Borders and Borderlands

The Durrell Library of Corfu will host a symposium on the theme of 

“Borders and Borderlands”

at the Solomos Museum,* Corfu, Greece, 20-24 May 2020


The vulnerability, mutability and even the existence of borders in politics, cultural identity, cybernetics, psychology and linguistics are increasingly under scrutiny. This symposium will convene experts in these fields on an island in the Balkans on the cusp of many histories, many identities, many futures.

*by kind permission of the Society of Corfiot Studies

The principal topics are:

geographical borders, the nation-state

psychological borders and identity: self and others 

sexual identity and transition

the “writer-as-exile”

translation and linguistic boundaries

Selected contributions to the symposium will be published by the Durrell Library in association with Cambridge Scholars Publishing (UK)


Diarmaid Ferriter (professor of history, University College, Dublin; author of The Border: The Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Politics)

 Christian Henderson (professor of Middle East Studies, University of Leiden)

Kapka Kassabova (author of Border: a Journey to the Edge of Europe)

Ian MacNiven, biographer of Lawrence Durrell and James Laughlin

Borders are spatial, conceptual, spiritual and psychological; they shape the dynamics of identity, community, and governance. As a construct of history, psychology, law and politics, borders give rise to concepts of transition and rites of passage.

This symposium provides an opportunity to discuss the context of the UK-Irish border and Brexit, the Greek-Turkish land and sea borders and the refugee crisis, and the US-Mexico border issue.

We anticipate that participants will address a spectrum of topics exploring the phenomenon of borders, borderlands and border-crossings in narrative works, film and social theory to understand the relationships between time, space and knowledge, self-development and political and social institutions.

The symposium dates include 21 May, the anniversary of “enosis”, when the Ionian Parliament voted in 1864 to undertake a border-crossing by joining the state of Greece; participants will have the opportunity to witness the traditional celebrations of this historic transitus.

We welcome submissions of 20-30 minutes’ duration (2000-3000 words).

Proposals (one page, supported by a CV), should reach us no later than 30 January 2020.

Selected contributions to the symposium will be published by the Durrell Library in association with Cambridge Scholars Publishing (UK)

The fee for participation (including all symposium sessions, documentation and receptions, but exclusive of travel and accommodation) is 200 euros per person.

A discounted fee of 175 euros applies to all reservations before 28 February 2020.

Information: /

Convenors: Richard Pine (Durrell Library of Corfu), Vera Konidari (Society of Corfiot Studies)