San Antonio, Texas 

April 3-6, 2024

Panel Title: More Than Human Approach to the Roles of Terrain in Borderings 

Border studies, although interdisciplinary, have predominantly engaged in political space, where humans do the ‘borderwork’ and non-humans are seen as a mute background or passive resources for human ends. More recently, as a part of scholarly engagement with more heterogeneous political spaces, scholars in critical border studies have called for engaging with more-than-human entanglements (Ozguc & Burridge 2023). These studies call for greater recognition of non-human agency in territorialization and bordering (Oliveras-González 2023). 

This panel builds on Stuart Elden’s engagement with terrain, politics and history, and his focus on terrain as a concept to critically study territory and political geographies, while more narrowly it addresses Gastón Gordillo’s call to conceptualize the materiality of terrain. We invite papers that explore and take innovative approaches to the roles of terrain in bordering assemblages, while seeing terrain as a dynamic process embodying not only land but rivers, oceans or their constituent parts. How does terrain participate in creating political spaces? What are terrain’s materialities, textures and rhythms relevant to bordering? How can terrain sabotage or deterritorialize the established territorial orders – or be complicit in making these? How to understand ‘tough terrain’ when displacing the primacy of human subject? These are a few guiding questions for the panel, but we are open to other relevant proposals. 


Submission Details 

Please submit an abstract of min 250 words by email to Karin Dean ( by Nov 6. Selected panelists will be notified by Nov 10. We plan to submit the panel proposal by the Early Registration Deadline of November 30. 

If you have any questions, please contact Karin Dean ( or John Buchanan ( 

 For more information:


Session Organizers:  


Elden, S. (2021). Terrain, politics, history. Dialogues in Human Geography, 11(2), 170-189.

Gordillo, G. (2018). Terrain as insurgent weapon: An affective geometry of warfare in the mountains of Afghanistan. Political Geography, 64, 53-62.

Oliveras-González, X. (2023). Beyond Natural Borders and Social Bordering: The Political Agency of the Lower Rio Bravo/Grande.Geopolitics,28(2), 533-549.

Ozguc U. & A. Burridge. (2023). More-Than-Human Borders: A New Research Agenda for Posthuman Conversations in Border Studies.Geopolitics,28(2), 471-489.