Call for Chapter Proposals: Mediterranean Im/mobilities

Kamal Sbiri's picture
Call for Publications
May 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Borderlands, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Social History / Studies

As an attribute of life, mobility functions at diverse social, economic, and cultural levels, where people’s main objective is a movement towards a better life. Mobility is also categorical: it describes and stratifies those who have the right to move and those who have not— geographically immobile and socially bordered. With the increase of migration fostered either by post/colonialism, Inequality, social exclusion, climate change, or economic crises, mobility has experienced paradigmatic conceptual shifts. Recently, the discussion of mobility raises questions of differentiations and increased complexities of borders and with borders. These complexities challenge the existing relationship between the political context of borders and the bordering practices that keep producing differentiations and new b/order dynamics. The constant changes of socio-political contexts of spaces push academics to re-visit both concepts of mobility and borders. This shift emphasises the allusion to border crossers as mobility generators rather than emphasising border as the gatekeeper for state sovereignty. Therefore, ideas such as borderscapes (cf. Brambilla et al., 2015), bordering, “glass border” (cf. Schimanski and Wolfe, 2017; Shimanski and Wolfe 2007), immobility, aeromobility (cf. Toivanen, 2021), and others call for reconsidering how to approach mobility and borders.
At the same time, specific spaces appear to be more mobility-attractive zones than others either because of their geopolitical positions that they occupy or of the historical memory that shapes and reshapes those spaces of mobility and borders. Among these spaces, the Mediterranean, the space is still viewed as the terra incognita, and mobility becomes a site of contest when people fail to cross. This trend is apparent, primarily when the two shores of the Mediterranean feature two unparalleled scopes: that of the north and the other of the south. The same could be true of how internal and external borders are viewed and approached. At the paradigmatic level of mobility, the migrant from the south has to present financial proofs for her mobility to be granted access into the north. Whereas economic status plays important roles featuring who has the right to cross and who has not, another wave of border crossers emerge to challenge all conceptual and methodological paradigms of border and mobility. As a result, the factors motivating mobility and crossing borders differ and generate narratives that help destabilise the articulated forms of mobility and borders. What people do around and across borders becomes meaningful in the construction of borders. This dynamic can project terms “of negotiation between the pull of community and the push of spatial memory” (Schimanski and Wolfe, 2007: 15), which can be viewed as poetics of borders and mobility in the Mediterranean.

The scope of this edited volume is to explore narratives that delve into the hemispheric orientation of the Mediterranean crossings of borders. It seeks to articulate new paradigms that stand beyond the political debate running over permissions and legitimacy and focussing instead on the emerging voices that form narratives of differentiation that remain modular of new voices from the margin. These border stories are spatially detached and historically contiguous. They are as such because border narratives, exposed or erased, attempt to reveal new traditions that call for methodological and theoretical shifts. Based on this perspective, it can be argued that borders are in a state of becoming, produced and reproduced, allowing for viewing borders, not as a “thing, but a sign” (Larsen, 2007: 112). Based on this discussion, we approach the term border both as an idea and as a social reality embedded in the construction of order and imaginaries. In so doing, we seek to discuss borders and the Mediterranean in relevance to at least four levels of conceptualisation: borders as order, borders as aesthetics, borders as memory, and borders as borderscapes, and contribute to the constructive debate on the processual and dynamic nature of borders in the Mediterranean. However, this argument does not neglect the power of the demarcated lines used to perform the cultural work dividing here and there. Yet when the national boundaries are the dominant object of study, bordering practices proliferate as unacknowledged borderscapes. Therefore, this edited volume seeks to shed light on the border-crossers who envisage the Mediterranean space as something mobile and can be crossed without authority or order. This volume will bring together essays on diverse field of literature, cultural studies, sociology, and geography to exmine to intersection of bordering practices and the changing configurations of the paradigms in the Mediterannean.
We accept papers that specifically deal with mobility and border poetics and papers that consider the space of the Mediterranean as the scope of its study. Issues to consider while drafting your abstracts are, but not limited to, the following:
• contemporary border communities in the Mediterranean
• border envirenments and border crossers
• border fictions in the Mediterranean
• Mobility, postcolonialism and the desire for territorial expansion
• the Mediterranean and new forms of mobilities
• border narratives and transculturation

• border aesthetics in the Mediterranean
• Mobility and Music in the Meditteranean
• the Mediterranean crossing and climate change
• social and economic mobilities
• gender and border crossings in the Mediterranean space
• The Meditteranean as a space of negotiation
• new methodological tools in studying border narratives in the Mediterranean
• Mobility, borders and cinema.
• Borders and aesthetics
• Border poetics
• Border and order
Abstract submissions: June 30, 2021
Notification of acceptance: July 30, 2021
Full paper submissions: February 01, 2022 Expected publication date: February 2023 Contact info: Dr. Kamal Sbiri (
Works cited:
▪ Brambilla, C., et al. (Eds.) Borderscaping: Imaginations and Practices of Border Making. London: Routledge, 2017.
▪ Larsen, S. E. “Ontology, Methods, Analysis”, in Schimanski, J., and S. Wolfe. (Eds.) Border Poetics De-limited. Hannover: Wehrhahn Verlag, 2007.
▪ Schimanski, J., and S. Wolfe. (Eds.) Border Aesthetics: Concepts and Intersections. New York: Berghahn, 2017.
▪ Schimanski, J., and S. Wolfe. (Eds.) Border Poetics De-limited. Hannover: Wehrhahn Verlag, 2007.
▪ Toivanen, A.L. “Aeromobilities of diasporic returnees in Francophone African literature”, Mobilities, DOI:10.1080/17450101.2021.1898913

Contact Info: 

Dr.kamal Sbiri

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