All you want to know about the International Conference on Borders and Walls in Montreal

is here:


Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the question still remains “Do good fences still make good neighbours”? Since the Great Wall of China, construction of which began under the Qin dynasty, the Antonine Wall, built in Scotland to support Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman “Limes” or the Danevirk fence, the “wall” has been a constant in the protection of defined entities claiming sovereignty, East and West. But is the wall more than an historical relict for the management of borders? In recent years the wall has been given renewed vigour all around the world, whether in North America, in Europe (with the Greek border fence), in Asia (for instance in India) or in Middle East. But the success of these new walls in the development of friendly and orderly relations between nations (or indeed, within nations) remains unclear. What role does the wall play in the development of security and insecurity? Do walls contribute to a sense of insecurity as much as they assuage fears and create a sense of security for those ‘behind the line’? Exactly what kind of security is associated with border walls?


  • Raoul-Dandurand Chair, UQAM
  • Association for Borderland Studies

Program (PDF)


Walls in International Relations

8:00 am to 8:15 am Registration

8:15 am to 8:30 am

  • Elisabeth Vallet, Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography and Research director of Geopolitics at the Raoul Dandurand Chair, UQAM

8:30 am to 9:00 am
Opening Remarks

  • Philippe Rekacewicz, Geographer and cartographer, Le Monde diplomatique, France

9:15 am to 10:45 am
Workshop 1

Global Narratives and the Resurgence of Borders

  • Walls as security mechanism

Polly Pallister-Wilkins, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • The International will be Everywhere in the Neo-Liberal, Hyper-Security Endgame: Walls, Borders and Emerging Regimes of Deterrialization and Spatial Fragmentation

Robert Latham, director of the Centre for International and Security Studies, and associate professor of Political Science, at York University in Toronto.

  • Mapping the border-security industry: how borders and walls grow through the market?

Vincent Boulanin, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, Associated Research Fellow at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Stockholm, and Renaud Bellais, Ph.D., Associate Professor of economics at École Spéciale Militaire de Saint Cyr Coëtquidan, France.

  • La matérialisation des asymétries frontalières par le cloisonnement des espaces et filtrage des populations. Éléments d’une géographie des murs et de la domination

Fabien Guillot, Maître de conférences en géographie, Université de Caens Basse-Normandie.

  • Globalisation et construction de murs : Hypothèses d’explication

Mimoun Attaheri, Professeur de relations internationales et de sciences politiques, Faculté pluridisciplinaire, Nador, Maroc.

Chair: coming

10:45 am to 11:00 am Coffee Break

11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Workshop 2

Case Studies of Walls in History : Past and Present

  • Defining the Nation in the City: Anti-Roma Walls in Eastern Europe

Ulrich Best, DAAD Visiting Professor, Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, Department of Geography, York University, Toronto, Canada.

  • The Post-NAFTA circulation regime. The dual function of the barricaded Mexico-US border

Isidro Morales, Director EGAP, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México.

  • Frontières étatiques et internationales sans territoire : le Saint-Siège sur la scène internationale depuis les accords de Latran (1929)

François Mabille, Professeur de relations internationales à l’Université catholique de Lille, chercheur statuaire au sein du groupe Sociétés, Religions, Sociétés au CNRS et membre associé, Observatoire sur les missions de paix et opérations humanitaires, Chaire Raoul-Dandurand, UQAM.

  • Border discrimination against American Indians & Metis/Metizos in North America

Laurence Armand French, Affiliate Professor, Justiceworks Institute Social Science Department, University of New Hampshire, and Magdaleno Manzanzrez, Professor & Department Chair, Social Science Department, Western New Mexico University.

  • Israeli Separation Barriers: Contexts, Impacts and Effectiveness

Said Saddiki, Associate Professor at Al-Ain University of Science and Technology, UAE.

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

Showing of the documentary “De l’autre côté de la ligne”

  • Yvon Guillon (To be confirmed), Maison des Sciences de l’Homme en Bretagne, Médiation culturelle et scientifique, Production audiovisuelle/média.

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Workshop 3

Case Studies on Walls and Reinforced Borders

  • In the name of Security: Violations at the Barmer Border

Bani Gill, Post Graduate Student pursuing the Erasmus Mundus Masters European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations, Kampala, Uganda.

  • The U.S.-Mexico Border Project: Tracing the physical and psychological borderlands

Susan Harbage Page, Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, Affiliate Faculty in Global Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.

  • La privatisation des checkpoints israéliens : redéploiement néolibéral de l’occupation

Shira Havkin, doctorante Sciences Po/CERI, France.

  • Le mur de séparation entre Israël et le Liban: origines, construction et fonctions

Daniel Meier, Senior Associate Member at St Antony’s College – University of Oxford, and Visiting Fellow of the Center for Lebanese Studies, United Kingdom.

  • Les frontières entre Jordanie/Syrie; Irak/Syrie/Iran/Turquie

Cyril Roussel, docteur en géographie, Chercheur à l’Institut Français du Proche-Orient (IFPO), Amman, Jordanie.

Chair: coming

3:00 pm to 3:15 pm Coffee Break

3:15 pm to 5:00 pm
Workshop 4

Environmental and Social Impacts

  • Passive Borders, Active Ecologies

Yehre Suh, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, Bernard College/Columbia University, USA.

  • Increasing Economic and Environmental Resilience in the US-Mexico Border Region of the Rio Grande

Catherine Hallmich, Project Coordinator at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Montreal, Canada.

  • Une Frontière en Mouvance: Le Sahara

William Miles, Professor of Political Science, Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

  • Des murs qui s’érigent et des températures qui montent : Sécurité humaine, contraintes au mouvement et crises environnementales

François Gemenne, Chercheur et Maître de conférences, Iddri – Sciences Po Paris/ CEDEM – Université Liège, et Pauline Brücker, Chercheure, Iddri – Sciences Po Paris.

  • National Security, Geopolitics and Democratic Deficit: Indian Infrastructure Building along the Sino-Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh and its impact on local communities and environment

Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, India
Chair: coming

5:00 pm to 5:50 pm

Borderline Art

  • Ian Howard, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Poster session and cocktail

Borders and Walls – Global Analysis

  • Geopolitical Factors Effective on role and function of the International Boundaries with emphasis on the borders Islamic Republic of Iran

Seyyed Hadi Zarghani, Assistant Professor in Political Geography and Geopolitic, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM), Iran.

  • Walls of Money: Securitization of Border Discourse and Militarization of Markets

Elisabeth Vallet, Adjunct Professor in Geography and Geopolitic, UQAM, Montreal.


Case Studies on Walls, Fences and Reinforced Borders

  • India-Bangladesh Border Wall: Order and Prosperity or Wishful Thinking?

Elena Lchezarova Dabova, PhD Student at Saint-Petersburg State University, School of International Relations.

  • The DMZ and the Three Koreas: A Sociological Institutional Analysis of Security in the Korean Peninsula

Alexandre Léger, Master’s Student at the Department of Political Science, Concordia University.

  • El Muro Marroqui en el Sáhara Occidental

Elisa Pavón, Periodista Asociación “Rio de Oro, Gaici Nah Bachir, Investigador “Red de Estudios sobre Efectos de Muro y Minas en el Sahara occidental”.

Art & Borders

  • Presentation of New World Border : Artists Respond to the US/Mexico Border Wall

Art Hazelwood, renowned artist, impresario and instigator, San Francisco, USA.

FRIDAY,  OCTOBER, 18th 2013

Walls and Identities

8:00 am to 8:15 am Registration

8:15 am to 9:00 am
Opening Address

  • Border Walls and Global Apartheid

Reece Jones, Associate Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies, Department of Geography, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA.

9:15 am to 10:45 am
Workshop 5

Building of National, Local and Transnational Identities

  • Boundary Lines: Canada, the U.S. and the Geopolitics of Othering

Heather Nicol, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

  • Construction of local identities alongside Schengen border – Bordering and crossbordering processes along Croatia-Slovenia border

Marta Zorko, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Ivan Sulc, MA graduate and junior researcher at University of Zagreb, and Marko Kovacic, Ph.D. student in Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana.

  • Festive security: Reveling in patriotism on the U.S.-Mexicano Border

Elaine A. Peña, Assistant Professor of American Studies, George Washington University, Washington, D.C

  • Robert Frost’s Ambivalence: Borders and Boundaries in Poetic and Political Discourse

Kenneth Madsen, Assistant Professor of Geography, Ohio State University at Newark, USA, and D.B. Ruderman, Assistant Professor of English, Ohio State University at Newark, USA.

  • Et si le barbelé faisait le mur? Politique et poétique d’une violence symbolique

Bénédicte Tratnjek, doctorante en géographie, Université Blaise Pascal (Clermont-Ferrand) et chercheure à l’Institut de recherche stratégique de l’École militaire (IRSEM), Paris.

Chair: coming

10:45 am to 11:00 am Coffee Break

11:00 am to 12:45 pm
Workshop 6

Identity of the Wall, Identities of the Borders

  • Mental Walls, Bounded Identities: The Finnish-Russian Spectacle of Othering

Jussi Laine, Researcher at the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland.

  • « Lo mas bonito de Tijuana es San Diego » : La movilidad como recurso y referente de identidad en Tijuena, México

Amalia Campos Delgado, Researcher at the Research Center : El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, México.

  • Les frontières basques peuvent-elles disparaître au sein de l’espace européen?

Jean-Marie Izquierdo, Professeur associé au département de science politique, l’IUT de Bayonne et du Pays basque, France.

  • Haïti: un espace national, entre les murs

Marie Redon, MCF en Géographie, Université Paris 13, France.

  • Mutating Borders According to the Propaganda Balloons in the Korean Demilitarized Zone

Dongsei Kim, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture, Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, New York, USA.

12:45 pm to 1:30 pm

Showing of the documentary “Connected Walls”

  • Sébastien Wielemans, producer and filmmaker, Bruxelles

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Workshop 7

Identity of the Wall, Border discourses

  • Exhibiting the Frontier: Border politics and the visual turn

Lee Rodney, Associate Professor, Media Art History and Visual Culture, University of Windsor, Canada.

  • Mapping the West Bank Wall: International Law as a Discursive Tool in Visual Arguments

Christine Leuenberger, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

  • Constructing a “Wall”: Naming and the Politics of Israeli “Security Fence”

Emily Regan Wills, Adjunct Professor at the School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa.

  • Fencing the Border: The Identity Crisis of “We” and “They”: A Case Study of Bangladesh and India

Iqbal Shailo, Ph.D., Carleton University, Ottawa.

  • Chameleon Walls : Inside two configurations of pro-“security fence” actors in Israel and in Arizona

Damien Simonneau, PhD Candidate in Political Science, Centre Emile Durkheim/Sciences Po Bordeaux, et chercheur à l’Institut de recherche stratégique de l’École militaire (IRSEM), Paris.

Chair: coming

3:00 pm to 3:15 pm Coffee Break

3:15 pm to 4:45 pm
Workshop 8

Walls & Migrations 1

  • African migrants, security measures and a new fence: The Egyptian-Israeli Border from the soldiers’ point of view

Dr. Nir Gazit and Dr. Efrat Ben-Zeev, The Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer and The Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.

  • Mediterranean Border Walls as a Driver of Regional Insecurity

Craig Damian Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto.

  • “None is Too Many”: Geographic and Legislative Segregation of Roma Refugee Claimants

Petra Molnar Diop, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University.

  • Palestinian Child Labor in Israel: Segregation through Contact

Omri Grinberg, Ph.D. Student in Anthropology and the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto, Canada.

  • Géopolitique des clôtures européennes de mise à distance de l’immigration subsaharienne

Michel Douryang Domga, Assistant – Institut Supérieur du Sahel – Université de Maroua, Cameroun.

  • Fencing the Sea Borders? Making Sense of EU new Digital Borders

Rocco Bellanova, Researcher Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway, and Denis Duez, Professor, Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles

Chair: coming

5:00 pm to 5:15 pm Coffee Break

5:15 pm to 6:15 pm
Workshop 9

Walls & Migrations 2

  • Biopolitical Surveillance and Resistance at the Greece-Turkey Borders

Özgün E. Topak, PhD candidate, Queen’s University, Sociology Department, Ontario.

  • Racialized Borders: Hypothesizing the Diasporic Implications of Discriminatory Surveillance at Canadian Borders

Alana Saulnier PhD Candidate at Queen’s University and Research Fellow at the Surveillance Studies Centre and Dr. Steven Downing, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

  • From Smart Borders to Perimeter Security: The Canadian Border and the Shrinking Rule of Law

Ciara Braken-Roche, Alana Saulnier and Özgun Topak, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Chair: coming

6:15 pm to 6:30 pm
Concluding remarks

Marcello di Cinto


* All meals are payable by the participants and speakers


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