The Nonhuman Borderlands

AAA Annual Meeting 2017—CFP
November 29-December 3, 2017
Washington, DC

Discussant: TBD


In recent years, the nonhuman turn in the social sciences have centered attention on the moral, political and phenomenological dimensions bestowed to a grand array of life-forms; through this lens, nonhuman “voices” and their stories have been rendered visible in relation to colonial encounters, national politics, animal rights discussions, and environmental conflicts; yet, this thriving (and oftentimes contradictory) politics of representation of nonhumans has taken place in relatively stable semiotic/ontological fields nested within specific, self-contained human-environmental assemblages.

As an exploratory provocation, this panel brings together timely and relevant discussions around nonhuman life-forms in relation to the semiotic polysemy of borderlands spaces. To this end, we bring together scholars from across the globe who are interested in analyzing the encounters of human and non-human forms as they take place across and beyond a vast array of borders. For the purposes of this panel, we defined borderlands in a broad sense as to include geo-political regions (e.g. national borders), cross-cultural interstices (e.g. the so-called urban-rural divide), spaces co-defined by multiple legal or institutional mandates  (e.g. ecological reserves, national parks, Native American reservations) as well as geographically-defined liminalities. Within these stages we intend to discuss how different types of borders and boundaries redefine the moral, political, and ontological status of nonhuman life-forms and to what effect. We encourage participation of panelist whose research is broadly position within the following conceptual crossroad:

  • Wildlife science and management
  • (Urban) human/nonhuman interactions
  • Borderland studies
  • Comparative semiotics
  • Animal rights, violence and precarity

Panel Organizers:

Rodrigo F. Rentería-Valencia, Ph.D. (Central Washington University)
Ivan Sandoval-Cervantes, Ph.D. (University of Texas at El Paso)
To be considered for this panel, please send your abstract to and before April 2nd.