After the Digital Turn: On F. Stalder’s “The Digital Condition

Boris Buden
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2022S, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03986


Border and Why does it Matter?

In understanding borders common sense follows the logic of cartography and sees them as tiny lines that separate spaces. It often tells us that borders are mere obstacles to free movement and likes to depict them in a sort of normative assessment as walls or fences. The seminar will choose a different approach. It will open the broad semantic field of the notion of border and venture into its deep heterogeneity. Far from hindering mobility, the border articulates and regulates its patterns. Moreover, it is at the core of globalization. Movements of capital and labor, the dynamics of (geo)political and cultural relations in today’s world cannot be understood without considering the role of borders. It is constitutive of the system of demarcations intrinsic to the global condition in which borders generate the cultural and political processes of inclusion and exclusion and control the production of areas both in their spatial (inside/outside) and temporal (former/not yet) sense. Deployed as an epistemic instrument the concept of border not only helps us to understand these processes but also provides insights on the production and reproduction of contemporary knowledge and its differentiations (theory/praxis, universal/particular etc). To put it short: if mobility means an ability to move, then the border is a category of its “necessary possibility” (Derrida). This is the reason why the class should focus on the concept of border – in discussions, presentations and papers.


Reading list:

  • - Sandro Mezzadra & Brett Neilson, Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor. Duke University Press, 2013.
  • - De Genova, N., Mezzadra, S. and J. Pickles. (2015). New Keywords: Migrations and Borders. In Casas-Cortes, M., Cobarrubias, S., De Genova, N., Garelli, G., Grappi, G., Heller, C., Hess, S., Kasparek B., Mezzadra, S. Neilson, B., Peano, I., Pezzani, L., Pickles, J. Rahola, F. Riedner, L. Scheel, S. and Tazzioli, M. (Eds). New Keywords: Migrations and Borders. Cultural Studies 29(1): 55-87. Accesses on December 2, 2019.
  • - Buden, E. Gutierrez Rodrigues, R. Ivekovic, S. Mezzadra, B. Neilson, K. Neundlinger, S. Nowotny, G.Ch. Spivak, H. Steyer, T. Weibel Borders, Nations, Translations, Transversal Texts, 06. 2008.
  • - Naoki Sakai, “Theory and Asian humanity: on the question of humanitasand Anthropos”, Postcolonial Studies culture politics economy, 13(4):441-464, December 2010.
  • - Gavin Walker, Naoki Sakai, “The End of Area. A Genealogy of Area Studies,” Guest Editor’s Introduction. Positions/Asia Critique, , 1 February 2019.

Examination Modalities

 Consists in the active participation and contribution (discursive, textual and performative).

The module grading is based on the mentioned contribution, active in-class participation and

  • - submission of written assignments (word minimum of 800 total)
  • - presentation (10 min.) to be held during SoSe 2022.


“Students from other departments or universities will be given a place on the course subject to room capacities.

Key Words

mobility, border, epistemic violence, translation, the concept of area, globalisation


21 March 2022, 09:15–12:45 Seminar Room 21
22 March 2022, 13:45–16:45 Seminar Room 24
30 May 2022, 09:15–12:45 CDS Lecture Room
31 May 2022, 13:45–17:00 CDS Lecture Room
01 June 2022, 09:15–12:45 CDS Lecture Room
02 June 2022, 13:45–17:00 CDS Lecture Room
03 June 2022, 09:15–12:45 CDS Lecture Room

Course Enrolment

From 22 March 2022, 13:45 to 15 March 2022, 00:31
Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Study Areas: Study Area 4: Philosophy

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Bachelor): Philosophy: Deepening / Application

Individual courses: possible