Shifting Borders brings together new research on visual culture by scholars located across North America. This compilation of essays explores the notion of borders in a range of domains including art history, architecture, art theory, video games, performance art, artistic creation, and photography. The authors seek to address contemporary concerns affecting larger society through the lens of visual culture. The world is becoming increasingly globalized, as nations and multilateral organizations advocate freer international trade, the sharing of technological and political ideas, and multiculturalism. Yet, despite a rhetorical attachment to the message of lower national barriers, there has been a concomitant rise in veiled borders. These barriers promise to maintain cultural exclusion and economic hegemony.
The essays in this volume share a desire to re-examine inherited knowledge systems, to redefine the terms of debate, and create spaces that more accurately reflect a just reality. While this is not the unique purview of Postmodern ethics, what is novel here is the willingness of the authors of these essays, and the artists they investigate, to identify with, dwell in, and expand upon the margins of their particular subject matter. The essays presented in Shifting Borders have the force to open up new forms and understandings of cultural difference and initiate new perspectives in and beyond their respective domains.
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Reid Cooper is a Ph.D. student in Architecture at the Bartlett faculty of the Built Environment at University College London, England. His current research is concerned with power and spatiality in the informal settlements of developing nations. Luke Nicholson is a Ph.D. student in the Interuniversity doctorate in Art History in Montreal, Canada and he is based at Concordia University. His current research concerns the historiography of early modern painting in Italy and France.Jean-François Bélisle holds a Masters degree in Art History from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He is an independent curator and art critic working and living in Montreal.