Theme-centered Semester 2014

Thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean and massive protests by those fleeing war and disaster in German (and other European) metropolises draw our attentionto the inhuman mechanisms and effects of the European border regime - both within Europe and at Europe’s outer limits. Border regimes can be seen as a conjunction of physical (state) borders, institutional actors, public agencies, laws, everyday practices and technologies which, taken together, result in multiple forms of exclusion at home and abroad. At the same time borders are intentionally allowed to remain porous. Border regimes produce ‘asylum seekers / refugees’ as a social, symbolic and material category / reality. There also exist many opposing voices and social practices that tend to counter the objectives and impacts of border regimes.
The project ‘Thinking against Borders’ was conceived as one such project. This theme- centered semester allowed students on the BA in Cultural Research and the MA in Transcultural Studies, faculty members and activists to develop common critical stances on borders / border regimes. By contributing to the debate on borders, the goal was to bring academia and activism into a common dialogue while exploring the scope for collaborative knowledge production.
You can find an overview of lectures here