The “Other” Border: Power, Culture and Politics and the Canada-US Border — RIAS Vol. 18, Fall–Winter (2/2025)


Call for Papers
The “Other” Border: Power, Culture and Politics and the Canada-US Border
RIAS Vol. 18, Fall–Winter (2/2025)
Edited by Jane Desmond and Jasmin Habib
(Call open until October 31st 2024)

The US-Mexico border has received a great deal of scholarly attention in the development of “Border Studies” in the US, and is almost nightly featured in the US nightly news. Yet, the US also has another border, that with Canada, and this book asks: what about the “other” border? In what ways can it illuminate the historical and contemporary relations between Canada and the United States, and contribute to the extension of border studies?

Only recently have scholars in US or “American Studies” or “Hemispheric Studies” begun to pay more attention to the northern border, with works such as Sutcliffe and Anderson’s The Canada-US Border in the 21st Century: Trade Immigration and Security in the Age of Trump, Gillian Roberts Parallel Encounters: Culture at the Canada-US Border, and David Stirrup and Jeffrey Orr’s The Canada-US Border: Culture and Theory. Building on these works, we seek to enlarge the questions and methods exploring this border.

The positioning of the US and Canada as two stable democracies with the world’s longest undefended border creates a specific sort of case study for border studies. These two allies, similar in many ways, as settler colonial states with enduring indigenous populations, as states with diverse populations from many parts of the world, as ex-British colonies, as thriving capitalist systems (albeit with significantly different attitudes toward state supported social programs), could imply that there is little to be gained—that the border is a site of limited action. However, the positioning of Canada and the US as unequal in size, political power, and economic global impact play out in border crossing in many, often subtle ways. One of the impacts of this unequalness is the scant attention that most US Americans pay, or have to pay, to Canada on a daily basis. But for Canadians, the impact of what former Canadian premiere Pierre Trudeau once termed “the elephant” next door, the situation is different.In a simple example, it was reported that following the election of Trump the numbers of people searching for “how to immigrate to Canada” temporarily crashed the Canadian website with that information. While many Americans couldn’t name the prime minister of Canada, few Canadians could avoid knowing the name Donald Trump, or his successor Joe Biden. What happens in the US has a direct effect on Canadians, most of whom live within 100 miles of the border. Many in the US think of Canada as just like the US but perhaps with “nicer” people. Many in Canada may think of the US as a good place to shop or to work, but they have never crashed the US immigration website after an election seeking to emigrate.

Borders function both to divide and to unite, to stop transmission and to foster it in cross border policies and exchanges, and specific borders do so in specific ways owing to geo-political relations and cultural histories.
We seek studies of these stoppings and passages, and their contravening as they are revealed in the specifics of the US-Canada border—the border region, its functions, histories, imaginaries, legal and economic impacts, literary and visual representations, policies and histories with indigenous communities and nations, language politics, environmental connections and disjunctions, and imagined futures.
Topics might include:

  • Literary languages in multi-lingual states
  • Representations of the “other” nation in national literatures or mass media
  • Security policies and histories
  • Management of natural resources/issues of pollution/flows/cross-border impacts
  • Borders that cross First Nations/American Indian or other indigenous communities and policies of reconciliation
  • Sports fandom across the border
  • More than human lives and border impacts
  • Variations in settler colonialism’s relations with Indigenous internationalism
  • “Race” and racialization across the border

The length of the article should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words. The submissions should be delivered to the Review of International American Studies via its Online Journal System by Dec. 31st 2024.

Submissions MUST include:
1) First Name and Family Name of the Author/Auther
2) Institutional Affiliation of the Author/Auther
3) Author/Auther's ORCID number
4) Author/Auther's website address
5) Author/Auther's email address
6) If the Author/Auther wishes to receive a complementary hard copy of the journal, the physical address to which the copy should be delivered
7) The title of the article
8) A 250-350 words' abstract of the article
9) A 250-350 words' biographical note on the Author/Auther
10) Keywords
11) Disciplines represented (
12) The text of the article formatted in strict accordance with the principles of the MLA Handbook (9th edition) (length between 4000 and 6000 words).
13) The bibliography of works cited formatted in strict accordance with the principles of the MLA Handbook (9th edition)
15) All images must be submitted in print quality (min. 300 dpi)
16) All copyrighted visual material must be accompanied by permissions or licences issued to the Author.

IMPORTANT: Please, bear in mind that incomplete submissions will be automatically rejected.