Spectral borders: history, neighbourliness, and discord on the Polish Belarusian frontier

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Based on ethnographic research conducted in a town on the Polish-Belarussian border, this book examines borders and the lingering echoes of conflict. Using hauntology as a guiding framework to understand how people live amidst the histories and reverberations of conflicts, the author investigates the role that landscape, with its material presences and absences, plays in evoking and maintaining the border. The ethnography probes themes of ethnicity, religious practice, memory and space, investigating the border as a dynamic social process. By immersing herself in the everyday lives of the borderland, Joyce unravels how traces - lingering imprints of the past - shape local relationships in the present, influencing shared understandings of history and the future. Introducing the concept of the spectral border as a lens to shed light on the ambiguous presence of afterlives and memories tied to a historical boundary, the book unveils its present-day ghostly forms in local ideas and practices of neighbourliness and the borderland identity. Spectral Borders interrogates the use and limitations of these practices by exploring points of tension, where the meanings and uses of 'being a neighbour' and 'being from the borderland' are tested and challenged. In doing so, the book raises questions about how conviviality is created and managed in a place with a long and unresolved history marked by ethnic and religious violence, war, and civil unrest.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanon Pyon, Herefordshire
PublisherSean Kingston Publishing
Number of pages207
ISBN (Print)9781912385522
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


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