Border culture emerges through the intersection and engagement of imagination, affinity and identity.
It is evident wherever boundaries separate or sort people and their goods, ideas or other belongings. It is the vessel of engagement between countries and peoples—assuming many forms, exuding a variety of expressions, changing shapes—but border culture does not disappear once it is developed, and it may be visualized as a thread that runs throughout the process of globalization.
Border culture is conveyed in imaginaries and productions that are linked to borderland identities constructed in the borderlands. These identities underlie the enforcement of control and resistance to power that also comprise border cultures.
Canada’s borders in globalization offer an opportunity to explore the interplay of borders and culture, identify the fundamental currents of border culture in motion, and establish an approach to understanding how border culture is placed and replaced in globalization.
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Edited by Victor Konrad and Melissa Kelly
University of Ottawa Press
The University of Ottawa Press (UOP) is proud to be the oldest of the Francophone university presses in Canada as well as the oldest bilingual university publisher in North America. Since 1936, UOP has been enriching intellectual and cultural discourse by producing peer-reviewed and award-winning books in the humanities and social sciences, in French and in English.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Title: Borders, culture, and globalization: a Canadian perspective / editors: Victor Konrad and Melissa Kelly.
Names: Konrad, Victor A., editor. | Kelly, Melissa, 1981- editor.
Description: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: Canadiana (print) 20200351109 | Canadiana (ebook) 20200351370 | ISBN 9780776636733 (softcover) | ISBN 9780776636740 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780776636757 (PDF) | ISBN 9780776636764 (EPUB) | ISBN 9780776636771 (Kindle)
Subjects: LCSH: Canadian-American Border Region—Social life and customs. | LCSH: Canadian-American Border Region—Social conditions. | LCSH: Borderlands—Social aspects—Canada. | LCSH: Globalization—Social aspects—Canada.
Classification: LCC FC95.5.B67 2021 | DDC 306.0971—dc23
Legal Deposit: Second Quarter 2021
Library and Archives Canada
Printed in Canada
John van der Woude, JVDW Designs
Beyond Borders by Aili Kurtis
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The University of Ottawa Press gratefully acknowledges the support extended to its publishing list by the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences through the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, and by the University of Ottawa.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Culture, Globalization, and Canada’s Borders
Victor Konrad and Melissa Kelly
Viewing Border Culture
1.Sight and Site on the Line: The Cultural Imaginary of Borderlands in North America
2.Imagining Nighttime Detroit
3.Bordering Things: Objects and Subjugated Struggle at the Border
Anelynda Mielke and Nadya Pohran
4.Border Cultures : A Retrospective
Part 1. A Context for Border Cultures and Conversations with the Curator
Part 2. Border Cultures: The Exhibitions
Borders and Culture in Motion
5.The Snowbirds: A Cultural Movement across Borders
6.Passing Through or Living Here: Body and Self In-Between and On Edge in the Borderland Region of Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont
7.North American Cyber New Regionalism in Canada: Online Cultural Borderlands and Change through New Media
8.#Welcome Refugees: A Canadian Phenomenon That Illustrates the Temporal Dimension of Border Constructs
Placing and Replacing Border Culture: Indigenous Perspectives
9.Across Borders and Cultures: Thomas King’s Artistic Activism
Evelyn P. Mayer
10.In the Space between Aboriginal Sovereignty and National Security: Re-engaging Border Security and Mohawk Culture at Akwesasne
11.Sport, Globalization, and the Bordering Process: The Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team and the Issue of Contested National Identities
Heidi Weigand and Colin Howell
12.A Biocultural Planning Approach for Managing Transborder Cultural Heritage Landscapes
Scott Cafarella, Joel Konrad, and Rebecca Sciarra
Borders, Culture, and Globalization: Some Conclusions, More Uncertainties, and Many Challenges
Melissa Kelly and Victor Konrad
FIGURE 1.1.The Border Bookmobile, Ambassador Park, Windsor, Ontario, 2011
FIGURE 1.2.The Border Bookmobile, Belle Isle, Detroit, 2011
FIGURE 1.3.Political Equator 3 : June 3–4, 2011
FIGURE 1.4.Re/Thinking Paul Bunyan (Maine and Quebec), Coborn Gore border crossing, 2012
FIGURE 1.5.Buoyant Cartographies workshop, September 1, 2018
FIGURE 2.2.Detroit Light Tower
FIGURE 2.3.Detroit, MI, Campus Martius and Opera House
FIGURE 2.4.Locations of Street Lights. Map of the City of Detroit, Michigan
FIGURE 2.5.Campus Martius at night, Detroit, Michigan
FIGURE 2.6.Night Scene, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Detroit in the Distance, ca. 1930
FIGURE 2.7.Skyline at Night from Windsor, Canada
FIGURE 2.8.The Heart of Detroit at Night
FIGURE 2.9.The Heart of Detroit by Moonlight
FIGURE 2.10.View of Ambassador Bridge at Night, Sandwich, near Windsor, Canada, ca. 1930s
FIGURE 2.11.Ambassador Bridge at Night, between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, ca. 1930s
FIGURE 2.12.Cross-Border Communication, 2009
FIGURE 2.13.Shaping Our City, January 3, 2014
FIGURE 5.1.Participants by age group
FIGURE 10.1.Map of the border in Akwesasne
FIGURE 12.1.Conceptual illustration of a biocultural planning system
FIGURE 12.2.Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve designations
FIGURE 12.3.Study area boundaries and policy context map
FIGURE 12.4.Biocultural planning zones within the study area
TABLE 5.1.Travel by Canadians to the United States in 2014
TABLE 5.2.Maximum amount of time permitted abroad (to maintain healthcare benefits)
TABLE 10.1.Sources of authority in Akwesasne
TABLE 12.1.Feature layers used in GIS bioregional planning analysis of the study area
Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, Borders in Globalization (BIG) Program Lead
Borders in Globalization is a multidisciplinary and international research program funded through a SSHRC Partnership Grant and the European Union’s Jean Monnet Program. From 2012 to 2020, collaborators from across Canada and fifteen other countries collected data on borders. Our core research focus was to challenge the well-established conception of borders as primarily sovereign territorial boundaries that have emerged out of international treaties. The research program thus addressed fundamental how, why, and what questions about borders, a very important contribution to knowledge in a globalizing world where movement is increasingly scrutinized everywhere, not just at the sovereign boundary lines of states, and at a time when goods seem to travel more easily than humans. Indeed, the regulation of human flows across borders is fraught and highly contentious, and even today people in the thousands die crossing borders yearly.
Our team studied border history and culture, mobility and security, environmental sustainability, and governance. As illustrated by this book, and the University of Ottawa Press series Borders in Globalization, our research program initially approached those questions from the perspective of territories, regions, and states, collecting evidence that there were multiple challenges to the “territorial trap” assumption.
In this edited collection, Victor Konrad and Melissa Kelly, along with members of their research team, document and explore the relationship between Westphalia’s international boundary lines and culture. Their research focuses on the bordering effects of international boundaries on culture; scale, spatiality, and the motions of culture(s) straddling boundary lines; and de-bordering borderlands. Their findings point to (1) the multifaceted and scalar multiplicity of culture, and (2) the essential understanding that borders and cultures are “in motion.” Culture encompasses multitudes of individuals, de-bordering and re-bordering individuals’ agency, as well as spaces and territories, even extending beyond territories, in the a-territorial social production of cultures. The construction and reconstruction of cultures weave individual identities together above and beyond any Westphalian international boundary line.
More generally in our Borders in Globalization research, we found that, more than ever before, states’ border policies straddled their sovereign boundary lines—that is, that networked policies overlapped many different jurisdictional scales, including but not exclusively that of the sovereign territories of other states. Our second hypothesis, that contemporary borders in globalization were the result of processes that in many instances were fundamentally “a- territorial,” was also confirmed when we found that bordering processes were not uniquely territorial but rather fundamentally linked to movements across the world. We discovered that bordering policies increasingly disregarded the territorial limits of states, sometimes implementing borders thousands of kilometres away from their international boundary line.
Our findings suggest that the borders of globalization are not always contiguous or territorial. The primary reason for this paradigmatic transformation is that states that had the policy capacity to do so were implementing border crossings at the source of movement. These new local and global border “markers” appear in regulatory systems and production chains organizing the mobility of trade flows and humans. For instance, states and private sector actors are implementing data collection policies allowing for the pre-clearance of global trade flows and migration movements; individuals and objects are cleared by authorities of their place of destination prior to leaving their place of origin. Contrary to traditional states’ territorial bordering, a-territorial bordering obeys a fundamentally different logic—a logic primarily concerned with functional belonging and driven by the development of mechanisms based on trust. This finding points toward new, yet understudied, phenomena that are continuing to transform borders in the twenty-first century.
All our works are available on https://biglobalization.org.
The contributions to this book connect border culture research and practice in Canada to further an advanced understanding of how culture is integral to viewing and engaging with borders, bordering and borderlands. As one of the six core thematic volumes in the Borders in Globalization series, this edited book provides a comprehensive examination of border culture in Canada, yet the volume also focuses on themes of viewing border culture, borders and culture in motion, and placing and replacing border culture. This Canadian perspective on borders, culture, and globalization engages substantially with Canada’s regional expression of border culture and inevitably with the differentiation, linkage and integration of culture across the border with the United States. The book conveys a unique and extensive perspective on current research and understanding of border culture by providing insights from scholars and practitioners in the fields of border culture policy implementation, heritage management and artistic representation. The chapters included in the volume engage with and develop current border culture thinking and theory, and border issues that are timely and significant to our understanding and management of borders, culture and globalization.
An overview and critical assessment of border culture requires the contributions of experts in various disciplines and fields. We have been fortunate to draw on the expertise and insights of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty at universities across Canada. Furthermore, we have engaged the participation of contributors in curatorial, culture policy, and heritage management fields. All of the chapters convey significant and engaging studies in their own right, and, when assembled in this book, the chapters combine to form a fresh and timely perspective on border culture. To each and every contributor to this volume, we say thank you for your commitment to this project, and your efforts to work with us to publish the book.
This book is published as a volume in the Borders in Globalization (BIG) series. Publication is supported in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through its Partnership Grant Program (Grant 895-2012-1022). The lead on the grant is Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, University of Victoria. We would like to acknowledge the leadership and direction of Professor Brunet-Jailly in this project. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with Emmanuel and his colleagues at the University of Victoria. We are pleased to acknowledge the special efforts and commitment of Nicole Bates-Eamer, the BIG project manager. Also, we wish to take this opportunity to thank the faculty, administrators and students at Carleton University who played a part in the development and delivery of BIG project components. Special thanks are due to the support of the BIG project over eight years by the chairs and the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. Several DGES students and others from across Carleton University were BIG project participants. Some are contributors to this book. Also, among the contributors are faculty and graduate students from BIG partner institutions and agencies across Canada. There are numerous colleagues in the BIG project—leads, faculty colleagues, students, staff—who have had some role in facilitating, supporting, and contributing to the work of the “culture” component of the BIG project. We are grateful for their interest and commitment to exploring border culture in Canada.
In any project of this scope and duration, the commitment of a few people to the project stands out and makes all of the difference in the outcome. In addition to the contributors to the book, we would like to acknowledge the special interest and support of Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary (Grenoble), Darlene Gilson (Carleton), Gillian Roberts and David Stirrup (Culture and the Canada-US Border Project), and Ron Williamson (Archaeological Services Inc.).
A very special thank you goes to Aili Kurtis for allowing us to use the image of her painting “New Directions at the Border” for the cover of this book.
Finally, we would like to thank the University of Ottawa Press for direction and support in preparing the book for publication. The entire team at UOP has been exceptional in their efforts to publish this volume in the Borders in Globalization series. The acquisitions editor, Caroline Boudreau, has worked with us since the start of the book project and offered constant encouragement, advice and support. The production team, headed by Maryse Cloutier, has offered discerning and exemplary direction to prepare the manuscript for publication. Also, we would like to acknowledge the valuable comments and excellent suggestions of the anonymous reviewers who read the original manuscript. It has been our privilege to work with the University of Ottawa Press to publish Borders, Culture, and Globalization: A Canadian Perspective.
Victor Konrad, Westport, Ontario, Canada
Melissa Kelly, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
December 15, 2020
Victor Konrad and Melissa Kelly
It is November 2020. The prevailing story remains the COVID-19 pandemic, and all other stories are now intertwined with it. Since March, the border has been closed between Canada and the United States for all but essential travel, and it will remain closed until the end of 2020 if not longer. Essential travel is for medical, work, emergency response, cross-border trade, and official government and military activities. At the border in Blaine, Washington, and White Rock, British Columbia, personal vehicle crossings in April dropped from 10,000 to 2,000 per day. In the Pacific coast communities near the border, the economic impact of the closure is substantial as nondiscretionary travel for shopping and tourism, among other personal interaction across the border, has halted (BPRI 2020). Laurie Trautman, director of the Border Policy Research Institute, estimates that the public health concern may continue to reduce travel once the border reopens (McCarthy 2020, 4). The previous significant drop in cross-border traffic, after the events of 9/11 in 2001, resulted in border crossing reductions that persisted until 2010, when the Vancouver Olympics and a stronger Canadian dollar led to annual border entries rising to 11.9 million, finally exceeding the 9 million entries a decade earlier in 2000 (BPRI 2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, just as the impact of 9/11, certainly has devastating economic and social consequences for the local and regional economies along the Pacific coast, but these consequences also alter and disrupt the underlying border culture—the reflection and repository of human engagement at a boundary—that has formed and reformed in the integrated cross-border region (Konrad 2010).
This border culture, like the border itself, is socially constructed, mainly by people who reside close to the border and live with its effects of coincident separation and linkage, the constant change and motion surrounding the line, the meshed or delineated identities that emerge, and the innovative and exemplary production and expression of imagination and creativity focused on the border. For example, Jim Lynch sets Border Songs (2010) in the borderlands of Washington and British Columbia. It is the story of Brandon Vanderkool, a six-foot-eight, tongue-tied, dyslexic, and awkward US Border Patrol agent who guards thirty miles of largely invisible boundary. This book is a rich portrait of humour, tenderness, and charm of life at the border. Border Songs reveals the idea of borders between places, people, natural and human worlds, and past and future ways of life, as the book creates a perceptive awareness and sense of place of this piece of the Canada-US border. According to a review in The New York Times, this is “where next-door neighbours can live in different countries—both spiritually and legally” (Meyer 2009). This vibrant and challenging life on and at the edge nourishes border culture.
We begin with a story of borders and culture from the Pacific coastal region because, among the border regions of Canada and the United States, the Pacific coast stands out with distinctive and demonstrative expressions of border culture. Often described as Cascadia (Alper 1996; Ricou 2002; Sparke 2000, 2002), and more recently as the Salish Sea (Tucker and Rose-Redwood 2015), this cross-border, yet transborder and seemingly international, region is an ideal place to begin a book on culture and Canada’s borders in globalization. Here, the international boundary was established only late in the nineteenth century. Indigenous peoples along the coast sustain and affirm cross-border identities (Marker 2015). Immigrant cultures, among them the Dutch and South Asian, express vibrant and distinctive language, religion, and material culture in enclaves on both sides of the boundary, and often use the border, or “work the line,” to their social and economic advantage (Konrad 2010; Konrad and Everitt 2013). Cannabis culture prevails on both sides of and despite the border (Magnus et al. 2019). Here the “Northwest Sound” emerged as a music tradition nurtured and extended throughout the cross-border region (Gill 1993). And all of these facets of culture and cultural expression were enabled by the idea of a cultural and natural region of Cascadia, a transnational region conveniently distanced and beyond the mountains from eastern heartlands of the United States and Canada.
Substantial attention and research was focused on Pacific Northwest border culture in the Borders in Globalization project (an extensive, multidisciplinary project focused on Canada’s borders in the context of globalization; see http://www.biglobalization.org). Recently, a large component of this scholarship was published in a special issue of the Journal of Borderlands Studies (Hallgrímsdóttir and Bates-Eamer 2020). Indeed, the literature of border culture focused on the Pacific coast is so extensive that our aim in this volume is to focus on other Canada-US borderland regions and balance the coverage. It is important to acknowledge that border culture is evident and significant in all cross-border regional contexts, and that the Borders in Globalization project is publishing regional books and special issues of journals to address border culture as well as other aspects of borders in the North, the western interior, Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and, of course, the Pacific region. This book references and acknowledges border culture all across Canada, but chapters draw on case studies focused primarily in central Canada and written by authors who have shared perspectives, ideas, and research in several ways to collaborate on an integrated volume.
Introducing Border Culture
In an integrated yet divided world, the interplay of cultures and borders needs to be disaggregated, scaled, and differentiated in order to ascertain and frame the key processes in bordering culture. Consistent with current directions in border research (Ptak et al. 2020), a focus on these processes, then, may enable a more comprehensive understanding of border culture and its relationship with globalization. Prominent among these processes, with regard to border culture, are cultural integration and disintegration, the shift beyond Indigeneity, and the extension of cultural continuity. In order to approach these processes, and the manifestations of borders in globalization that develop from them, we focus initially on viewing border culture. How do we see the border? How do we imagine border spaces and places? What images of the border emerge and prevail? Then we acknowledge that, and try to articulate how, borders and culture operate in motion. How do we recognize border constructs? How are cultural movements formed and sustained across borders? How do people transition across borders? What new cultures and spaces are formed? Finally, we focus on placing and replacing border culture. Borders, after all, are part of continua just as they signify demarcation, and the placement of border culture in space and time is fundamental to understanding how borders in globalization work. Where do border and culture intersect? What aspects of border and culture create identity? How does cross-border culture work? How do we manage transborder cultural heritage?
This volume aims to explore all of these questions in order to widen and integrate the dialogue about borders and culture in globalization. Currently, debates about identity, cultural production, and cultural dynamism in borderlands are often discrete. The goal is to collect and relate the discourse about borders and culture and to focus this undertaking in the context of Canada’s borders in globalization. In order to achieve this goal, the volume draws extensively on the current research on borders and culture related to Canada’s border regions. Scholars and practitioners, all participants in some way in the Borders in Globalization project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), contribute their insights and perspectives on border culture. Many of the contributors are students or postdoctoral fellows affiliated with the Borders in Globalization project. Their works, and the contributions of established scholars and experienced consultants and cultural heritage specialists, together provide a body of research about the role and significance of border culture in a rapidly evolving border regime engaging Canada with its neighbours and the rest of the world. Consistent with the goals of the Borders in Globalization project, and international consensus on the importance of the scholar-practitioner interface in boundary studies (Pratt 2010), the research on border culture has engaged practitioners in government and the private sector as well as university scholars to assess how culture and borders intersect, work, and impact our lives.
Why do we focus on border culture when security, trade, migration, sustainability, and governance issues at the border and in the borderlands appear to be more pressing, and perhaps more significant? Our response is that border culture is actually intertwined with all of these other concerns, and that the post-9/11, twenty-first-century differentiation between the United States and Canada is inherently a clash of cultures. The border between the United States and Canada has become a unicultural border (Konrad 2020), where US bordering prevails with a narrower definition of admissibility. At the border, Canadian multiculturalism is at odds with American identity and exceptionalism (Lipset 1996), despite the fact that the United States is just as multicultural in practice as Canada, but without an official policy (Palmer 1976). The border, ostensibly less important as a barrier to movements of goods and trusted travellers, actually gains credence and effect as a sorting mechanism for culture that is either prohibited by American law or deemed un-American by opinion in the United States. Consequently, cultural diversity complicates and slows border work, and a unicultural border emerges in Canadian deference to US authority and hegemony.
Our suggestion is that border specialists in both academic and nonacademic realms need to reimagine the Canada-US border through a lens of border culture. It is imperative to acknowledge the power of culture at the border and of the border. Imaginaries position and code a complex, varied, and plural bordering between peoples, and these imaginaries and their manifestations must be understood in order to comprehend the complexity of the Canada-US border that is found increasingly everywhere between the countries, in expanding and diverse borderlands. To comprehend this new border requires a new paradigm to encompass border culture as well as other border universals.
Contextualizing Border Culture
The culture that humans produce emerges from specific geographical spaces but also transcends them, meeting and crossing borders. Yet in an ostensibly borderless world, where currents of thought, human migrants, built forms, and messages criss-cross the globe, the cultural landscapes produced at or near borders may engage, merge, and conflict, and these landscapes may also become matters for nation-based preservation. Culture can be something to preserve or cling onto in the face of expanding flows of ideas, people, goods, and capital; thus, teasing out this interplay of border and culture, how culture alters borders and how borders alter culture must be central to any investigation of borders and globalization.
Border studies acknowledge the importance of exploring and understanding the role of culture in bordering people and states. Formative border studies, among them works by Peter Sahlins (1989) and Oscar Martinez (1994) in history; Fredrik Barth (1969), Anthony P. Cohen (1986), and Hastings Donnan and Thomas Wilson (1994) in anthropology; and Michael Kearney (1991) in sociology, all address the relationship between borders and culture. In geography, the sub-field of political geography dominated border studies, and early appraisals by Julian Minghi (1963) and J. R. Victor Prescott (1987) focused on political dimensions of borders and saw culture as implicit if not peripheral. With the advent of globalization and the cultural turn, geographical studies of borders and bordering acknowledged the role of culture and focused on aspects of landscape and identity (Rumley and Minghi 1991; Paasi 1995). Similarly, in political science, this acknowledgement of the role of culture and rethinking borders beyond the state developed as the field addressed globalization (Walters 2006). Border studies in literature developed momentum in the 1980s and 1990s (Lecker 1991) and saw considerable attention in recent decades as scholars assessed the literary culture of borders in globalization (Johnson and Michaelsen 1997; Jay 1998; Sadowski-Smith 2002; Limon 2008). Paul Jay (2014) reviews this transnational turn in literary studies, and collections express its vitality worldwide.
The scholarship increasingly crosses disciplines (Schimanski and Wolfe 2017; Schimanski and Nyman 2021). In a Canada-US context, the collections offered by David Stirrup and Gillian Roberts (2010), Roberts and Stirrup (2013), and Roberts (2018) are exemplary. In the twenty-first century, border studies have moved steadily toward an interdisciplinary dialogue (Newman 2006), and border culture has been a consistent, although, initially, not widely acknowledged, component of the interdisciplinary approach to border studies. During the last decade, in response to reviews of progress in the field (Newman 2006; Kolossov 2005; Brunet-Jailly 2005; Parker, Vaughan-Williams, et al. 2009), border culture has seen substantial attention in border studies research consortia around the world, including EUBORDERSCAPES in Europe (http://www.euborderscapes.eu), ABORNE in Africa (http://www.aborne.net), and Culture and the Canada-US Border (CCUSB; https://www.kent.ac.uk) and Borders in Globalization (BIG; http://www.biglobalization.org), both centred in or on Canada. The overall impact has been a substantial proliferation of border culture case studies worldwide, as well as several assessments of what we have accomplished in border culture studies. This literature is addressed in the next section on theorizing border culture.
At this point in the contextualization of border culture, we focus on the Canada-United States borderlands in order to set the stage for this volume. Roberts and Stirrup (2013, 1) articulate the prismatic quality of the Canada-US border “through which and at which broader questions of political, economic, and cultural relations within the Americas come into focus.” They go on to review the cultural implications of the border and the “parallel encounters”—a protective barrier against Americanization: “[A] site of policing bodies and identities marked by racialization, gender, and sexuality; a threat to Indigenous sovereignties; a dividing line between a welfare state and the epitome of capitalism; a zone where state-funded culture meant to be ‘good for us’ stands guard against imported popular culture; a contact zone where reading and viewing practices might be inflected with national significance; and what appears to be a sharp contrast to the militarized US-Mexico border, even while agreements such as NAFTA locate Canada increasingly in relation to Mexico in particular and the Americas more generally” (Roberts and Stirrup 2013, 1–2). “Opening up the Canada-US border as discursive terrain to examine its function in and in relation to cultural texts,” Roberts and Stirrup (2013, 3) assert, is timely and necessary. Roberts (2015) sustains the momentum of the CCUSB initiative in her text Discrepant Parallels: Cultural Implications of the Canada-US Border, which is heralded as a “succinct mapping of the central role of the 49th parallel in giving form to a distinctly Canadian identity, as well as a powerful display of how Border Studies and notions of the hemispheric are reshaping (North) American Studies” (Weier 2017, 1–2). In Reading between the Borderlines (2018), Gillian Roberts offers a collection of border studies on cultural production and consumption that explores literature, film, music, and other cultural media draws on the continued research of many of the contributors to Roberts and Stirrup’s Parallel Encounters (2013), and edges the “ideals and realities of transnational cultural work” beyond the border (Roberts 2018). Today, in 2020, with a pandemic and a US president both raging, and the border locked in and locked down, it is indeed again both timely and necessary to examine border culture, not only at the line but into the borderlands of Canada and the United States, and North American interaction more broadly (Correa-Cabrera and Konrad 2020).
This continued assessment of border culture in a Canada-US context is enabled by a firm base of research. Early studies demonstrated a cross-disciplinary commitment from historians, anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, geographers, and specialists in English and French literature and cultural studies in the Borderlands Project (McKinsey and Konrad 1989; Lecker 1991; Daoust et al. 1991). From this initial integration of disciplines in exploring Canada-US border culture, the fields have often followed their own approaches, paths, and pedagogies, with many excellent contributions too numerous to cite (extensive reviews of the literature are found in Konrad and Nicol 2008, 2011; Roberts and Stirrup 2013; Roberts 2015). With the special issue of the American Review of Canadian Studies edited by Stirrup and Roberts (2010) and such events as the symposium on Borders/Borderlands: Culture and the Canada-US International Boundary, hosted by the US Library of Congress (https://www.loc.gov/folklife/Symposia/borders/index.html), a multidisciplinary approach was re-engaged and celebrated. This plural, integrative, and dynamic collaboration has been a hallmark of both the CCUSB and BIG, as the two projects have generated a wealth of case studies as well as integrated, cross-disciplinary assessments of what Canada-US border culture, and border culture more widely, actually is and what it does. Yet the target keeps moving and evolving. The border is actually borders, and the metonym of the Canada-US border as Canada in Canadian culture has diffused as a meme through the Internet. We have moved from rediscovering and reimagining the border to encountering borders beyond the line and, now, to evaluating the perseverance of border culture in the face of overwhelming challenges from pandemics and populist/neo-nationalist intransigencies. Para-doxically, this is what enlivens and rejuvenates border culture; it needs to be in motion, ever-changing, on a live edge.
The dynamic relationships between borders and culture are what create and sustain “cultural islands” that are spatially distinct. Put another way, we cannot speak of distinct cultures without reference to borders. But this relationship at the same time is always in motion, and in borderlands, we see, simultaneously, cultural continuity and discontinuity. Furthermore, the zone of borderland transition is increasingly extended. Yet, despite this fluidity, this dynamism, specific cultural representation clearly is highly resonant, often stridently so, among individuals and communities, and can at times provide expressions of resistance or antagonism. The interplay between border and culture is what forms a sense of identity among those who claim Indigeneity but also among those excluded from that identity. The contradictions are multiple, however, as border and culture both push toward a singular sense of belonging—pressing toward homogeneity in cultural identity—and plural expressions of identity. At the same time, which cultural products and practices manage to and do not manage to cross borders suggests an underexplored selectivity in these processes. And the array of cultural expressions, of course, often plays differently at or near the border, and at different scales.
Theorizing Border Culture
Before we introduce the contributions to this volume, and discuss the three approaches—viewing border culture, borders and culture in motion, placing and replacing border culture—we offer a brief and, hopefully, accessible discussion of border culture theory. An extensive literature has emerged on border culture and culture at the border. Thought about border culture draws extensively from disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences and originates in nineteenth-century formative discussions and debates about culture and borders in anthropology, history, and geography. Since then, the formation, extension, dynamics, expression, materialization, and impact of border culture have garnered substantial inquiry in most fields where human interaction with boundaries is considered. The following brief discussion cannot address all of the advances in understanding the intersection of borders and culture. More comprehensive and detailed recent assessments are found in works by Victor Konrad and Heather Nicol (2011), Chiara Brambilla (2015), Johan Schimanski and Stephen Wolfe (2017), Roberts and Stirrup (2013) Roberts (2015, 2018), Lee Rodney (2017), and Schimanski and Jopi Nyman (2021).
Border culture emerges through the intersection and engagement of imagination, affinity, and identity. This production of culture usually is most evident and materialized in the borderlands (Konrad 2012). Border culture is evident wherever boundaries separate or sort people and their goods, ideas, or other belongings. This is because different realization, knowing, and civility meet and negotiate at these edges, whether they are formal nation-state limits to territory or lines between ethnicities, classes, or genders where “othering” is practiced. In these contexts, border culture is created, reinforced, challenged, removed, reinvented, enacted, and displayed in many forms.
In order to understand what border culture is, it is useful to first explore the interplay of borders and culture. Borders and culture do not intuitively occupy the same space. In fact, the anthropologist Franz Boas considered culture as integrative of space, whereas borders were viewed as the limits of territory and edges of space (Boas 1932, 612). Social scientists of the time generally viewed borders as containers of the nation-state and lines that separated people who could be differentiated by language and a set of other characteristics related to nationality. In their view, a distinctive culture either ended or changed at borders or it ought to do so. These were strong and resilient ideas that permeated modern thought. Fredrik Barth and colleagues challenged this notion in their efforts to draw attention to the boundaries of ethnic groups, and in so doing sought to examine interdependencies and symbiosis across boundaries, to evaluate persistence of cultural rather than national borders, to explore differentiation, dichotomization, and integration across boundaries, and to assess identity maintenance across borders (Barth 1969). Today, our ideas of culture and of borders have both evolved. Culture is viewed as imagined, produced, and refined constantly, and it is conceptualized as evolving knowledge, civility, and aesthetics shared by groups of people who may or may not be spatially proximate (Jensen and Richardson 2007).
Culture is also a repository of consciousness and a “common sense,” which is to say that culture is hegemonic (Gramsci 1985). The power of this cultural hegemony lies in its invisibility and latency; culture does not seem political, but it is because it is pervasive (Adamson 1980; Crehan 2002; Mitchell 2000). Borders are seen as socially constructed, multiscalar, and variable in durability and permeability (Newman and Paasi 1998; Donnan and Wilson 1999; Laine 2016). Both culture and borders are human social constructs, and both are interacting more extensively and constantly in globalization. The interplay of a broadened, more malleable, more elaborately scaled, more demonstrative, and more accessible array of cultural ideas, with a more extensive and intensive display of borders, prevails around the globe (Konrad and Nicol 2011). This heightened interaction of borders and culture calls for more attention to the imagination and materialization of culture across boundaries (Roberts 2015, 2018) to provide not only insights into how borders work but also how people deal with boundaries and how humans create and reconstruct borderlands.
But what is border culture? Border culture emerges at the intersection of cultural meaning. Human beings build themselves into the world by creating meaning. Meaning pervades what we say and do. Culture gives meaning to action by situating underlying states in an interpretive system (Saleebey 1994). Part of this cultural meaning relates to and activates the boundaries of being (Shweder 1984). Border culture is that part of meaning, and border culture, viewed through the lenses of critical geography and anthropology, is situated in political cultural geography (Mitchell 2000), and, as anticipated if not articulated by Gramsci (Forgacs 2000), border culture is found most explicitly in landscapes of domination, power relations, identity, and politics of difference. Borders and culture are in motion, assembling in edge places and spaces of prominence, where they become locations for resistance and ritualized culture at the border.
Yet our theories of culture and border culture are grounded in the essentialist view of culture and caught in the “territorial trap” (Agnew 1994). Culture remains viewed as a bounded system contained in a defined territory. Culture is expected to be homogeneous (Lugo 1997). Culture is shared by members of society. “This territory-oriented rhetoric of culture, cultural border and boundary faces a great challenge in a multicultural society because intense contacts between various cultural carriers blur the clarity of the demarcation lines” (Chang 1999). So, border culture is no longer culture at the margins but rather culture at the heart of geopolitics, flows, and experience of the transnational world. Border culture may be situated away from the border: in world cities, at airports, in detention centres and immigrant enclaves. Border culture may be at once a manifestation and imaginary. Border culture is an integral component of borders in motion. Border culture is experienced by more people in more circumstances than ever before.
Distinct approaches have evolved to visualize, empathize, understand, and explain border culture in the social sciences and the humanities. In the social sciences, “articulative” explanation has prevailed. Studies have focused on how culture inhabits borders, constituting and reinventing borderlands. Recently, social scientists have focused on the creation of “borderscapes” and transnational regions (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2008; Brambilla 2015). Overall, there is a growing interest in the transformation of the meaning of border, and this has resulted in extensive mapping and analysis of the terrain of border studies. In the humanities, there is a decided focus on the appreciation of culture at the border. Parallel encounters are visualized and articulated to express the mobility of cultural forms and cultural stereotypes, and the circulation and relationality of cultural products (Roberts and Stirrup 2013). Some studies explore the heavier presence of borders in traumas, dislocations, diaspora, and other border-entwined experiences (Schimanski and Wolfe 2017). Overall, the humanistic approach is appreciation of the terrain of border studies (Roberts and Stirrup 2013).
We view border culture theory and theorizing in four contexts: confluence, differentiation, beyond binaries, and with shifting interfaces. In a sense, these contexts document the evolution of border culture thinking and relate the insights of border culture to the broader advances in border studies theory. These contexts are not “periods” of border culture theory building, nor are they necessarily distinct or exclusive. Rather, the contexts provide convenient groupings of theoretical insight to help assemble the incremental understanding of border culture. Also, rather than linked with any specific discipline, these contexts accommodate insights from across the humanities and social sciences to advance a cross-disciplinary framework for theorizing border culture.
Confluence establishes the basic understanding that border culture entails relating international forces operating between nations to transnational forces produced by the presence of one nation within another (Fein 2003). There are multiple planes of border culture that emerge within nations, between nations, across and at borders. These planes are found at different scales and may be multiscalar (Laine 2016). Yet these planes connect more than they differentiate border culture because confluence is the prevailing incentive and force, and this confluence seeks to link, align, and even integrate culture at the multiple borderlines with the agency of borderlands. To know border culture, then, is to capture both the “essential” and the “imagined” qualities of hybridization and differentiation at borders and in the borderlands (Shimoni 2006). So, the planes of border culture are not simply evident because they are realized; they are also apparent because they are imagined. Border culture in confluence may be incipient and only partially imagined or realized. Often it is “creolized” through a manipulation of social identities and affiliations, and border culture becomes negotiated culture, one type of the fluid, syncretic cultures that appear in bordered areas (Cusick 2000). Understanding border culture means acknowledging the partiality and incompleteness of cultural shells that continue to prevail in the nation-state and predominate in its territory. Whereas confluence alters and erodes these cultural shells, often at the fringes of national territory, the shells remain evident and often sufficiently hardened to resist forces of engagement, hybridization, sharing, and integration. To comprehend border culture arising through confluence, we must go beyond rationalizations to daydream about allowances, thick margins, receptors, and interfaces, which are both possible and plausible where nations meet and cultures intersect anywhere around the globe. Also, confluence is not easily and effectively reversible. Liminal and “third spaces” do not revert into previous forms (Gupta and Ferguson 1997). Consequently, to believe that a “wall” will overcome confluence and reassert a previous state of distinction, or of differentiation, has no foundation.
Yet theories of border culture are also rooted in a more extensive comprehension of differentiation. This is not simply the demarcated difference of nation-states at the boundary but a more deeply incised difference constructed with the power of cumulative discourse (Foucault 1971). The construction of difference may have its roots in nationalisms, but it is conveyed in the differentiation at the line, a differentiation asserted and supported by border culture that can be both nationalistic and fiercely “borderlands” in its nature. Borderlands convey the dialectic of cultural continuity and discontinuity. Pressures toward homogeneity in cultural identity vie with more extensive forces of heterogeneity to diffuse and complicate identities at and near borders. This may give rise to differentiation as competition to establish who has the right to inhabit the borderland, who is a “belonger” (Konrad and Everitt 2013). Also, this imperative toward differentiation has led to the practice of “teichopolitics”: the building of walls and barriers at borders (Rosière and Jones 2012). In globalization, border culture is geopolitically coded into popular representations to border a world that is increasingly difficult to grasp for people who navigate this world more rapidly and extensively (Konrad and Nicol 2011).
Theorizing border culture also requires that we think about borders beyond binaries (Mayer 2014). This is very difficult to do because the binaries are so ingrained in our thinking about borders. Yet, if we do think beyond binaries, the idea of border culture moves forward and is advanced to another level of knowing borders and culture. In this sense, identity separation and polarization (Villa 2000; Vila 2003) engage with notions of hybridity (Anzaldúa 1987, Rosaldo 1993). The debate between advocates of hybridity and those forwarding identity separation and polarization in border culture has, according to Heyman (2012), distracted us from the complexity of the intertwined processes of blending and separating, which, in reality, characterize borderlands. “One-state-one-territory” and “one-society-one-culture” conceptualizations are challenged and displaced in the articulation of border culture, at least in theory (Rosaldo 1993; Heyman 2012). In the real world, borders and culture are in motion constantly (Konrad 2015), and border culture may prevail for a while and then diffuse, and it may be more evident in the borderlands than elsewhere. Consequently, borderlands have become a privileged locus of hope, a space of crossroads, new ground for securing relation, and a place for celebrating difference (Michaelsen and Johnson 1997). Yet border culture is as much about contestation and trauma as it is about newfound commonalities and celebration of difference.
Theorizing border culture in globalization is then about shifting interfaces. Border culture is sometimes about positive engagement and other times about contestation. Multiple levels of cross-border culture are linked with socially constructed and reconstructed identities (Konrad and Nicol 2008, 2011). We need to accommodate these shifting interfaces by scaling border culture theory within the emerging multiscalar and relational motion framework of border theory (Ptak et al. 2020). According to Rodney (2017), border culture is conveyed through shifting and impermanent representational constructs, which are porous and permeable interfaces that offer the possibility of political change and negotiation. This requires Looking Beyond Borderlines (Rodney 2017) and “seeing like a border” (Rumford 2011). Also, Chad Richardson and Michael Pisani (2012, 2017) show how “structural bias” (incumbency bonus, false balance) often overwhelms borderlands and presents issues as even-sided despite disproportionate amounts of evidence of asymmetries and shifts.
Border culture is evident and performed in the borders and controls constructed more emphatically after the events of 9/11 (Balibar 2002) and in the “frisk society” that has evolved (Urry 2007). According to Jacques Rancière (2010), border culture is materializing as “dissensus” rather than consensus. This border culture is expressed as “borderities,” wherein contemporary mobile borders relate to sovereignty, territory, and spatial politics (Amilhat Szary and Giraut 2015). Accordingly, the “borderscapes” are more diverse, complex, political, and traumatic in globalization (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2008; Brambilla 2015). Also, the border, and in this case the Canada-US border, has become more personalized and disaggregated in the minds of borderlanders at Niagara (Helleiner 2016). In fact, some localities, Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont, for example, have emerged as places with distinctive border culture, where “line dancing” is practiced and residents employ a border “game” to establish ownership of borderlands increasingly controlled by agencies outside the cross-border community (Vandervalk 2017). If we acknowledge that culture gives meaning to action through interpretive systems, what is the meaning of culture at the border?
A theory of border culture must address and contain several components now recognized as fundamental to understanding how culture impacts on borders and how borders affect culture. These are fundamentals of border imaginaries, cultural production, and cultural identities at the border. Border culture is conveyed in imaginaries and productions that are linked to identities constructed in the borderlands, and these identities underlie the enforcement of control and resistance to power that also comprise border cultures. Understanding border culture is a key component in comprehending borders in motion in an increasingly transnational world. In the Borders in Globalization project, we explore the interplay of borders and culture, identify the fundamental currents of border culture in motion, and establish an approach to understanding how border culture is placed and replaced in globalization.
Viewing Border Culture
Border imaginaries link with the cultural meaning of landscape, aesthetics, identities, belonging, settlement, community, migration, work, play, stories, and other forms of border experience. Some of these imaginaries are life securing. They are the perceptions of the necessities for survival in the borderlands and they include views on whom to align with, where to cross the border, how to behave in border crossing, and, generally, how to compromise in between. These are not necessarily the imaginaries of the state but rather grass-roots, borderlands approaches. Some imaginaries may be deemed life sustaining for they are aligned with everyday facilitation of life in the borderlands. Other imaginaries are life enriching and reflect the mutual engagement and linkage of creative people and agencies across borders. Cultural production emerges from all of these types of imaginaries. Culture is on the move and cultural productions of bordering are everywhere and particularly concentrated in borderlands. And, as established in recent theoretical and empirical studies, interactions among cultural components are complex and multidimensional rather than binary (Mayer 2014; Rodney 2017). In a sense, culture is being decolonized with expanding transnationalism, but when this happens border culture may produce both predictable representations of hybridity and more unpredictable forms derived from contestation. It appears that borders undergoing decolonization and other significant changes encourage more cultural production than more stable borders. Consequently, it is probable that extensive cultural production at borders conveys expanded cultural meaning in transnationalism and globalization.
The first part of this volume explores the ways in which people imagine and objectify the border. As in the following two sections of the volume, our goal in this section is to offer several academic explorations and a policy-relevant illustration of how border culture works and is applied, relates to life in the borderlands, and is employed as a concept in artistic representation, border navigation, and cultural heritage preservation and management. The first chapter in the section “Viewing Border Culture” introduces the cultural imaginary of borderlands through the role of art and media projects in resuscitating borderlands in North America. In recent decades, the promise and celebration of the borderlands in the 1990s was replaced by the era of the borderline. As borders have become more relational and mobile virtual interfaces, these borders have become actualized through embodied behaviours and concrete objects. Lee Rodney, in “Sight and Site on the Line: The Cultural Imaginary of Borderlands in North America,” illustrates how bodily metaphors of the border as wound and the boundary as a cultural skin materialize as abjected sites in cultural imagination. These are sites of “dissensus,” as opposed to consensus (Rancière 2015), and they make us question authority and the exclusionary paradigms of Western aesthetics. The sites are at once relational, conditional, and diverse, and they make us want to see the border even more. Accordingly, Rodney shows us, in the contexts of both the Mexico-US border and the Canada-US border at Detroit-Windsor, projects of crossing, mapping, reimagining, performing, and documenting the line that offer alternative imaginaries and understanding of space and identity along new “social trails” across the border.
Michael Darroch’s chapter is also located at the Windsor-Detroit interface. Darroch explores the imagining of nighttime Detroit in a richly illustrated essay about how, in illumination and in darkness, iconic features in Detroit’s skyline produce moods and atmospheres that affect Windsor. As Darroch indicates, cultural experiences of night and day are not typically theorized in borderlands, and so this chapter offers a unique insight and contribution to this volume. Nighttime cultural life is expressed as an intense local experience that rounds out the rhythms of the border city as they are imagined and practiced. Although Detroit glows over Windsor to both enchant and revile across the border, the boundary and/as the river enables Windsor to be an “intimate onlooker,” perceiving, imagining, and participating in nighttime Detroit. The border between darkness and light is diffused and recast as Detroit’s electrified images cross the border and are processed in Windsor. Symbolic objects of cultural significance, the “beaming” Penobscot Building for example, become central in this cross-border engagement. Darroch illustrates how the Penobscot Building, and other iconic structures in nighttime Detroit, are vividly imaginable but perhaps always just beyond reach.
Similarly, symbolic objects are central in the chapter by Anelynda Mielke and Nadya Pohran about border struggles and the importance of symbolism in imagining and negotiating borders. Using several examples, and particularly one man’s fight in Montréal to escape imprisonment in a church and attain the right to remain in his adoptive country, Mielke and Pohran draw on the work of theorists Rancière (1999), Guha (1983), and Latour (2004) to convey how physical objects play a central role in a marginal entity’s struggle against oppressive state practices in Canada and elsewhere. Objects or physical things are central at the border as instrumental and pivotal in struggles to formulate and assert legitimacy and to claim asylum, as well as in border interactions more generally. Borders exist within remotely located symbolic objects, as well as within the nonmaterial consciousness of individuals who imagine crossing or otherwise interacting with borderlines. Reproduction and representation of these objects, and the imaginaries that imbue the objects with meaning, create a fluid making of the border. Swirling about these lively borders, even those removed from borderlines, is border struggle, and this struggle generates a politics of materiality, producing spectacles of suffering and spaces of sanctuary. This chapter explores this dynamic and expanding “borderworld” and the cultures that emerge from and inhabit it.
The final chapter in this section of the volume is a retrospective on the Border Cultures series at the Art Gallery of Windsor, 2013–2015. The chapter includes a synopsis of the exhibitions drawn from the published catalogue Border Cultures (Mitra 2015) and a “conversation” between the curator, Srimoyee Mitra, and other authors in this volume—Lee Rodney, Michael Darroch, and Victor Konrad—about the exhibitions, and Mitra’s assessment of the meaning and impact of the works. Konrad offers a contextual frame for border art related to the Canada-US border, first to introduce the artistic imaginary of the border and then to situate the chapter within this section of the volume. Launched in 2013, the Border Cultures series of exhibitions were developed to deepen our understanding of what it means to be a border city in the twenty-first century. “This three-part exhibition was conceptualized as a research platform, bringing together regional, national and international artists to examine the complex and shifting notions of national boundaries” (Mitra 2015). The works of the artists offered in the exhibitions collectively and consecutively mark a sparking of imaginaries and the production of culture at and about the border.
Capturing Borders and Culture in Motion
The mobility of borders has been recognized as an expanding, complex phenomenon in globalization (Amilhat Szary and Giraut 2015). Borders are simply, constantly, and even elaborately in motion at and beyond the line (Konrad 2015). This mobile characteristic of borders renders them more difficult to pin down and to understand than the stable and static lines once believed to situate and establish boundaries in space and time. New paradigms incorporating motion are required to establish where and how borders are situated, scaled, related, and linked. Also, to understand borders in motion, it is necessary to coincidentally measure and describe the role and influence of the border at the boundary, in the borderlands, and beyond. This requires depicting and assessing borders in motion on a wider canvas and definitely beyond binary constructs. It requires evaluating the movements across and around borders as processes related to each other in multidimensional spatial and temporal interaction. Yet all this fluidity has guideposts and produces signatures that may help us to understand the nature of borders in motion.
Cultural movements have always crossed boundaries. With this realization we can begin to address border culture as part of this “relational motion” (Ptak et al. 2020) universal of borders and visualize border culture as, at once, a flow, an embodiment, and a cybernetic construct. Chapters in “Borders and Culture in Motion” address all of these conditions. In chapter 5, Melissa Kelly evaluates the cultural movement of snowbirds across the border between Canada and the United States and explores the sociocultural impacts of borders encountered by the Canadian seasonal migrants as they settle for the winter in Florida. Snowbirds are beyond classification as tourists or residents in the US. They are “in-between” and they represent a new form of continental integration in globalization, with implications for citizenship, belonging, and people’s participation in society. With the intensification of social relations and consciousness across world-time and world-space (Steger and James 2013), globalization has changed the scale and the scope of international migration (Sheller and Urry 2004), and new migration patterns have emerged. One pattern displays increasing belonging through a sense of community beyond nation-states and their borders. Kelly’s research, based on interviews with snowbirds in Florida, identifies integrated border spaces in the communities of American and Canadian seasonal migrants. Within these communities are found shifting modes of belonging to a community wherein respondents report more friends than ever and a winter-to-winter schedule that allows and enhances the sense of belonging. Yet snowbirds are definitively Canadian, and while in Florida they discover new meanings of being Canadian, which they express in acts of patriotism and efforts to remain Canadian and to reap the healthcare and other benefits of their citizenship.
From communities beyond the border, the section moves to a community on the border. A community’s culture changes as security tightens (Burnett 2019). Sandra Vandervalk considers the in-between way of being that is unique to living on the edge and in the middle place of Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont. Using conceptual frameworks of liminality (Turner 1969) and phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty 1962), Vandervalk explores the contradiction between inside and outside in a threshold place. This way of being, states Vandervalk, troubles the non-borderlander’s assumption of the border as a line that divides and separates, because residents of Stanstead-Derby Line have made their own sense of the bewildering liminal zone of the border. Their actions embody liminality into a style of existence and an identity in the in-between place. In this place, borderlanders comfortably inhabit both sides of the line, where they perform national identity yet live daily lives with an in-between way of being in the world.
The next chapter moves us back to the North American scale. Alexander Rudolph makes the case for a North American cyber new regionalism, which results in an online cultural demarcation or re-bordering. He asks, how will lack of domestic control of the Internet contribute to Canadian culture and what are the implications of any possible changes in Canadian culture? This is, first of all, a study of the immense process of North American regionalization and integration with the Internet. Rudolph employs cultural-semantic modelling to show the physical reality of the cyberspace and the “new” regionalism of active integration and convergence in North America, and particularly between the US and Canada. Will anticipated future integration and convergence leave la Francophonie and other minorities behind, and will Canadian-content funding be sufficient to combat homogenization? Rudolph suggests that, instead, new media are a form of cultural and linguistic preservation, wherein through video-sharing platforms, innovation and preservation of cultural heritage becomes more expedient and content more accessible. Border culture in the realm of new media is multidimensional and multiscalar.
Chapter 8, the final chapter in “Borders and Culture in Motion,” discusses the recent Canadian government program designed to transfer and resettle Syrian refugees into Canada from their war-torn homeland. In “#WelcomeRefugees: A Canadian Phenomenon That Illustrates the Temporal Dimension of Border Constructs,” Renata Grudzien introduces and analyzes the Canadian program to fast-track refugee resettlement during a critical period of political anticipation in Canada when the newly elected Liberal government devised a highly visible process of refugee settlement to showcase its new policies. The new dimension of Canada’s border construct was indeed time, and this time emerged as the new territory to traverse in the process of crossing the border. Grudzien articulates five phases of border crossing, which are actually five stages and five borders: identification of Syrian refugees for resettlement in the refugee camps, processing of the refugees overseas, transport to Canada, welcome at the Canadian border, and, finally, settlement and community integration. Visualizing the border in process and motion in these five steps further challenges the territorial hegemony of border constructs and allows us to evaluate each border phase, to recognize the efficiencies in expanding the border construct, and, essentially, to view the border as a living, mobile organism.
Placing and Replacing Border Culture: Focus on Indigenous Borders
Evolving border culture is more than the parallel alignment of bordering and re-bordering and culture change. When and where the processes of cultural change and bordering intertwine, the placement, and replacement, of border and culture are at first distinct and then merge and result in something new. Perhaps this is analogous to the alloy of copper and tin forming bronze, but more likely it is a complex meshing whereby more or less of culture change or replacement links with multiscalar bordering dynamics. This overall process is sufficiently complex and multifaceted that researchers have preferred to view it as a black box and explore the inputs and the outcomes. If there are constants, however—a place, or a cultural presence—the processes of placing and replacing border culture may provide clearer insights. The section “Placing and Replacing Border Culture: Indigenous Perspectives” takes this approach and features three studies focusing on aspects of Indigenous border culture. These works engage with and expand on a growing literature of Indigenous encounters with borders, more specifically, Canada’s borders (Roberts 2015, 2018). The final chapter, on planning and managing transborder cultural heritage landscapes, expands the focus and provides a public policy approach to placing and replacing border culture.
Chapter 9 offers a literary perspective “across borders and culture.” Evelyn P. Mayer approaches Thomas King’s artistic activism by examining Indigenous voices in figurative borderlands settings of diverse cultural expressions, border representations, and identity negotiations. Drawing mainly on King’s recent books The Inconvenient Indian and The Back of the Turtle
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