Borders: Real, Imagined, Contested

Seventh Biennial Global Languages Conference at Shippensburg University

May 5-6, 2018

Keynote: Dr. Camilla Fojas, University of Virginia 

Title of the Address: Migrant Labor and Border Securities in Pop Culture

Recent international events and national debates have focused a renewed attention on national borders.     Despite, or perhaps because of, the imperatives of international integration, national borders have taken on an increasing importance in defining what, and who, belongs to the nation.  At the same time, processes of globalization have led to a reevaluation of the historical role of borders, their present utility, future role, and the challenges they present for certain linguistic and cultural groups.  Another theme of this discourse has been the impermanence of national borders which challenges more conventional narratives of national identity which often provide for stable, sometimes preordained borders.  How should the wavering of conventional concepts of national borders in the 21st Century be understood on a cultural/social/political/economic/linguistic level?  And how has literature addressed these phenomena?   

Call for Papers

We invite papers that will address the following questions and/or concepts:

  • creation and evolution of national borders 
  • representations of and challenges to national borders in literature, film and art
  • political borders and linguistic identities
  • virtual or imagined borders 
  • borders as cultural boundaries
  • interculturality of border zones
  • challenges posed by economic globalization and competing visions of national borders
  • national borders as myth
  • borderless and/or transnational literature 
  • geography’s impact on national borders; non-traditional border zones such as transnational urban spaces
  • intersection of geography and literature (space and text; space as analyzed in geography)
  • border crossings in translation, translation at the service of nationhood 

Papers can be presented in Chinese, French, German, Spanish, or English. Reading time should not exceed 20 minutes. A revised version of selected papers will be considered for publication in the third issue of the refereed Shippensburg Journal of Global Languages (SJGL). 

Please send a 300-word abstract electronically to the corresponding panel chairs. Abstracts for languages other than Chinese, French, German or Spanish are to be sent to Dr. Ragone, Conference Chair.  Abstract deadline: January 30, 2018. 


Spanish and Latin American Literature and Poetry, Translation Theory
Dr. Robert Lesman,

Chinese Literature and Culture
Dr. Ning Lu,

French Literature and Culture, Translation Theory
Dr. Blandine Mitaut, 

Foreign Language Education
Dr. Jose Ricardo, 

German Literature and Culture
Dr. David Wildermuth, 

Latin American Literature and Culture
Dr. Marcela Pineda, 

Spanish Linguistics, French Linguistics
Dr. Agnès Ragone,

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