The new issue of BIG_Review is here — an outstanding collection of scholarship and artwork that enriches border studies and cultural reflections on (and against) borders … and it is available for free !
What will you find?
Leading the issue, guest-editor Birte Wassenberg, historian and Europeanist, presents a Special Section with five research articles advanced from a doctoral seminar on Europe’s changing borders called Frontières en mouvement, or Frontiers in Motion. The papers (by scholars Claude Beaupré, Yaël Gagnepain, Nicolas Caput, Tobias Heyduk, and Morgane Chovet) illuminate diverse aspects of borders, cross-border governance, and the pursuit of continental integration. Together, the section works toward a more realistic assessment of European borders, demystifying euphemisms of ‘Europe without borders’ and moving beyond reductive binaries of open/closed or good/bad.
In the Chief Editor’s Choice Portfolio, readers experience the unsettling visual creations of Israeli artist Ariane Littman. Mapping the Wound: Feminine Gestures of Empathy and Healing (featured on the cover) curates years of performative art and multimedia sculpture in which Littman applies bandages and gauze to Israeli maps, landmarks, and citizens, treating subject and object alike as wounded and torn. The work is powerful and timely, as Israeli citizens have been protesting en masse since early 2023 the authoritarian overreach of the Netanyahu government; in this context, the Palestinian question is jarring, even when muted or unheard.
Following the special section and cover portfolio, readers are treated to an eclectic series of academic, artistic, and policy treatments of borders today. Our Poetry section features poems by Sotirios Pastakas and Dvora Levin with exquisite verses on the morbidity of borders. Our Art & Borders section brings you a special mixed-media collection called Embarked Lives, featuring Chilean artist Enrique Ramírez’s oceanic portrayals of cross-border migration. Readers are also treated to a Review Essay by a scholar of borders and film, Michael Dear, who constructs a history of the genre of US–Mexico-border cinema. And Malvika Sharma, student of border studies and native of the borderlands of Jammu and Kashmir, shares lived experiences of a homeland divided through the art form of Short Story, in a dreamy fiction inspired by real yearning and hope. Changing tempo, our Policy section presents two detailed reports on quite different technologies of cross-border governance, with Veasna Yong focusing on the behavioral technique of ‘nudging’ and Mary Isabel Delgado Caceres wading into the potentials of digital blockchain. This issue also features a Research Note in the form of an alternative map of the Canada–US border region, showing not the international boundary line but rather different kinds of Indigenous communities that straddle and thereby call it into question (even as the authors, Guntram H. Herb, Vincent Falardeau, and Kathryn Talano, are sensitive to their own adoption of settler knowledges and to themselves not being Indigenous). Readers will then enjoy two excellent Film Reviews of contemporary cinema showcasing the plights of refugees seeking access to European society, by borders scholars Şeyma Saylak and Natasha Sofia Martinez. Finally, the new issue closes with two Book Reviews: I summarize the contribution of Maurice Stierl’s important book Migrant Resistance, and Molly-Ann P. Taylor shines a light on Michel Hogue’s landmark Métis and the Medicine Line.
As always, BIG_Review is grateful to its editors for all their great work, and in this issue we want to expressly thank all Board Members and other colleagues who have undertaken the labor of reviewing article submissions for both issues of Volume 4. Those reviewers are: Anne Laure Amilhat Szary, Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury, Pierre Alexandre Beylier, Alan Bersin, Malgorzata Bienkowska, Anna Casaglia, Cristina Del Baggio, Edwin Hodge, Lacin Idil Ortiz, Martin Guillermo Martinez, Virginie Mamadouh, Abdoulaye NGOM, David Newman, Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman, Ben Rohrbaugh, Machteld Venken, Shoukia van Beek, Birte Wassenberg, and Jules Soupault (any omissions are the unintended fault of the Editors).
BIG is also grateful to be at the University of Victoria, located on the unceded Indigenous lands of the Lekwungen, WSÁNEĆ, and Esquimalt peoples. We are also grateful for the hosting and support provided by the Centre for Global Studies and by University Libraries. And thanks are also due to the whole BIG team who helped make this issue possible. Please enjoy, share, and stay in touch through our webpage and social media.
You’ll find the big review below :