The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


04-15 The 4th Biennial Ancient Borderlands International Graduate Student Conference


Innovation in Borderland Regions


April 4‐6, 2014


Keynote Address by Samuel Truett, Associate Professor of History at the University of New Mexico


The Ancient Borderlands Research Focus Group at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites graduate scholars of any discipline to submit abstracts of papers addressing the theme of Innovation in Borderland Regions. Borderlands, broadly defined, are spaces where people of disparate ethnicities, cultures, religions, political systems, or linguistic traditions come into close contact. These contacts, which often occur in the context of imperial center/periphery relations, can be either violent or peaceful. They may center on either physical borders or mental categories of difference. In all cases, however, they require both individuals and societies to adapt culturally, politically, economically, or technologically to encounters with other ways of life.


The Ancient Borderlands Graduate Conference seeks papers that address the ways that interactions in borderlands inspire innovation and adaptation. We welcome proposals for individual papers, or full panels involving scholars from several departments or universities, that focus on borderlands and regions of interaction in any geographic or cultural context.  Although we are a research group focused on premodern borderlands, we encourage papers that address this theme in any geographic region or period.


As the nature of borderlands involves the meeting and mixing of a variety of viewpoints, the study of borderlands calls for -­‐  even demands -­‐   an interdisciplinary approach. With this in mind, the conference aims to include a wide variety of perspectives and specialties from across disciplinary boundaries. We encourage, but do not require, papers that engage with the ideas and themes raised by theorists whose work has relevance for borderlands processes, such as: Gloria Anzaldúa, Fredrick Barth, Daniel Boyarin, Bradley Parker, Pierre Bourdieu, Gayatri Charkravorty Spivak, Thomas Tweed, and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen.


Please send a 500 word abstract to by January 31, 2014 and include “UCSB Borderlands Conference” in the subject of the e-­‐mail. If accepted, paper presentations will be 15 minutes long. Limited travel funds may be available for those who cannot procure funding from their home institution.