This panel explores the ways in which intimacy, love, and sexuality are mediated through and by cross-border relationships. It engages with transnational relationships, exploring the tensions and ambiguities as well as the pleasures, enduring connections and joys generated in and through these relational dynamics.
This panel explores the ways in which intimacy, love, and sexuality are mediated through and by cross-border relationships. In this context, state-based borders, agents and institutions play a significant role in shaping the ways in which couples can (or should) be sexually and emotionally intimate, and what it means to be intimate. Across and within borders between nations, regions and communities, certain kinds of relationships may be privileged. This is often based on markers of, and identities and subjectivities associated with gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age and bureaucratic and institutional categories that are all intersecting in a wide variety of ways. Global and national politics, and economic imperatives or concerns, are also key aspects of these relational dynamics, subjectivities and citizenships. Thus love, sexuality and romantic intimacies are bounded by literal and metaphorical borders. Between and across borders, romantic intimacies, love and sexuality mark significant sensual and emotional relations through which people, communities and states are connected as well as divided. Here, as in many contexts, romance and love may be associated with ‘being modern’, with its emphasis on personal choice, desire, individualism, partnership and citizenship. At the same time, love and intimacy across borders may be experienced and perceived with ambivalence or anxiety as a site of tension, contestation and conflict. This panel of papers seeks to engage with the global practice of transnational relationships, ethnographically exploring the tensions and ambiguities of these as well as the pleasures, enduring connections and joys wrought in such circumstances.