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date: 06 December 2023

Language and Borderslocked

Language and Borderslocked

  • Devika SharmaDevika SharmaBirla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Dubai


Languages and borders commit violence on an otherwise polysemous and hybrid world. By emphasizing fixity over liminality, a high cost is extracted for the order imposed on unsettled landscapes. Different voices are silenced and complexities become flattened, but more harmfully, reality gets foreclosed within the limiting confines of a hegemonic discourse that endorses a very specific worldview. Not only is this worldview the progenitor of a specific representation of borders and languages, but borders and languages become the sites from which this worldview is reinforced. To escape this tautology, borders and languages can also be viewed as sites for imagining an alternative radical geopolitics and linguistics. By de-colonizing and de-centering the conventional understanding of borders and languages, one can direct the focus toward the otherwise understudied liminal and in-between spaces and incorporate a more tentative and polysemous lexicon that is better equipped to comprehend these liminal spaces. To this end, it is important to consider language and borders not only as interconnected conceptual categories that impinge on understanding the world as it is but also as sites from which alternatives can be reimagined.


  • International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography

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