CFP Borders after the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Special issue of New Global Studies:

Pier Paolo Frassinelli's picture
Call for Papers
May 1, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Race Studies, Social Sciences, Borderlands

Call for papers for special issue of New Global Studies

Borders after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Edited by Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (University of the Witwatersrand) and Pier Paolo Frassinelli (University of Johannesburg)

Deadline for submissions of abstracts (maximum 500 words):

1 May, 2019

Deadline for submission of full papers (3,500 to 6,500 words):

1 August, 2019 

Contact emails:;

As we approach the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 2019, the editors of this special issue of New Global Studies are seeking scholarly articles, narrative nonfiction essays, creative writing and reportage about the current proliferation, rescaling, reinforcement, militarisation and securitisation of territorial and other types of borders – linguistic, religious, ethnic, class, racial, cultural, digital, etc.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 symbolically inaugurated the period of post-Cold War globalization. Neoliberal ideologies of “free trade,” privatization, individual agency and market primacy, championed by international financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, became dominant in most of the world. The explosion of the World Wide Web (which also turns 30 in 2019), increasingly rapid information and communication technologies, the omnipresence of (social) media, the ratification of English as the language of globalization and the new consciousness around global climate change led many observers to believe that (national) borders had become passé.

Cosmopolitanism, post-nationalism, mobility, connectivity, networks, space-time compression, multilateral trade agreements, homogenization and deterritorialization are some of the most influential concepts associated with globalization. Paradoxically, however, borders of all types are proliferating. Income inequality has created harder borders between the haves and the have-nots (gated residential communities, privatized services for the middle classes and the erosion of public resources for the low-income); (social) media siloes divide audiences and users into different information zones ripe for political and corporate manipulation; digital divides separate the rural from the urban and the rich from the poor. Neoliberal global capitalism has yielded all of these borders and more.

In tandem, the anti-globalization backlash also represents a solidification of national, linguistic, class, ethnic, racial, cultural, and spatio-temporal borders – Brexit, Trump’s border wall, the reinforcement of the concrete wall that the state of Israel has built along and inside the West Bank, the growing power of right-wing authoritarian leaders in several nations and the resurgence of xenophobia, racism, nationalism, isolationism, populism, protectionism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and religious intolerance are all symptoms and consequences of this backlash.

Topics and questions addressed by contributors may include but are not restricted to the following:

-             Walls and borders after the fall of the Berlin Wall;

-             The Janus-face of borders as inclusionary and exclusionary;

-             The social relations, places, spaces and practices produced by borders;

-             Border surveillance, digital monitoring and data mining;

-             (Social) media, the Internet and borders;

-             Borderlands, territoriality and sovereignty;

-             Postcolonial borders;

-             Histories of borders;

-             Borders and climate change, the planetary and the environment;

-             The north-south meta-border;

-             1989, 9/11 and other temporal borders;

-             Language, translation and borders;

-             Social media, reality TV and the border between public and private, the intimate and the communal;

-             How do transnational migrants, diasporas, subnational groups like indigenous communities and other imagined, gaming, mobile, nomadic, virtual, religious communities (re)configure borders?

Creative writing, narrative nonfiction essays, experimental writings, scholarly articles from a variety of disciplines, interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary perspectives and geographical vantage points are welcomed. Reviews, poetry, event reports, and interviews pertinent to the special issue are also of interest. Please contact the issue editors to enquire about possibilities here or if you have any questions regarding the suitability of possible topics and material for inclusion.

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words and a brief biographical note to the issue editors, Pier Paolo Frassinelli ( and Melissa Tandiwe Myambo ( by 1 May, 2019. Please indicate the expected length of your submission. We hope to include the maximum number of works by keeping work published on the shorter side where possible.

Notification of acceptance will be no later than the end of May 2019. If accepted, full works will be due by 1 August 2019.

Contact Info: 

Prof Pier Paolo Frassinelli (University of Johannesburg):

Dr Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (University of the Witwatersrand):

Contact Email: