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Languaging the Borders of Europe

1,*,†, 1,† and 2,†
Institute for Management Research, Nijmegen Centre for Border Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, Comeniuslaan 4, Nijmegen 6525 HP, the Netherlands
Independent writer, Stichting Gast, Tweede Walstraat 19, Nijmegen 6511 LN, the Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Joanna Swanger and Martin J. Bull
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1207-1228;
Received: 6 July 2015 / Revised: 4 November 2015 / Accepted: 13 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-Border Movements and Subjectivities in a Globalized World)
PDF [271 KB, uploaded 30 November 2015]


Emerging from a discomfort with the blind spots encountered within and across theorizations of language and space in the field of human geography, in this article, we argue for “making space” for conceptualizations that speak from and through the everyday territories of migrants in Europe today. Inspired by a range of writers thinking postcolonially and multi/trans-lingually, the authors draw on their own embodied migrant experience to argue for re-envisioning Europe’s borders through multiple languaging practices. “Languaging”, in this view, takes linguistic practices in a migrant context as an inherently prosthetic activity, whereby any dominant, national host language is inevitably subject to the subterranean rumblings of all the languages a migrant brings with her on her global journeys. Conceived as being saturated with prosthetic “absence(s)”, migrant languaging practices rework cultural geography’s bounded, inward-looking, and security-fixated understanding of the language/territory nexus, the better to open a vital space for re-envisioning language’s everyday territories as sites for translational solidarity and becoming. View Full-Text
Keywords: Europe; borders; languaging; prosthesis; absence; territories of the everyday; becoming Europe; borders; languaging; prosthesis; absence; territories of the everyday; becoming
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kramsch, O.; Aparna, K.; Degu, H. Languaging the Borders of Europe. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 1207-1228.

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