What are the institutional arrangements and organizational forms of human life that create the effect of frontiers? Frontiers are paradoxically geographical zones that imaginatively and materially embody social, economic, and political liminality while otherwise generating immense levels of state and imperial anxiety. Frontiers — the frontier effect — must be produced by ideas, by bodies, by material infrastructures, and by new configurations of human and non-human relations; and yet frontiers are essential spaces of production, making livelihoods and (in)securities possible. The purpose of this panel is organize an interdisciplinary, multi-sited dialogue on the practices that constitute borders and peripheries in Northern Africa and Southwest Asia with an eye towards a special journal issue in a relevant transdisciplinary journal. We invite MESA members at any professional stage to submit proposed abstracts to us (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org) by February 12 in order to meet the deadline for MESA proposals on February 16.
Matthew H. Ellis, Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Chair in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs, Sarah Lawrence College
Jacob Mundy, Peace and Conflict Studies, Colgate University