives, and to open up space for new approaches and understandings via interdisciplinary exchanges.

Key Topics

Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • Border as metaphor 
  • Critical implications of border technology and security 
  • Local voices in border literature, poetry, art, performance 
  • Borders and architecture 
  • Borders and the nation-state
  • Borders within nations (states, lands reserved for Indigenous peoples, territories)
  • The neoliberal border 
  • Globalization’s impacts
  • Trade (including trade agreements; clandestine/smuggling/informal economies; remittances) 
  • Necroviolence and necropolitics 
  • Identity construction 
  • International development 
  • Transnational histories or case studies about border wall projects (Berlin, Israel, US-Mexican) 
  • Key border regions: EU, US-Mexican (maquiladoras, border towns), Israel (Gaza); post-9/11; Russia-Osettian (Georgia); India-Pakistan  
  • Borders & walls in fiction and literature 
  • “Frontiers,” nation expansion, imperialism 
  • Border as industry (analysis financial investments/corporate stakeholders that maintain and expand these projects) 
  • Border violence 
  • Bifurcation & creation of borderlands 
  • Borders over time: i.e. modern/post-Westphalian border 
  • Borders as theorized vs. borders as lived; borders as real and imagined
  • Poetics of space, spatiality and the border 
  • (Mis)representations of borders 
  • Mapping, archiving, and cartography 
  • Border ethnographies 
  • Critiques of border essentialism 
  • Resisting borders & (anti)border movements 
  • “Natural” borders vs. constructed borders 
  • Border ontologies and linguistic constructions of borders 
  • Open borders & debordering 
  • Borders and migration (clandestine vs. legitimized) 
  • Borders and citizenship, identity, belonging 
  • Beyond the wall: borders as institutions/institutional maintenance (consulates/embassy, specialized border police forces, bureaucracy/documentation) 
  • Transnational relationships between borders (e.g. Israel/US-Mexican); comparative analyses 
  • Traversing and transportation with respect to borders 
  • Border disputes and contestations 
  • Borders and legality/law & immigration law; borders and “criminality” 
  • Borders and human rights 
  • Race, class, sexuality: sociology of border 
  • Critical analysis of terms such as immigrant, expat, migrant, refugee 
  • Emancipatory visions with respect to a world without borders 
  • Borders and ecology/biodiversity; environmental impacts of border walls

What To Send

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.

At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainably inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops, publications, public interest days, associations, developing courses, etc which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the conference and ensure that our efforts are continued in our own communities.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 20th November 2020. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 4th December 2020.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 9th April 2021

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Borders Submission.

Where To Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Lily Cichanowicz: 
Len Capuli (Project Administrator):


Details and Information


Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £295/€335. This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ book of Abstracts
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ Sunday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Sunday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Monday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Monday lunch
~ Monday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room

Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 20th November 2020
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 4th December 2020
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 15th January 2021
Booking Form Submissions

by Friday 29th January 2021
Circulation of Draft Programme
Invoices issued

Friday 5th March 2021
Final date for payment

Friday 9th April 2021
Circulation of Revised Programme
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

Friday 25th April 2021
Final programme to printing

The conference is being held at the Hotel Angelo, Prague

Radlicka 3216/1g. 15000 Prague +420 234 801 111

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms.

Standard Room - Single Occupancy €109 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy €119 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.
Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.
You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.

The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.

Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 15th January 2021 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Friday 29th January 2021.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We regret we cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

What’s so Special?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.


A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.


A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.


An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.


An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.


Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.


Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network inspiring inclusive interdisciplinary research, publishing and collaboration