ENCOUNTERING THE MULTI-ETHNIC CITY: BORDERS, DESTABILISATION AND CONFLICT Helen WILSON University of Manchester, United Kingdom, [email protected] All forms of encounter are about enchantment in one way or another. Encounters are about small moments of hesitation or rupture that demand that one thinks about the world differently. As such, encounters are also about unpredictability – about conflict as much as they are about hybrid potential. Taking a concern with conflict forward, this paper demonstrates how a theorisation of encounter as a particular ‘event of relation’ can offer a way into a more critical reflection on borders, momentary destabilisations and everyday practices of border-making. In order to intervene in recent debates on the multi-ethnic city, the paper brings together work on more-thanhuman geographies, postcolonial writing, socio-cultural difference and urban multiculture to examine why the notion of encounter carries such resonance within geographical work. In so doing, the paper outlines the common threads that connect these literatures together and demonstrates how these common threads can address the questions of meaning and temporality that have emerged from recent research on encounters. Tackling these questions, the paper argues, can provide a more nuanced understanding of difference – and the experience of it – within work on cities, ethnicities and conflict.