Passing Through or Living Here
Body and Self In-Between and On Edge in the Borderland Region of Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont
This chapter explores what it is to be an embodied self in a borderland region. The author introduces the communities of Stanstead and Derby Line, and a particular and uncomfortable zone that exists along the border between them. The author’s experiences in this zone gave them an unexpected glimpse into the contradiction between his body’s understanding of his world and the world he encountered in this new and complicated place. He explores this contradiction by considering the concept of liminality, as fleshed out by Victor Turner.
Sandra Vandervalk is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Carleton University, in Ottawa. Her research focuses on the social construction of borders: what it means to live alongside one, and how borders are enacted in everyday life. Theoretically, she works at the intersection of phenomenology and performance theory. Recently, she has completed fieldwork for her dissertation in Northern Ireland. Specifically, her current research explores identity issues in a place defined by borders and boundaries, in light of the vote by people of the United Kingdom to exit the European Union.