Trespassing Journal

CFP Issue 7

Call for Papers: Trespassing Borders

Issue Editor: Dr. Jamie Steele

In 2016, the arrivals of Trump as President of the USA, Brexit and the continuing Syrian migrant crisis have all re-focused attention to the drawing of (national) borders. Questions of sovereignty and national concerns have seemingly re-gained currency in populist discourse. Yet borders operate not only on a national level, existing symbolically, politically and ideologically in a constant state of flux, often being drawn and re-drawn over time. Crucially, as Higbee and Lim posit, ‘all border-crossing activities are necessarily fraught with issues of power’ (2010: 18). These imbalances of power between ‘centre/margin, insider/outsider’ (Higbee and Lim, 2010: 9) have become increasingly salient.

Representations of borders and border crossing have been consistently crucial in all forms of artistic production, with well-established traditions in Transnational Literature and Transnational Music. Whilst in cinematic terms, the turn to transnationalism has continued to steadily grow since (at least) the early 2000s in scholarship. According to Higson, national boundaries have the potential to ‘obscure the degree of cultural diversity, exchange and interpenetration that marks so much cinematic activity’ (2000: 64). Approaches to cinematic transnationalism are, therefore, underpinned by the fluidity of borders and the acts of border crossing (Higson, 2000; Ezra and Rowden, 2006; Higbee and Lim, 2010). Considering the theme of this issue, Lu aptly outlines that transnational cinema ‘implies the trespassing of national borders in the processes of investment, production, circulation, and consumption’ (2005: 222). However, borders are crossed in more than just an industrial context. Ezra and Rowden neatly pinpoint ‘(a)s some boundaries disappear, others spring up in their place. The drive to distinguish among groups never truly disappears; it just gets displaced periodically to reflect the shifting geopolitical landscape.’ (2006: 9).

Overall, this ‘Trespassing Borders’ issue seeks to explore and critically analyze the contemporaneous articulation of borders and in-between spaces in literature, film, television, and other forms of artistic and cultural productions.

Topics for consideration include (but not exclusive to):

  • Transnational/ National/ Regional articulations of borders
  • The representation of ‘state politics’ across borders
  • The production and reproduction of borders
  • Acts of Border crossing in literature, film and television
  • Production, distribution and exhibition across borders
  • Consumption/ Audience studies across borders
  • Representations of migrant and refugee camps
  • In-between spaces in literature, film and television
  • Migration and Mobility
  • Diasporic Communities

Please send a 500- 1000 word abstract with a very brief bio to or with the title Borders.

Deadline for abstract submissions: June 30, 2017 by 12:00 pm

Works Cited:

Ezra, Elizabeth. and Rowden, Terry (2006), ‘What is Transnational Cinema?’ in Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden (ed.) Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader, (London: Routledge), pp. 1-12.

Higbee, William. and Lim, Song Hwee (2010), ‘Concepts of transnational cinema: towards a critical transnationalism in film studies’, Transnational Cinemas 1 (1), pp. 7–21.

Higson, Andrew. 2000. “The limiting imagination of national cinema.” In Hjort, Mette. And Mackenzie, Scott., (ed.) Cinema and Nation, London: Routledge, pp. 63-74

Lu, Sheldon H. (2005), ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Bouncing Angels: Hollywood, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Transnational Cinema’, in Lu., Sheldon H., and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh (ed.) Chinese Language Film: Historiography, Poetics, Politics, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, pp. 220-233.

Link to previous CFP: 

Trespassing Bodies
Trespassing Gender
Trespassing Medicine
Trespassing Memory
Trespassing Genre
Trespassing Nation