Friday, April 14 & Saturday April 15, 2023

Please RSVP using this google form

UNC-Chapel Hill – Chapman Hall 125 (205 S Columbia St, Chapel Hill)

What role do borders play in the production of difference, bodies, and communities? How does ecology enable, transform, or rework borders divisions? This conference seeks to explore borders as zones that both separate and connect different bodies, communities, and ecologies. Borders are central to the formation of self and Other and a key part of political structures that depend on the organization of bodies and communities. Yet, borders are rarely uniform or homogenous. Instead, they are continuously produced by a complex ecology of material and immaterial actors, including the state, surveillance technologies, physical landscape, migration policies, discourses about enemies and foreigners, people on the move, and archaeological objects. Rivers, border marking monuments, border patrol agents, seeds, and pieces of pottery from centuries ago shape borders and provide glimpses of different pasts. They also actively create the possibilities for new political futures. Border ecologies connect past and future and make possible different imaginations of borders. 

Global FuturismsFriday, April 14

5:30-7:00 pm – Film screening of short films: “Space Exodus”, “Nation Estate”, “In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain” and “In Vitro” by Palestinian director Larissa Sansour. Followed by a panel discussion on environment and global futurism including: Priscilla Layne (German/Slavic Studies, UNC-CH) and Robin Visser (Asian & Middle East Studies, UNC-CH)

Location: Chapman Hall room 125

Saturday April 15 

9:00-10:00 am – Breakfast 

10:00 -12:00 pm – Film screening of “Foragers” followed by Q&A discussion on local ecologies with Palestinian film director Jumana Munna and Yaron Shemer (Asian & Middle East Studies, UNC-CH). 

12-1:00 pm – Lunch 

1:00-2:30 pm – Panel I 

  • The “Mosul Question” Defies the Nation-State , by Sarah Shields, Department of History, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Bordering Sacred Space: (Re)Storying Fractured Sacredscapes in Palestine, by Sandy Marshall, Department of History and Geography, Elon University
  • The temple at Khirbet et-Tannur: interpreting arrival within epiphanic landscape, by Jim Frakes, Department of Art and Art History, UNC Charlotte
  • Discussant Jennifer Gates-Foster, UNC Chapel Hill

Download full abstracts for Panel I (PDF)

2:30-3:00 pm – Coffee break 

3:00 -4:30 pm Panel II  

  • Crossing Borders in Translation: Feminist Solidarity in the Making, by Emek Ergun, Global Studies, UNC Charlotte
  • Temporal Borders and Permanent Liminalities: Viewing the first century of the Islamic-Byzantine Frontier as a chronological inflection point, by Asa Eger, Department of History, UNC Greensboro
  • Visualizing violence: masculinity and politics of race and death in Afghan/istani visual arts under military occupation, by Paniz Musawi Natanzi, Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Duke University
  • Discussant, Banu Gökariksel, UNC Chapel Hill

Download full abstracts for Panel II  (PDF)

4:30-5:00 pm – Closing & Light refreshments 

Sponsored by the NC Consortium for Middle Eastern Studies, UNC Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, Institute for Arts & Humanities, Department of Asian & Middle East Studies, Classics Department and Curriculum in Global Studies.

For questions/concerns please contact conference organizers:

  • Nadia Yaqub – 
  • Jennifer Gates-Foster –
  • Banu Gökariksel –

NC ConsortiumThe North Carolina Consortium for Middle East Studies encourages collaboration and cooperation in all aspects of Middle Eastern studies across Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, throughout the state of North Carolina, and across disciplines. We study the Middle East as the region extending from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, and focus on interdisciplinary work. Learn more about the consortium at