Borders are taking on greater significance these days, even while their meaning is changing and multiplying. This conference brings together research on the way borders are currently being relocated, in every sense, both material and conceptual. While the conference focuses particularly on the eastern peripheries of Europe (whose precise location, either in terms of 'eastern' or 'peripheries' is also currently being debated), it invites researchers working on any regions of the world to participate. That will provide both a rich comparative perspective, but also allow an exploration of the shifting interrelations between locations. It is not surprising that borders are currently a key focus of attention: there are more people, things, money, debt and ideas moving across them, and they are moving at a faster pace; state power is increasingly challenged, as well as reinforced, by globalisation, while more walls, security and surveillance are constructed; intense debates are raging about environment and climate change and the apparent need to straddle borders to solve the problems they generate; information, digital and medical technologies have reshaped the relations and separations across borders, and made differences and similarities more visible; the European Union and other trans-state entities have made borders ever more complex; the balance of power across the world is changing. In short, borders appear to be relocating just now, both conceptually and materially, and this conference invites researchers from all disciplines to come together to compare notes on this major shift. On the assumption that the change is epistemological as well as ontological, the best way to explore that process is through comparison. Berlin is the right place to hold such a gathering: traces of the city's past remain despite the removal of the Wall, that icon of Cold War border in Europe. Those traces are most obvious in what used to be the gap beyond the wall: no-man's land has been filled by a jumble of contemporary buildings, creating what some say is a strip of neoliberal landscape flowing across the city where once there had been emptiness. The gentrification of many neighborhoods in East Berlin (and elsewhere) has generated internal inequalities, while the previously migrant neighborhoods have become vibrant alternative districts both socially and politically. Humboldt University, where the conference will be held, is in the immediate proximity of the Wall's trace. The conference will include a round table devoted to Berlin's special status in Europe as a city that traces and marks both past and contemporary significance of borders in Europe.

Relocating Borders is organized by COST 2 Action IS0803

Keynote speakers: Thomas Hyland Eriksen (Oslo) Caren Kaplan (UC Davis) Saskia Sassen (Columbia)

and for a special session on Berlin, Daniel Libeskind, designer of the Berlin Jewish Museum and master planner for the design of the post-9/11 World Trade Center.

Conference Topics:

Applicants are welcome to submit either individual papers or panel proposals on any topic of their choice relevant to the conference theme. Alternatively, you may choose to submit under one of the following headings: 1. European Tidemarks 2. Money, Trade and Finance 3. Genders and Sexualities 4. Techniques and Technologies 5. Laws, Documents, Bureaucracies 6. Beliefs, Faiths and Religions 7. Architectures, Things and Objects 8. Places, Spaces and Locations 9. Histories and Futures 10. Travels and Crossings How to Apply: Please fill in the form that can be downloaded here:

Deadline: 31 May 2012

What happens next: Your proposal will be assessed by the conference committee, and you will be informed of the result by 25th June 2012. If you are selected, you must confirm your acceptance of the offer by Monday 9th July.