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Frontiers and Borderlands

Anthropological Perspectives

Michael Rösler and Tobias Wendl

Studies of frontiers and borderlands become crucial to understanding the predicament of humankind as we enter the 21st century. Borders do not only divide. They also connect and serve as interfaces of multicultural contact. They provide insights into our post-modern world in which globalization, diversity, border crossing and conditions of «in-betweenness» shape our experience. Old borders are contested and eradicated, and new ones - often forcibly - appear. This book questions what is at stake in contemporary invocations of real and figurative borders. Case studies from Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia look at frontiers and borders as distinct culture types and explore the meanings of boundaries within ethnic, economic, legal, cognitive, and linguistic arenas. Border discourses and the practices of border crossing are taken into account, as are the ways in which they are inscribed into cultural imagination and memory.
Contents: Tobias Wendl/Michael Rösler: Frontiers and borderlands. The rise and relevance of an anthropological research genre - Igor Kopytoff: The internal African frontier: Cultural conservatism and ethnic innovation - Carolyn Hamilton: Where is the border now?: The new politics of identity in South Africa - Ina-Maria Greverus: Island as borderland: Such as Rügen and Usedom - Paul Nugent: Power versus knowledge. Smugglers and the state along Ghana's eastern frontier - Hastings Donnan: Shopping and sectarianism at the Irish border - Henk Driessen: Smuggling as a border way of life: A Mediterranean case - Franz von Benda-Beckman: Multiple legal constructions of socio-economic spaces: resource management and conflict in the Central Moluccas - Rüdiger Schott: Limits on the access to land, cattle and women among some West African peoples - Tom W. Bennett: Boundaries between African customary law and the constitution in South Africa - Klaus Schubert: Frontier languages, language boundaries - Heike Wieschiolek: Separation through unification. Changing cultural models in an East German factory - Robert R. Alvarez Jr.: Toward an anthropology of borderlands: The Mexican-US border and the crossing of the 21st century.