Motor Vehicle Tunnel between Detroit & Windsor, Canada,” ca. 1930s. Frontier Files Collection, Windsor, Canada. Courtesy of Lee Rodney.

Call for Papers

 «  Sensing borders / Ressentir les frontières »

n° 34 (Fall 2019)

Intermediality. History and Theory of the Arts, Literature, and Technologies

Guest editors:

Michael Darroch

Karen Engle

Lee Rodney

(School of Creative Arts, University of Windsor)

Deadline for proposals (abstracts): October 1, 2018
Announcement of the final selection: October 15, 2018
Submission of papers for evaluation: February 15, 2019
Publication of the papers selected by the Editorial committee: Fall 2019 


Sensing borders

This issue of Intermédialités proposes to revisit important shifts in cultural theory from the 1990s stemming from theoretical ideas around borders, liminality, and alterity expressed by a range of scholars from Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak to Edward Said and Walter Mignolo. These theoretical paradigms were introduced in the context of fantasies and dreams of a post-1989 “borderless world,” which were circulating in the popular imagination. At the same moment, media philosopher Vilém Flusser’s writings on technology, migration, and cities imagined an emergent planetary urbanism as a borderless social space that is networked, non-site-specific, dynamic, and dialogic; a planetary urbanism represented by new systems of thought grounded in topologies rather than geographies of urban space. In retrospect, the political climate of the 1990s seems to have been more open and tolerant than our current cultural moment. This issue is specifically geared to the affective register of borders across a range of spatial scales. Described in terms of sensing/ressentir, the issue draws inspiration from the work of scholars such as Sara Ahmed’s The Cultural Politics of Emotion and Mignolo & Vàsquez’s Decolonial AestheSis. We are interested in revisiting the theoretical insights of the 1990s as a moment that acts as a hinge between Cold War geopolitical relations and those emerging more recently. Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson’s influential book, Border as Method (2013), argues that the proliferation of borders emerging in the post-1989 world was not a contradiction in terms, but rather a means of holding ideas of citizenship and sovereignty in crisis. Following from this important work, we would like to reconsider the limits and possibilities of border as metaphor in light of the shifting theoretical insights offered by the European border experiment (from the 1993 Schengen agreement to Brexit), the continual and/or resurgent instability of border spaces in authoritarian contexts and war zones (between Russia and its neighbouring nations, conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia including the Korean peninsula), as well as hemispheric perspectives from across the Americas (Braz, Mignolo, Miner). Beyond the official and legal boundaries that mark divides between Canada and the US, for instance, borders/boundaries can be thought of as encompassing historical divides, political shifts and ruptures, and racialized experiences of nation and space.

The “deep heterogeneity” of the semantic field of borders around the globe (Mezzadra & Neilson 2013: vii) has thus generated a range of approaches to symbolic, linguistic, cultural, and urban boundaries that overlap or disconnect in unpredictable ways. Arts collectives and creative collaborative networks have responded to the shifting and oversimplified discourses about transborder zones and cultures, exploring questions of belonging, movement, and displacement in and around national boundaries in global contexts. Over the last decade borderlands have become “sites of dissensus” that have been activated to question both the authority of the nation state and the exclusionary paradigms of Western aesthetics. This in turn has led to a radical and widespread reconsideration of geographic convention in art and visual culture (Rodney 2017).

In this issue of Intermédialités we invite contributions that extend and reflect upon the complex repositioning of the idea of the border through addressing any the following themes:

the affective register of borderlands

spatial/racial boundaries

decolonial and postcolonial perspectives on borders and borderlands

media and migration

technological infrastructures deployed across border spaces

regimes of control

urban and internal borders

private and public encounters with borderzones

detention and deportability

undocumented experiences of settledness and unsettledness

experimental geographies and emotional cartographies

cultural translation

subversions and responses to technologies of surveillance

temporal borders (the bleeding of the past into the present, historical disjuncture)




Intermédialités/Intermediality is a biannual, internationally renowned peer-reviewed journal. It publishes articles in both French and English.

Abstracts of proposals (up to 300 words) in English or French should be sent by October 1, 2018 at

The Editorial board will announce its selection of abstracts on October 15, 2018 and papers should be completed by February 15, 2019. Final submissions will go through a double-blind peer review and the editorial board will reach a final decision during the winter of 2019. Selected papers will be published at the end of 2019. Submissions should be no longer than 6,000 words (40,000 characters, including spaces) and should be sent as email attachments to the issue editors. Authors are encouraged to use audio, visual, still, or animated illustrations when appropriate.

Authors are asked to follow our author guidelines for submitted manuscripts, which are available at




Ahmed, Sara, The Cultural Politics of Emotion, New York, Routledge, 2004.

Bhabha, Homi, The Location of Culture. New York, Routledge, 1994.

Braz, Albert, “Outer America: Racial Hybridity and Canada’s Peripheral Place in Inter-American Discourse,” in Winfried Siemerling and Sarah Phillips Casteel (eds), Canada and its Americas: Transnational Navigations,  Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010, p. 119-134.

Flusser, Vilém, Freedom of the Migrant, transl. by Kenneth Kronenberg, Anke Finger (ed.), Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 2003.

Flusser, Vilém, Ende der Geschichte, Ende der Stadt?, Vienna, Picus, 1992.

Mazzadra, Sandro and Brett Neilson, Border as Method, or the multiplication of labor, Durham, NC, Duke UP, 2013.

Mignolo, Walter, Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2000.

Mignolo, Walter and Vàzquez, Rolando, “Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings,” Social Text, July 2013.

Miner, Dylan, “Straddling La Otra Frontera: Inserting MiChicana/o Visual Culture into Chicana/o Art History,” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies,  2008, n° 1, p. 89-122.

Nold, Christian. Emotional Cartography: Technologies of the Self,, 2009.

Rodney, Lee, Looking Beyond Borderlines: North America’s Frontier Imagination, New York,  Routledge, 2017.

Said, Edward, Culture and Imperialism, New York, Knopf, Chicago, 1994.

Said, Edward, Orientalism, New York, Vintage Books, 1979.

Spivak, Gayatri, The Spivak Reader: Selected Works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, New York, Routledge, 1995.