Dr. Sebastian Weier
Taking Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis and Harold Adam Innis’ Staples Thesis as starting points, Dr. Sebastian Weier’s post-doctoral project retraces the function of frontiers and borders in the formation and consolidation of the United States and Canada qua the formation and consolidation of their territories and peoples between 1781 and 1890. In so doing, the project shows how borders and frontiers are constitutional not only of nation-states, but also of nation-based cultural, somatic and libidinal corpo-realities. The project insists that the formation of territories and bodies are inherently interwoven, thus making ‘the’ border a texture whose analysis, as Innis showed, necessarily requires a theorization of socio-economic structures, institutions and flows (or the Market). Drawing from Sandro Mezzadra’s proposal to approach borders not simply as objects of study, but also as method, the project enriches Turner’s and Innis’ analytical matrix in order to develop an appropriate methodology and theory for what the it theorizes as the pre-history of the North American post-nation. In order to do so, it further draws from history, literature and philosophy in a decolonial mode (Walter Mignolo; Aníbal Quijano) expanding beyond the fixation on “white” settlers and settler-colonial civilization to include the thought and culture of people constitutively erased from narratives of nations, territories, bodies and borders.