Breaking Boundaries: Reimagining Borders in Postcolonial and Migrant Studies
This inaugural arts-based conference will launch Manchester Met’s Centre for Migration and Postcolonial
Studies (MAPS) and will take place online on 3 September 2021.
The format has been designed to assist international participation during the
We welcome papers addressing any aspect of the topics of ‘borders’ and ‘boundaries’
in relation to the literature and writing of migration that reflects current developments
in the fields of migration and postcolonial studies. We particularly welcome work that
focuses on refugee experience, the climate crisis, transnationalism, the writing of place
and displacement, and literatures of trauma, including genre-based studies that relate to
spectral spaces and the postcolonial gothic. Our focus on ‘breaking boundaries’ provides an
opportunity to address the ways social, political and ecological crises place pressure on the
concept of borders and allows us to evaluate how borders and boundaries of different orders
are being reconfigured in the twenty-first century. As Achille Mbembe has observed,
our current concern with securitization, risky bodies and bodies at risk means that we live
in a world where ‘Borders are increasingly turned into mobile, portable, omnipresent
and ubiquitous realities. The goal is to better control movement and speed, accelerating it
here, decelerating it there and, in the process, sorting, recategorizing, reclassifying people with
the goal of better selecting anew who is whom’.
The conference is an arts and humanities based interdisciplinary event and we invite
the submission of abstracts of 250 words for papers and of 500 words for panels from across
the disciplines of the humanities including, but not limited to, literature, film studies,
cultural geography, environmental humanities and migrant and postcolonial studies. We
also welcome submissions from creative writers and practitioners working inside and
outside academia. We warmly welcome panel proposals and reflexive work that highlight
potential impact and collaboration with the Centre for Migration and Postcolonial Studies
at Manchester Met, which links postcolonial scholarship with writers from the Manchester
Writing School. Early career academics and doctoral researchers are encouraged to apply.
Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
• migrant or refugee narratives
• theories of place and non-place
• postcolonial trauma
• climate fiction
• the climate crisis
• representing the Other
• haunted spaces
• home and belonging
• linguistic and cultural hybridity
• new cartographies
• transcultural practices
• creative practice in relation to any of the above
Professor Suvendrini Perera (Curtin University,
Australia) and Dr Monique Roffey (Manchester
Writing School) .
Jason Allen-Paisant, Malika Booker, Tina
Makereti, Minoli Salgado
Selected papers will need to be pre-recorded on video (15 to 20 minutes in length) and uploaded
onto a shared site to which all attendees will be given access one week in advance of the
conference. Conference panels will be made up of live Q&A and debates on the papers with
contributors on the day. The main platform will be Zoom.
Please specify if your paper falls within one of the subtopics above and indicate your time zone
in your application. Abstracts, along with the above details, 3-5 keywords and a biographical
note of up to 100 words including details of any relevant publications should be submitted by
May 24. Decisions will be communicated by June 7 and arrangements for the submission
of your abstract will be confirmed after this date. We are working to put together
a Special Issue of the peer-reviewed, open access journal Postcolonial Text and will invite
selected individuals to develop their papers for publication.
Please submit your abstract between Tuesday
6 April and Monday 24 May 2021 to
All non-MMU conference participants and attendees can enter our creative writing
competition on ‘Borders’ free of charge.
“We, the anthropos, dwell and think in the
borders... Border thinking in other words is the necessary condition to thinking decolonially.”
Walter D Mignolo
‘Borders’ Writing Competition
30 June 2021
Manchester Metropolitan University’s Centre for Migration and Postcolonial Studies (MAPS) is pleased to announce
its inaugural short story and poetry competition. The competition marks the launch of the Centre and coincides
with the Centre’s inaugural conference, Breaking Boundaries: Reimagining Borders in Postcolonial and Migrant
Studies. We invite submissions from conference delegates (both within the UK and abroad) to submit original,
unpublished work for this year’s theme: Borders.
The prize is open to anyone 16 years of age and over and registered for the conference. The story or poems
submitted must not have been published anywhere else, online or in print. Entry to the competition is free
for delegates, but only one submission (either in poetry or prose) is permitted.
The word limit for prose submissions is 2500, and we ask for one single story, in any genre. The word limit for poetry is
120 lines, and we ask for a submission of 2-3 poems, in any style or form. Submissions should be made between
Tuesday 6 April and Wednesday 30 June 2021 to MAPS2021Competition@mmu.ac.uk. Entries received after
30 June will not qualify for the competition.
Students and staff from MMU are not eligible to enter.
Two winners will be selected, one from each category – poetry and prose. Winners will be announced
on 3rd September to coincide with the conference. The winning authors will receive £100 each. Twelve shortlisted authors (six from each
category), including the winning entries, will be published on the MAPS website.