CFP: On Bridges and Walls: Towards a Philosophy Without/Beyond Borders

Submission deadline: December 20, 2017

Conference date(s):
April 6, 2018 - April 7, 2018

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research
New York, United States

Topic areas


Discourse concerning the role of bridges and walls has become commonplace in our contemporary political scene. Xenophobic, racist, and nationalistic calls for the building of walls are opposed by calls to construct bridges by those seeking to form coalitions of solidarity and resistance. An example of this is given by the way in which colonialism/imperialism has repeatedly used ‘bridges’ as Trojan horses of sorts, by means of which distances were lessened and inequality worsened. Thus, this conference wishes to explore the normative consequences of the ubiquitous discourse of epistemic and geographic stratification by interrogating the way in which this metaphor is used—implicitly and explicitly—within philosophy, to the extent that the latter, as a frame of epistemological and experiential articulation, also builds its own bridges and walls.

It is with this in mind that at this year’s NSSR Graduate Student Philosophy conference we wish to provide a platform for a very particular kind of ‘philosophical investigation’ in which a vast range of approaches concerning the significance and use of spatial metaphors within philosophical debates could take place. Such an investigation of margins, bridges, walls, localization and beyond should be undertaken in a manner that makes room for ontological, ethical, epistemological, phenomenological, political and psychoanalytic discourses. To this end, we encourage full liberty and creativity with how this topic could be approached. This is because we conceive this investigation as an open, interdisciplinary kind of quest whose aim will be to rethink the way in which we conceive of boundaries, gaps, stages and common spaces for the purpose of interrogating the tensions underpinning our current political discourse, while also showing the ways in which these affect the way in which we conceive of Philosophy.

Possible Topics (This list is in no way exhaustive):

  • Walls and Bridges as Philosophical Metaphor
  • Migration and (In)Justice
  • Decolonial Theory and the Use of Walls/Bridges
  • The role of Bridges and Walls in the construction of Imagined communities
  • Walls/Bridges and Political Membership
  • Walls and Solidarity
  • Walls/Bridges and Globalization
  • Social Epistemology and Imagined Walls
  • Persuasion as an Epistemological Bridge
  • Political Topologies and the Role of Walls/Bridges
  • Privacy, Space and the Political
  • Walls/Bridges and Human Rights
  • Administrative Violence
  • Philosophical Topologies/Political Topologies
  • Space and Violence
  • Localized Violence
  • Violence in Bodies
  • Bridges/Walls and Cross-cultural Discourse
  • Digital divisions and Digital Connections
  • Technology and Changing Spatial Relations

Please submit complete papers by December 20th in the form of a Word attachment (.docx) to 

Include your name, institution, and degree-program in the body of the message.


December 20th 2017

Word Limit: 3500

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