Universität Wien FIND

Return to Vienna for the summer semester of 2022. We are planning to hold courses mainly on site to enable the personal exchange between you, your teachers and fellow students. We have labelled digital and mixed courses in u:find accordingly.

Due to COVID-19, there might be changes at short notice (e.g. individual classes in a digital format). Obtain information about the current status on u:find and check your e-mails regularly.

Please read the information on https://studieren.univie.ac.at/en/info.

240527 SE Borders, Frontiers, Borderlands (P3, P4) (2017S)

Anthropological Perspectives on (Eastern) Europe and the Mediterranean

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 40 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 21.03. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 28.03. 09:45 - 13:00 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 04.04. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 25.04. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 02.05. 09:45 - 13:00 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 09.05. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 16.05. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

Course Description: Themes and Goals

For many scholars the border has become the epitome of the present an entity becoming simultaneously weaker and stronger, blurred and fortified, a manifestation of freedom and the power of capital and the state as well as of exclusion, enslavement and death.
The goal of the course is a critical engagement with the history and recent rise of border studies in anthropology and beyond. Starting with early works and forerunners, such as Cole's and Wolf's 'Hidden Frontier', Frederik Barth's work on boundaries, or studies of the Mexican border, the seminar will focus on recent theories and ethnographies of borders as well as interdisciplinary ontologies/epistemologies of border studies.
The students will have the opportunity to explore the complexity and paradoxes of borders in relation to the following thematic foci: theorizing the state through its border regimes; the legacy of imperial/colonial frontiers; the political economy of borders; nationalism and socio-cultural diversity in border regions; borders and/as social practice (mapping, imagining, bordering); historical and present-day patterns of cross-border migration; and border and the ongoing 'refugee crisis'. The seminar will apply a systematic comparative approach in order to enable insights through contrasting and discussing different cases of borders dynamics and constellations.
The seminar will include a focus on (Eastern) European and Mediterranean borders and will thus offer a space to discuss and reflect upon the on-going European/Mediterranean 'border crisis'.

Didactic Methods: Input Lectures, close reading sessions, presentations, guest talk(s), film

Assessment and permitted materials

Joining a group presentation based on the recommended readings (1h + 30min discussion; 30% of the final mark)
Seminar paper based on the presentation (10 pages, 70% of the final mark)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Minimal Requirements: Joining a group presentation, seminar paper (10 pages, min. 5 references) and attendance (max 2 units (2x90min) can be missed!)

Examination topics

Reading list


Green, Sarah (2013): Borders and the Relocation of Europe. Annual Review of Anthropology 42: 345-361
Mezzadra, Sandro and Breitt Neilson (2013): Border as Method. Or the Multiplication of Labour. Duke University Press. (Chapter 1: The Proliferation of Borders, 1-27)
Popescu, Gabriel (2012): Bordering and Ordering in the 21st Century. Understanding Borders. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. (Chapter 1: Making Sense of Borders, 7-29)
Wilson, Thomas M. and Hastings Donnan (2012): Borders and Border Studies, in Wilson, Thomas M. and Hastings Donnan (eds.), A Companion to Border Studies. Wiley-Blackwell. (Chapter 1: Borders and Border Studies, 1-24)
Diener, Alexander C. and Joshua Hagen (2012): Borders. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:40