Life of the Frontier Research Interests
I received my PhD in Geography at the University of Southern California in 2009, and hold a BA in Urban Planning and Development from the University of Melbourne, Australia, 2003. My PhD involved extensive research in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands, concerned specifically with impacts of border securitization practices upon undocumented migrants and local communities on both sides of the international boundary. I have also been involved with humanitarian aid movements, anti-deportation campaigns and migrant rights organizing, particularly in southern California and Arizona.
Currently, I am working on finishing up an edited collection with two other geographers, that is concerned with bringing prison abolition research and activism in to conversation with migrant rights and detention work, titled Beyond Walls and Cages: Bridging Prison Abolition and Immigrant Justice Movements
Recent publications include:
Differential Criminalization Under Operation Streamline: Challenges to Freedom of Movement and Humanitarian Aid Provision in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, Refuge (accepted, forthcoming)
Youth on the Line and the No Borders Movement, Children's Geography, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2010, pp.401-411
Thinking and (Moving) Beyond Walls and Cages: Bridging Immigrant Justice and Anti-Prison Organizing in the United States, Social Justice, Vol. 36, No. 2,
2010, pp.85-103 (With J Loyd and M Mitchelson)
La Gran Marcha: Immigrants Rights Movement in Southern California, ACME. Vol.6, No. 1, 2007, pp.1-35 (with J Lloyd)
The site of my fieldwork in Nepal is the Trisuli/ Bhote Kosi Valley of Rasuwa District in Northern Nepal, which borders with Tibet. The context of my research has been the society and culture of the Tamang-speaking people, who straddle many aspects of the livelihood, trade, religious and symbolic systems that flow up and down the Himalayan Valleys. The recent focus of my research has been the environmental knowledge and relationships of the Tamang communities as politically semi-detached from state systems, representing their situatedness between valley-and-urban power complexes above and below, symbolised in their occupying the lands, between Juniper and Palm. Willem van Schendel's analysis of the borderlands of Zomia in Southeast Asia, taken up by James Scott's, The Art of Not Being Governed, have given a new comparative twist to understanding the culture, social life and environmental practice of these non-state communities, and their dispositions for cultural cross-over dwelling in the transit zone of high and low.
1. New film in planning stage on frontiers of high Asian connectivity: follow up for ?The Way of the Road?.
2. Frontiers of Energy Transition: multi-dimensional approaches to low-carbon socialities
3. Interdisciplinary collaboration over Changing Frontiers of
Climate Change: borderlands of biodiversity and cultural diversity on the move in the Himalayas.
I thought these titles could be of interest for the current IAS discussion on frontiers. The book by Régis Debray spurred a hot debate in France.
Serge Baqué, Eloge de la frontiere (through Cairn.info: we are trying to subscribe to cairn.ifo which would allow us to have access to several French periodicals). http://www.cairn.info/revue-sud-nord-2002-2-p-79.htm
Work in my laboratory is focused on understanding key evolutionary differences in the plasma membrane the cell¹s frontier with its environment. These studies focus on investigations of plant and parasitic membranes, barriers to the often aggressive outer world. The results of these explorations are currently being employed in the search of novel antiparasitic therapies.
Recent relevant references
John G. Mina, Jackie A. Mosely, Hayder, Z. Ali, Paul W. Denny and Patrick G.Steel - Exploring Leishmania major inositol phosphorylceramide synthase (LmjIPCS): insights into the ceramide binding domain Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, in press
John G. Mina, Jackie A. Mosely, Hayder, Z. Ali, Hosam Shams-Eldin, Ralph T.Schwarz, Patrick G. Steel and Paul W. Denny - A plate-based assay system for analyses and screening of the Leishmania major inositol phosphorylceramide synthase International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 42 (2010) 1553-1561
John G. Mina, Yoko Okada, Nilu K. Wansadhipathi-Kannangara, Steve Pratt, Hosam Shams-Eldin, Ralph T. Schwarz, Patrick G. Steel, Tony Fawcett and Paul W. Denny - Functional analyses of differentially expressed isoforms of the Arabidopsis inositol phosphorylceramide synthase. Plant Molecular Biology, 73 (2010) 399-407
Steven L. Cobb and Paul W. Denny - Antimicrobial peptides for leishmaniasis. Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs 11 (2010) 868-875
John G. Mina, Ssu-Ying Pan, Nilu K. Wansadhipathi, Catherine R. Bruce, Hosam Shams-Eldin, Ralph T. Schwarz, Patrick G. Steel and Paul W. Denny - The Trypanosoma brucei sphingolipid synthase, an essential enzyme and a drug target Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology, 168 (2009) 1623
I have been working on the Roman frontiers of Britain for over 20 years. Formerly I worked as a heritage manager for Historic Scotland and looked after the Antonine Wall for nine years. Since coming to Durham, I have been involved in research on Hadrian's Wall. From 2007 to 2007, I directed an interdisciplinary project entitled 'Tales of the Frontier', which focused on the afterlife of Hadrian's Wall (http://www.dur.ac.uk/roman.centre/hadrianswall/). This was funded with a major research grant (£250,000) from AHRC under the Landscape and Environment initiative. I have two papers arising from this project (Hingley 2010; Hingley in press) and I am in the process of completing a book Hadrian's Wall: a Biography, working with a research fellowship funded by AHRC. This explores the role of Hadrian's Wall from the second century to the internet and focuses, in particular, on the material nature of the monument and its literary, artistic and scholarly reception. I am currently seeking to extend this project through a new initiative that aims to explore the debatable lands in the borderlands of England and Scotland. This is being developed in association with Professor Michael Shanks of Stanford (California). My developing interests include the genealogy of frontiers, their crystallization and the impact of their materiality on communities within and beyond the frontier zone.
Hingley, R. (2010). '"The Most Ancient Boundary between England and Scotland": genealogies of the Roman Walls,' Classical Reception Journal: 24-43.
Hingley, R. (in press). 'Tales of the Frontier: diasoporas on Hadrian's Wall,' in H Eckardt (ed.) Roman Diasporas. Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Journal of Roman Archaeology.
I have developed an interest in borders and borderlands through my research on the history of local governance, justice and state formation in Southern Sudan. My past and current work explores ideas about the frontiers and margins of the state, both in terms of regional peripheries and in terms of the spatial, cultural and institutional border zones between state and society, which often correspond to zones of interaction and exclusion between town and rural areas in Southern Sudan. I am currently planning a new research project on pastoralists and borders which would explore internal administrative and territorial boundaries as well as international borders, and I recently co-convened a workshop on Sudan's borders in Durham through the African Borderlands Research Network.
For the last few years I have been engaged in research on environmental frontiers. I have been investigating how, when people migrate from one type of environment to another, it encourages critical reflection on the influence of human activity on the environment, and also stimulates conceptual and practical innovations for managing interaction between human society and the wider environment of which it is a part.
The main focus of my research has been the environmental history of the steppe region of the Russian Empire from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. The region was settled by farmers who migrated to the semi-arid grasslands of the steppes from more humid, forested lands to the north and west.
I am also conducting research into comparisons and connections between Russia's steppe frontier and another frontier region, the Great Plains of the USA, which share striking similarities. These two research projects emerged from earlier work on migration.
Research has been supported by a number of grants and fellowships:
Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship (AH/I001239/1), Jan-Aug 2011; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA: Membership, 2008-9; Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Fellowship (RF&G/3/RFG/2002/0029): Rostov State University, Russia, Mar-Aug 2003; And smaller grants from the British Academy, The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, USA
'The Russian Academy of Sciences Expeditions to the Steppes in the late-Eighteenth Century', Slavonic and East European Review, 88 (2010), pp.204-36
'The Debate over Climate Change in the Steppe region in Nineteenth-Century Russia', Russian Review, 69 (2010), pp.251-75 (and forthcoming in Russian translation)
'In the Russians' Steppes: The Introduction of Russian Wheat on the Great Plains of the United States of America', Journal of Global History, 3 (2008), pp.203-225 (and forthcoming in Russian translation)
'The Environmental History of the Russian Steppes: Vasilii Dokuchaev and the Harvest Failure of 1891', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th series, 15 (2005), pp.149-174 (also published in Russian as: ‘Ekologicheskaya istoriya rossiiskikh stepei: Vasilii Dokuchaev i neurozhai 1891 g.', Voprosy istorii estestvoznaniya i tekhniki (2009), no.3, pp.48-71)
'Peasant Migration and the Settlement of Russia's Frontiers 1550-1897', Historical Journal, 30 (1997), pp.859-93
My work focuses on the archaeology of late Roman and early medieval Northern Europe with a particular emphasis on Britain. I am engaging with the whole issue of frontiers through two particular areas; the Anglo-Welsh border and the Anglo-Scottish border. The early medieval border between Wales and Mercia is marked by Offa's Dyke, one of the best known medieval frontier constructions, erected during the late 8th century AD. However, whilst there was warfare between the Welsh and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, there were also more peaceable interactions. The border was a permeable one; people and livestock moved across it regularly. The dyke may have been spectacular, but I am interested in exploring other, more subtle, ways in which the border was created and maintained, and the extent to which cross-border relationships were expressed. Avenues of research include exploring the differing constructions and expressions of Christianity in the border zone and considering the wider way in which dykes and linear boundaries were conceived and operated in the early medieval world. More locally, Hadrian's Wall marked the frontier of the Roman Empire for much of the period of Roman rule. However, in the 5th century, its political purpose ended; new frontiers emerged but they were not necessarily based on Roman antecedents. I am interested in exploring the way in which the Roman frontier disappeared in the new political and social reality of the 5th century, and new boundaries, between peoples and kingdoms, were developed in the Anglo-Saxon period.
Martin Pratt is Director of Research at the International Boundaries Research Unit (IBRU) which works to minimise conflict associated with international boundaries on land and at sea around the world. His main areas of research are boundary-making, border management and territorial dispute resolution. Recent projects in which Martin has been involved include: support to the African Union Border Programme; technical support to the North-South Sudan Boundary Commission and the government of Sudan in the Abyei boundary arbitration; advice to the governments of Guinea and Sierra Leone on settling a disputed section of river boundary; and geographical and historical research on boundary issues between Israel and Palestine.
The nature, existence and location of frontiers are central to my current research project on the complex relationship between France and Algeria (http://www.france-algeria.net). The project explores how borders and frontiers are articulated and represented in visual culture exploring the Franco-Algerian relationship since the time of the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962). A recurrent theme in contemporary cultural responses to the Franco-Algerian relationship is the emergence of different sorts of frontier in different locations and different levels of lived experience, from the administrative and bureaucratic frontiers between the two nation states, to the less obvious but no less powerful borders which emerge at a cultural, social and familial level.