Borders, Culture, and Globalization
A Canadian Perspective
Border culture emerges through the intersection and engagement of imagination, affinity and identity.
It is evident wherever boundaries separate or sort people and their goods, ideas or other belongings. It is the vessel of engagement between countries and peoples—assuming many forms, exuding a variety of expressions, changing shapes—but border culture does not disappear once it is developed, and it may be visualized as a thread that runs throughout the process of globalization.
Border culture is conveyed in imaginaries and productions that are linked to borderland identities constructed in the borderlands. These identities underlie the enforcement of control and resistance to power that also comprise border cultures.
Canada’s borders in globalization offer an opportunity to explore the interplay of borders and culture, identify the fundamental currents of border culture in motion, and establish an approach to understanding how border culture is placed and replaced in globalization.
Victor Konrad teaches Geography at Carleton University, in Ottawa. Recently, Professor Konrad was Visiting Professor at Eastern China Normal and Yunnan Normal Universities in Shanghai and Kunming; Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands; and the Karelian Institute of the University of Eastern Finland. In 2009, he was visiting fellow at the Border Policy Research Institute, Western Washington University. From 1990 to 2001, he established the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program and the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States. During the 1970s and the 1980s, he was a professor of geography and anthropology at the University of Maine and Director of the Canadian-American Center. Professor Konrad is author and editor of more than a hundred books, articles, and book chapters in cultural geography, border studies, and Canadian studies. The most recent book, North American Borders in Comparative Perspective, was co-edited with Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and published by the University of Arizona Press. Dr. Konrad is past president of both the Association of Borderlands Studies and the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, and recipient of the Donner Medal. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Borderlands Studies and the Borders in Globalization Review. Victor Konrad is the culture lead for the Borders in Globalization Project.
Melissa Kelly holds a PhD in Social and Economic Geography from Uppsala University. Her doctoral dissertation investigated the economic, social, and cultural factors influencing the onward migration of refugees from Sweden to third countries. She focused specifically on Iranian-born individuals who spent several years in Sweden before subsequently moving on to other parts of the Iranian diaspora. Following the completion of her PhD, Melissa was awarded a Freestanding Postdoctoral Fellowship by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. She carried out a study on the everyday experiences and multiscalar belonging of cross-border migrants living and working in the city of Bloemfontein, South Africa. Following this, she became a postdoctoral fellow with the Borders in Globalization Project at Carleton University. Her research focused on seasonal retirement migration in the North American context and its implications for regional integration. Melissa is currently a research fellow with the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University. Her research interests include diversity, inclusion and community building in rural and remote areas, and regional approaches to migration governance. In addition to her academic pursuits, Melissa has contributed extensively to the development of immigration and labour market programs for the Government of Canada.