Call for Papers: Culture & International History VII

Call for Papers: Culture & International History VII
Uncertain Boundaries in International History
14-16 December 2024, Freie Universität Berlin

The conference Culture and International History VII will be dedicated to the topic of “Uncertain Boundaries.” Boundaries have received increasing attention in public, political, and scholarly debates in recent years, much inspired by scholars such as Nira Yuval-Davies (2020) and others. In contrast to physical borders (frontiers, national, imperial, natural borders, property lines) boundaries, as a concept, highlight the interplay of territorial, physical borders with their attendant sociopolitical and cultural consequences. At the same time, they also draw attention to mental dimensions: nature and culture, them and us, male and female, and their material implications. The creation, crossing, collapse, and contestation of borders often stand in direct correlation to the drawing, blurring, and cracking of boundaries.

CIH VII examines how material and immaterial borders and boundaries historically interacted and conditioned one another: How did people “live” borders and boundaries? What caused uncertain boundaries to become accepted norms? What are the theoretical and methodological implications of uncertain boundaries for the writing of international history?

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

The interplay of material and immaterial boundaries and the uncertainty of the nature/culture divide

Belonging and kinship in/as spaces of boundary making

The creation and crossing of boundaries in arts, sciences, technology and in knowledge transfer

Race, gender, class, (dis)ability, and age in the making and shaking of boundaries in international history



Theoretical and methodological deliberations on (in)visible borders and boundaries


The conference marks the 25th anniversary of the symposium cycle Culture and International History, that began in 1999 and has since taken place in Wittenberg, Frankfurt, Cologne, and Berlin. Key themes and contributions are published in Berghahn Books’ series Explorations in Culture and International History (Oxford, New York) since 2003 ( We invite students and scholars of International History, Global History, Area Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies, Art History, Social Sciences, Cultural Anthropology and related fields to submit proposals by November 15, 2023. The conference will take place 14-16 December 2024 at the John F. Kennedy Institute in Berlin.

Proposals should include the title of the paper, an abstract of max. 500 words, and a one-page CV to be submitted in one PDF file. Proposals for panels will also be very welcome (chair/commentator, three panelists). Pending approval, individual speakers who may need financial support for travel and accommodation mention this in their application. Early-career scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. Participants who have an interest in the topic and would like to attend the conference without delivering a paper are welcome as well.

Please submit proposals and questions to: [email protected]

Jessica Gienow-Hecht
Nadja Klopprogge
Maximilian Klose

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