International Workshop: Archipelagic Imperial Spaces and Mobilities

  15 – 17 JULY 2021


  Collaborative Research Centre 1199 (Leipzig University) in cooperation with the research platform Mobile Cultures and Societies (University of Vienna)

  Mimi Sheller, Brian Russell Roberts, Michelle Ann Stephens, Craig Santos Perez, Elaine Stratford, Nicole Waller, Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez, Alexandra Ganser, Jens Temmen, Steffen Wöll, Barbara Gföllner, and Sigrid Thomsen



Except for the public conversation advertised below, this is an internal workshop.

Public Conversation

The workshop features a public conversation with Michelle Ann Stephens and Brian Russell Roberts who will explore the role of archipelagic spaces and mobilities. The conversation will be followed by a discussion round with the public.

The event takes place on Zoom on July 15, 2021, 5:00 – 6:45 PM Central Euopean Summer Time (CEST). View in your local time & save in your calendar

To register for free, please send an email signaling your interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than July 11.


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Archipelagic Thinking: The Insular, the Archipelago, and the Borderwaters

Public conversation with Michelle Ann Stephens and Brian Russell Roberts

In our conversation we will explore some key tropes and themes which we think are both important to engage, and update, when thinking about 'Archipelagic Imperial Spaces and Mobilities.' These are 'archipelagic thinking,' 'archipelagic space,' 'imperial mobilities,' the 'intersections between archipelagic and mobilities studies,' the 'complications of mainland/island,' and 'minor' traditions. Throughout, we will pay close attention to how these are variously implicated in the generation of ontology, epistemology, research, and forms of praxis. Michelle will both deconstruct and expand upon the notion of the 'insular' and the 'island' itself as historical, discursive, ontological and epistemological objects. Brian will draw on his new book Borderwaters: Amid the Archipelagic States of America​ (2021) to underscore watery borders and borderwaters as natural-cultural keys to an archipelagic mobility studies.


Michelle Ann Stephens is Professor of English and Latino and Caribbean Studies as well as the Founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers University. Among other works, she is the author of Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis and The Black Male Performer (2014) and Archipelagic American Studies (2017; co-edited with Brian Russell Roberts). Her most recent book Contemporary Archipelagic Thinking (2020; co-edited with Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel) explores epistemologies and methodologies informed by the archipelago.

Brian Russell Roberts is Professor of English at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is the author of Artistic Ambassadors: Literary and International Representation of the New Negro Era (U of Virginia P, 2013) and Borderwaters: Amid the Archipelagic States of America (Duke UP, 2021). He has codedited Archipelagic American Studies (with Michelle  Stephens, 2017) and Indonesian Notebook: A Sourcebook on Richard Wright and the Bandung Conference (with Keith Foulcher, 2016) both also published by Duke University Press.


  Workshop Program

  Workshop Poster

  Call for Contributions


  2018–2023 European Network for the Study of Minor Mobilities in the Americas       Code and Design by Steffen Wöll