The world is full of crossroads, buffer zones and transit areas, places through which people, things, non-human animals and ideas pass in order to get somewhere else. This panel focuses on changes in the relative value and significance of such locations, given changes in how things move.
This panel seeks to engage researchers working in/on crossroads, buffer zones and places where roads actually cross (e.g. between north and south, east and west, etc.), and where transit, trade and travel are organised and managed as, for instance, in tourism, trading, or market centres. The panel aims to move away from identity-centred approaches by focusing on how the relative value of these places is changing as new political and economic configurations come about, and how these changes affect the everyday life of the people who dwell in them. While much is known about the way globalization, transnationalism, and related technological, political and economic changes are altering relations across the globe and affecting people's identities, this panel seeks to question how such changes affect the relative value of being located somewhere in particular - a question of changes in where things are, rather than who or what they are. The panel invites contributions that analyse the dynamics of buffer zones, crossroads and spaces in-between and that give ethnographic accounts of relations and separations between these places and elsewhere, and how that affects everyday life in such places. These regimes may involve the working of political borders as well as commercial, legal, informal, infrastructural, financial, kinship-based, and religious structures and social relations.