Humanities Blog

CLUster on Bordering (CLUB)

The objective of the CLUB is to support researchers engaged in border studies, host the increasing number of PhD students and staff researching borders who visit Tallinn University, and advance thinking through borders more widely.


We understand borders not just as material lines but as key social and political instruments actively ordering, delineating, categorizing, including and excluding different people, social phenomena, developments and processes. We hold that bordering is a central social and political practice. A key goal of the CLUB is to offer a perspective from Asian borderlands to the mainstream border studies that has mostly relied on empirical developments in Europe and America. The CLUB aspires to create a dialogue between ‘mainstream’ and ‘peripheral’ border scholars.

The key members of the CLUB are Karin Dean, John Buchanan, Alessandro Rippa, Prince Tomar.

MA and PhD students involved in CLUB:

Yi Yang (visiting PhD student 10.12.2020—6.09.2021; East China Normal University), PhD thesis “Being Emplaced in the ‘Golden Triangle’An Ethnographic Study of Ordinary People's  Economic Life and Local morality in Border Society , Myanmar”.

Samak Kosem (visiting PhD student 1.09.2021—30.05.2022; Chiang Mai University), PhD thesis “Queering Shan Masculinities: Sexual Commodification Practices in Chiang Mai.”

Prince Tomar (PhD student 1.09.2021— expected until 30.06. 2025), PhD thesis "Limitless at the Limit: The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the quest for increased connectivity in the Himalayan region of the Indo-China Border"

Worachet Potawong (visiting MA student, 1.09.2021—30.05.2022; Chiang Mai University) MA thesis on Thai-Lao cross-border tourism.

In 2021, Dr Laur Kiik actively participated in CLUB activities. The CLUB also hosted Dr Amporn Jirattikorn, Chiang Mai University (in October 2021), who researches cross-border dynamics of the Shan in the Thai-Myanmar borderlands. 

The CLUB meets regularly every Friday. Dr Daniele Monticelli discussed the border in the theory of cultural semiotics by Yuri Lotman as a guest in October 2021.

Contact: Karin Dean (