Despite the fact that the concept of borders is often initially associated with tangible and often times geographical instances thereof, the very notion of borders is abstract—if not ambiguous—as many borders go above and beyond their concrete, albeit incomplete interpretation.

The summer school ‘Border Stories: Narratives of Peace, Conflict and Communication in the 20th and 21st Centuries’ will take precisely these manifold metaphorical borders and the narratives thereof—which have emerged and continue to emerge within the realm of postcolonial literatures and theory—as a starting point to re-examine issues related to the postcolonial concepts of place, space and sense of self, in addition to exploring factual as well as fictional accounts concerning conflict, communication and coming to terms with displacement.

The title of the summer school echoes an essential aspect of Augsburg’s own storied past that has hallmarked it as a hub of peace, conflict and communication, since antiquity. In an endeavor to interconnect the city’s renowned role in important historical events—such as the Religious Peace of Augsburg (1555)—and the significance that the New English Literatures ascribe to space and place and the narratives that have either emerged from these perimeters or permeated them, we have decided to use the terms peace, conflict, communication as tools to shape the thematic structure of our summer school.

Created for students by students, the GAPS (formerly ASNEL/GNEL) summer school is a biennial event that is hosted at German, Austrian and Swiss universities. These summer schools aspire to enable an active intellectual exchange between students and established scholars from all over the world and focus on discourses within the realm of the New English Literatures. We genuinely hope that you will join us as we set out to explore our ideas in a series of keynote lectures, seminars, workshops and other interesting cultural events.

We, the Border Stories Team, are an enthusiastic group of students, who hope that you will not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you may have.

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