CfP: Borders, Boundaries, Territories: Creating and Reshaping Collective Identities

Deadline 15 April 2018

The Doctoral School of the Faculty of History, University of Bucharest, would like to
invite PhD candidates in history, political science, international relations, economics or any
other related fields, from all over the world, to an international conference about borders,
barriers and frontiers as they have evolved and shaped human society throughout centuries.
Transnational, regional and global perspectives are especially welcome.
2018 marks the 100th year celebration of the end of the First World War, President`s
Wilson Fourteen Points and the Great Union of Romania. The Versailles Peace Treaties
reshaped Eastern Europe, in the context of the dissolution of empires and the creation of new
nation-states. In order to mark these events, an academic debate about the role of borders in
history is necessary.
As a people, we are well aware of the importance borders have played throughout
history, of the impact they have on our sense of self, on our collective consciousness and on
how we see ourselves in the world. We are closely acquainted with their power to unite, but
also to divide. One nation’s unification is another nation’s vivisection. How can we celebrate
our differences without resorting to acts of aggression? It is well-known that
territorial disputes are, in general, the most volatile and likely to result in displays of
violence. Are borders truly a zero-sum game or can they be conducive to peace? Historical
experience tells us that these questions are recurrent and that it is every generation’s duty to
position themselves towards managing and navigating these political, social and cultural
spaces carved out by the borders inherited from their ancestors. Our ideas, values, traditions
and beliefs may represent a source of group solidarity and support and beget a sense of
fellowship, but they can also constitute a petri dish for hostility, intolerance and alienation in
an increasingly complex social landscape.
Therefore, we welcome proposals for 15-minute paper presentation on any topic
related to borders, such as:
state-making and state dissolution: loss of territory, renouncing territory,
unification, territorial expansion, annexation or acquisition by other means
(eg. Louisiana Purchase);
war, negotiation and peace treaties;
separatism, secession, nationalism, the legacy of violence in regards to
political philosophy and ideology: anarchy, libertarianism, social contract
theory, property laws etc;
fluidity of borders, migration, mobility, border security, border regions;
economic impact of borders: political division of territory, international
organizations, trade barriers (tariffs, embargoes, protectionism), economic
transnational activities (remittances, transnational corporations, corporate
networks), political economy;
transnational crimes and transnational organized crime (human trafficking,
people smuggling, arms & drug trafficking, sex slavery, terrorism),
international law & cross-border conflict;
social and behavioural borders, identity politics, civil rights and
intersectionality, symbolic borders (eg. the Iron Curtain).
Abstracts should be 250 – 300 words long and are not limited to any historical
period or region. Interested PhD students are invited to submit their abstracts, along with
an academic CV, at no later than April 15th​. The results of the
selection process will be available online at ( on the official
Facebook page of the Conference ( and
communicated via e-mail until May 2nd​. There is no participation fee. Accommodation
will be provided for participants coming from outside Bucharest, but they are expected to
cover their own travel costs. The Conference will take place at the Faculty of History
(University of Bucharest) and all participants will receive a diploma attesting their
Additionally, at the participants’ request, their papers will be published in a
special number of the Romanian Journal of History and International Studies in exchange
for a publication fee of 50 RON. Those interested will be required to register with the
journal and submit their manuscript on before September 1st 2018

Author: Aisseco

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