British Borders

Annual Conference of the German Association for the Study of British Cultures

19–21 November 2020
Online Conference

Cover Photo: Andrew Curtis · CC-BY-SA 2.0 ·

We are looking forward to welcoming you at the conference. Due to the ongoing pandemic, BritCult 2020 will be an online conference, with some necessary changes of the usual conference format: We will host Zoom panels for the speakers. Each panel will include two papers, each about 20 mins, and time for discussion. The panels will be live-streamed for the conference audience, who are invited to share their questions and comments via chat function. After their papers, the speakers will engage with audience questions and comments fed into the discussion by the panel chairs.

You will find the links to the keynotes and to each panel here. Please register for the conference if you want to receive the password you need for accessing the live streams.

We hope that our format will create a space in which speakers and audience members can take part in lively academic discussions about the social, cultural, historical and ideological constructions of British borders. Instead of a conference dinner, there will be an evening of online socialising on Friday.

If you have any questions about the online format of our conference, please contact us at and/or

Call for Papers

British borders, as all borders in general, are both processes and (provisional) end states. As the emerging field of border studies keeps emphasizing, borders are highly complex cultural constructs that have come into being as consequences of specific histories, and they are maintained, supervised, modified or even abolished through intricate cultural discourses and at times violent performative practices. At this conference, we seek to analyse and to discuss all kinds of British borders past and present, from the macro-level of borders between countries in the ages of imperialism and anglobalization to the micro-level of borders drawn between towns, pieces of land or public and private spaces.

Preliminary Programme

All schedules use Central European Time (CET, GMT+1).

Thursday, 19 NovSession
3:30–4 pmConference opening and welcome addresses
4–5 pmPanel 1: Borders across Time and Space
(1) Lena Mattheis (Duisburg-Essen):
Local-local Border Transgressions
(2) Lukas Lammers (Berlin):
Schizophrenic Borders. Recent Reverberations of Britain’s ‘Finest Hour’
Chair: Jana Gohrisch (Hannover)
5–5:15 pmBreak
5:15–6:15 pmKeynote by Maurice Fitzpatrick: The Irish Border: from Bastion to Backstop
6:15–6:45 pmDiscussion with John Lynam (Consul General of Ireland in Frankfurt) and Maurice Fitzpatrick
Friday, 20 NovSession
9-10 amPanel 2: Borders and Identities
(3) Andrew Wells (Leipzig):
The Anglo-Scottish Border and the Making of British Identity, 1660-1760
(4) Julia Boll (Hamburg):
Desiring Walls: Fantasies of Containment and Reimagined British Pasts
Chair: Christian Krug (Erlangen)
10-10:30 amBreak
10:30-11:30 amKeynote by Chris Weedon (Cardiff): On the Cultural Politics of Borders
11:30 am-12 noonBreak
12 noon-1 pmPanel 3: Negotiating Borders
(5) Ina Habermann (Basel): Writing Gibraltar: M.G. Sanchez’ Autobiographical Explorations of Borderland
(6) Christoph Singer (Paderborn): Remembering the Radcliffe-Line: British Borders and Transcultural Memories
Chair: Doris Feldmann (Erlangen)
1-2:30 pmLunch break
2:30-3:30 pmPanel 4: Borders / Surveillance / Migration
(7) Jonathan Foster (Stockholm): ‘Organised Clairvoyance’: Surveillance and Borderlessness in H. G. Wells’s A Modern Utopia
(8) Ariane De Waal (Halle-Wittenberg): Slippery Sea Borders: The UK’s War on Invasive Marine Species
Chair: Heike Mißler (Saarbrücken)
3:30-3:45 pmBreak
3:45-4 pmAstrid Fellner (Saarbrücken): Introduction of Atelier Bordertextures
4-5 pmPanel 5: (Transgressing) Borders in Popular Culture
(9) Tina Helbig (Saarbrücken): ‘Strength Through Purity’? Alan Moore’s Great Britain of Patrolling and Transgressing Borders
(10) Jonatan Jalle Steller (Leipzig): ‘Come South of the Border with Me’: Fetishised Boundaries in Britain’s Music Charts
Chair: Lena Schneider (Trier)
5-5:30 pmBreak
5:30-7 pmAnnual general meeting of BritCult
7:30 pmOnline socialising
Saturday, 21 NovSession
9:30-10:30 amPanel 6: Border Performances
(11) Anja Hartl (Konstanz): Performing the Border in British Politics and Drama
(12) Sarah Heinz (Wien): Whose House is this? Everyday Bordering and the Intersection of Home and Nation in British Property TV Shows.
Chair: Kirsten Sandrock (Leipzig)
10:30-10:45 amBreak
10:45-11:45 amPanel 7: Posthuman Borders
(13) Susanne Gruß (Frankfurt am Main): Monstrous Growths? Mushrooms, Fungi, Spores and the Borders of the (Post)Human in Contemporary British Culture
(14) Heike Mißler (Saarbrücken): Man or Machine: Social Borders and Posthumanism in Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me (2019)
Chair: Gerold Sedlmayr (Dortmund)
11:45 am-12 noonBreak
12-12:45 noonConference wrap up


Registered conference participants will be able to access the live streams (keynotes and panels) via the “online conference” button above and a password. There is no conference fee.

The data you enter here can be accessed by the web admin and by the organisers of this conference. It will not be shared with third parties.



Prof Dr Joachim Frenk
Website: Saarland University

Prof Dr Lena Steveker
Website: Luxemburg University

Postal address

Universität des Saarlandes
Philosophische Fakultät
Fachrichtung Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Anglophone Kulturen
British Literary and Cultural Studies
Campus A5 3
66123 Saarbrücken