Academic Controversies on Borders and Conflicts of the Baltic Sea Region

Publications from the ‘Baltic Borderlands’ research collaboration - Photo: Jan Reinicke
Publications from the ‘Baltic Borderlands’ research collaboration - Photo: Jan Reinicke

The borders of the Baltic Sea Region are no longer simply lines on a map. They are no longer simply marked by fences, boundary markers or border controls. Instead, borders and borderlands are created where two or more cultures meet: in the rural regions, at sea or also in the digital world. But who has the power to negotiate the future borders of our societies? Which social, cultural, political and economic factors mark the differences that will characterise future borders? How much influence did the media have on the creation of boundaries in the past, or how will they influence them in the future?

These questions were the key focus of the conference, which at the same time functioned as the conclusion of the Research Training Group ‘Baltic Borderlands’. Over the past nine years of joint doctoral training at the Universities of Lund (Sweden), Tartu (Estonia) and Greifswald, more than forty doctoral candidates, three postdocs and several students of the humanities and social sciences investigated the topic of borderlands in their theses and research projects. Research results on dynamics in borderlands and boundary construction were published in three influential anthologies: ‘Die Neuerfindung des Raumes. Grenzüberschreitungen und Neuordnungen’ (Böhlau, 2013), ‘Beyond the Sea. Manifold Dimensions of Water as Bridge and Barrier’ (Böhlau, 2015) and ‘Globalizing Borderlands Studies in Europe and North America’ (Nebraska University Press, 2016).

After the conference, several alumni spoke about their professional careers, for example as a research fellow at the university in Joensuu in Finland, as curator for old masters at the National Museum in Oslo, or as a postdoc at the Herder Institute in Marburg. This not only confirms the success of the research training group at both research and teaching levels, but also underlines the significance of the graduate training in Greifswald for successful international careers. 

Further Information
Chair of Modern History
International Research Training Group Baltic Borderlands
Media Photo

Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael North
Department of History
Chair of Modern History
Rubenowstraße 2, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +3834 420 3308