Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 9:00am to 5:00pm
A. D. White House, Guerlac Room
29 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
The objective of this conference is to map the ways in which borders manifest as physical and conceptual frameworks for dictating social, cultural, and economic divisions. Often we hear of the borders that divide physical spaces, such as North and South, or of the real and imagined borders that seek to define the nation-state. Conceptually, borders provide a framework for discussing notions such as ethnicity, race, class, caste, and gender. But in both their physical and conceptual iterations, the act of delineating borders often inhibits fluidity within and outside of these divisions. Questions might include: how do borders dictate questions of belonging? How do they dictate distinctions between the local vs. the global, homeland and diaspora, colonial and post-colonial? We also encourage papers that reflect on how the discussion of borders in the field of Sri Lanka Studies intersects with conversations outside the field. This question is particularly relevant to transnational studies and diaspora studies, where the movement across borders takes on additional significance through a comparative lens. In this point, we are particularly conscious of the location of the Sri Lanka Graduate Student Conference in the US, now in its ninth year, where the discussion of borders is in dialogue with indigenous studies, decolonial theory, and the current political crises at the US border and around the world. We seek to draw from this context as an opportunity for self-reflection on our positions as researchers, and how borders—real or imagined, physical or conceptual—manifest in our own work. Given that participants in the conference come from different identities, border-crossings, disciplines, and research backgrounds, we hope to think through these ideas collectively, and from varying positionalities, to trace potential lines of influence, crossover, and affiliation.