Understanding Borders

The College of Liberal Arts is proud to sponsor the CLA Thematic Initiative Program for the 2017-2019 academic years titled, Understanding Borders.

Borders are critical geographical boundaries but also exist in broader cultural contexts.  For the 2018-19 academic year, a group of faculty will lead an exploration of the physical and cultural effects of physical and metaphorical borders, examining such issues as how borders:

  • are policed in ways that effect different identity groups differently,
  • interact with conceptions of homes and homelands,
  • exist through language conventions that affect the creation of various kinds of identities within a culture,
  • are critical in understanding patterns of migration and immigration,
  • function as safeguards against online surveillance and the erosion of privacy,
  • serve as markers that determine what counts as “truth” or “alternative facts,” and
  • are understood differently in varied historical and cultural settings.

Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to submit proposals under the Understanding Borders theme.  These proposals can be to support keynote speakers, book discussions, mini-conferences, and other events. If you would like to submit your proposal by downloading a Word document and emailing it back, the Request For Proposals (RFP) can be found at this link, or you may submit your proposal electronically by selecting the “Request For Proposals (Online Submission)” menu item on the left.

The CLA Thematic Initiative is sponsored by a generous contribution from former CLA Dean Dorothy Abrahamse.  Given the current climate in American politics and society, Understanding Borders is a theme of critical importance.