This book on Minding Borders, a brilliant title, is finally out! Thanks to Mohamed Salah Omri and all the editorial team.
My chapter, “The Mediterranean Novel Defying Borders”, builds on a keynote speech I gave at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, at a conference on Minding Borders in 2014.
The book Minding Borders. Resilient Divisions in Literature, the Body and the Academy, published by Legenda in the UK, was edited by Nicola Gardini, Adriana X. Jacobs, Ben Morgan, Mohamed-Salah Omri and Matthew Reynolds.
Both comparative criticism and translation cross borders, yet borders that have been crossed still exist. Even a border that has been dismantled is likely to reappear in a different place, or as a less obvious set of limiting practices: migrant texts and migrant ideas, like migrant people, may not achieve full citizenship in their new locations. Of course, there is a creative aspect to borders too, as postcolonial theory in particular has emphasized. Borders are contact zones, generators of hybridity, spaces of exchange, cross-fertilization, and enrichment. For all these reasons, borders require minding – thinking about, managing, even in a sense policing.
Rather than celebrating the crossing of borders, or dreaming of their abolition, Minding Borders traces their troubling and yet generative resilience. It explores how borders define as well as exclude, protect as well as violate, and nurture some identities while negating others. The contributors range comparatively across geography, politics, cultural circulation, creativity, and the structuration of academic disciplines, hoping that the analysis of borders in one domain may illuminate their workings in another. Whatever other form a border takes it is always also a border in the mind.
Old and New Borders: A Geographical Approach
Uncharted Borders: Mixed Realities and Representations of the Californio Period Community and Culture of San Diego, California
Body and Empire: Space and Borders in Second-Century Greek-Roman Culture
The Mediterranean Novel Defying Borders
Infra-materiality and Opaque Drifting
Minding Orientalist Margins: Colonial Nomos and Jonathan Scott’s Revision of The Arabian Nights
Image, Text, and Conflict: Willie Doherty’s ‘At the Border’
The Mother Tongue as Border
The Edge of Thought: Extended Cognition and the Border between Mind and World
On Entanglings: Disciplines, Materiality and Distributed Cognition
Cross-Channel Literary Crossings and the Borders of Translatability
A Conversation across Borders: Marcel Proust’s Le Temps retrouvéand its Translation into Estonian
When Do Different Literatures Become Comparable? The Vague Borders of Comparability and Incomparability