Border images, border narratives

The political aesthetics of boundaries and crossings

Edited by Johan Schimanski and Jopi Nyman

Border images, border narratives


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4626-7
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: January 2021
  • BIC Category: Anthropology, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration, Society & social sciences / Cultural studies, Human Geography, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography, Society & social sciences / Migration, immigration & emigration
  • Series: Rethinking Borders


This interdisciplinary volume explores the role of images and narratives in different borderscapes. Written by experienced scholars in the field, Border images, border narratives provides fresh insight into how borders, borderscapes, and migration are imagined and narrated in public and private spheres. Offering new ways to approach the political aesthetics of the border and its ambiguities, this volume makes a valuable contribution to the methodological renewal of border studies and presents ways of discussing cultural representations of borders and related processes.

Influenced by the thinking of philosopher Jacques Rancière, this timely volume argues that narrated and mediated images of borders and borderscapes are central to the political process, as they contribute to the public negotiation of borders and address issues such as the in/visiblity of migrants and the formation of alternative borderscapes. The contributions analyse narratives and images in literary texts, political and popular imagery, surveillance data, border art, and documentaries, as well as problems related to borderland identities, migration, and trauma. The case studies provide a highly comparative range of geographical contexts ranging from Northern Europe and Britain, via Mediterranean and Mexican-USA borderlands, to Chinese borderlands from the perspectives of critical theory, literary studies, social anthropology, media studies, and political geography.


Introduction: images and narratives on the border - Jopi Nyman and Johan Schimanski

Part I: The Border (Forms)
1 Phenomenology of the liminal - Wolfgang Müller-Funk
2 Horizontal vertigo and psychasthenia: border figures of the fantastic - Patricia García

Part II: Living with the Border (Zones)
3 Capturing clouds: imagin(in)g the materiality of digital networks - Holger Pötzsch
4 In/visibilities beyond the spectacularisation: young people, subjectivity, and revolutionary border Imaginations in the Mediterranean borderscape - Chiara Brambilla
5 From heroism to grotesque: the invisibility of border-related trauma narratives in the Finnish-Russian borderlands - Tuulikki Kurki
6 Expanded border imaginaries and aligned border narratives: ethnic minorities and localities in China's border encounters with Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam - Victor Konrad and Zhiding Hu

Part III: Crossing the Border (Migrations)
7 Borders: tshe topos of/for a post-politics of images? - Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary
8 Some cunning passages in border-crossing narratives: seen and unseen migrants - Stephen F. Wolfe
9 Borderscapes of Calais: images of 'The Jungle' in Breach by Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes - Jopi Nyman
10 Seasons of migration to the North: borders and images in migration narratives published in Norwegian - Johan Schimanski
11 Performance of memory: testimonies of survival and rescue at Europe's border - Karina Horsti and Ilaria Tucci
Epilogue: border images and narratives: paradoxes, spheres, aesthetics - Johan Schimanski and Jopi Nyman



Johan Schimanski is Professor of Comparative Literature and Head of Research at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages at the University of Oslo

Jopi Nyman is Professor of English and Vice Dean at the Philosophical Faculty at the University of Eastern Finland

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