These calls are proposed by T2M members. You can submit here.

1. (Im)mobilizing transitions: How can a critical mobilities approach contribute to low-carbon urban mobility transitions in the global South?

Govind Gopakumar

In recent days, since the mobility pause from enforced COVID-19 lockdowns, there has been interest and speculation in an urban transition to low-carbon mobilities (Sheller 2020; Cresswell 2021; Adey, Hannam, et al. 2021). This renewed scholarly interest has built upon an upwelling of scholarship that, riding the mobilities turn, inquires into theories and logics embedded within interventions for a low-carbon world (Temenos et al. 2017; Nikolaeva et al. 2019; Adey, Cresswell, et al. 2021).

Such an approach, though, sits uneasily with the preeminent multi-level perspective in sustainability transitions to mobility (Geels et al. 2012). From a critical mobility perspective, such a formulation naively posits a static world of macro-level landscapes extraneous to mobility regimes and niche innovations. A key differentiator of a critical mobilities approach to transition, at least in the Global North, has been a justice orientation that attends to histories and politics of systemic inequalities (Sheller 2015; Sheller 2018). How can the critical mobilities approach re-imagine mobility transitions in global Southern contexts?

Two directions within critical mobility studies are relevant. First, the long attention to politics and systemic effects of mobility (Sheller and Urry 2000; Urry 2004; Cresswell 2010) allows us to appreciate the widespread embedding of automobility politics at the street-level in Southern contexts (Gopakumar 2020; 2021). Second, the consideration for historical frictions in the constitution of mobility constellations (Cresswell 2010; 2016; see also Schipper, Emanuel, and Oldenziel 2020), emphasize how urban mobilities are outcomes of multiple pre/post/colonial displacements (Gopakumar 2022).

Against this growing interest in a mobilities approach to mobility transition, we seek abstracts exploring a range of topics related to the practices, meanings, and politics of low-carbon moving in the Southern street. Please send abstracts of 250 words with a short biosketch of 100 words to Govind Gopakumar (govind.gopakumar@concordia.ca) by April 1, 2022.

2. T2M members session: Mobilities, Connections, and Ethics of Community 

Jinhyoung Lee

This panel session examines connections of mobilities from the humanities perspective. The construction of mobility in a specific time-space is generally known to improve connections between spaces, between things, between bodies, and between emotions. At the same time, it also significantly impacts human relations, newly introducing, accelerating, inequalizing, or internationalizing mobilities, so that it (dis)organizes communities significantly by propelling to disrupt, neutralize, or adapt most of all a given ethic. In this vein, the connection of mobilities can be seen as effective in materialistically strengthening or weakening the cohesion of a community. Therefore, presenters in this panel critically (re)consider the connection of mobility as engendering a rupture in society, challenging a sense of place, leading a colonial reorganization of a traditional village, and forming an isolated ethnic group in a foreign country; which raise a problem in communities and their ethics.

If you want to submit a paper in this session, enter the session name in the remark field.

3. Representation of mobility and transport: Formal matters

Anna-Leena Toivanen

The on-going humanities turn in mobility studies has highlighted the importance of cultural products and representational practices in making meaning out of mobility (Merriman and Pearce 2017; Aguiar et al. 2019; Kim et al. 2019). Studies focusing on representations of different mobility practices in diverse temporal and cultural contexts attest to the productive dialogue between the humanities and the New Mobilities Paradigm and theories of mobility more generally (e.g., Thacker 2003; Mathieson 2015; Pearce 2016; Green-Simms 2017; Ewers 2018; Durante 2020; Toivanen 2021).

In this panel, we want to draw attention to the ways in which literary texts and other cultural products such as films produce meanings of mobility not only on the thematic level but also in terms of form. Metaphorical meanings of mobility are profoundly entangled with praxis (Greenblatt 2010, 250), but how do representations of tangible movement affect the form? We invite papers that discuss representations of historical and contemporary modes of mobility and transport – e.g., walking, horse-riding, dogsledding, coach travel, automobility, cycling, balloon travel, maritime travel, aeromobility, space travel etc. – across diverse cultural and geographical settings, with a focus on the ways in which a specific type of mobility creates lines of force that affect a cultural product. The focus is, in short, on formal matters or what could be referred to as the question of poetics of mobility (Ewers 2018, 27; Toivanen 2021, 19–20). How, for instance, does the mode of mobility/transport affect narrative rhythm or speed? What roles do portrayals of modes transport play in the narrative structure – do they, for instance, produce smooth transitions or articulate disruptions and ruptures? What is the link between genre and specific modes of mobility/transport? How is the sense or aesthetics of being on the move – kinaesthetics (Merriman and Pearce 2017, 498) – affected by the chosen mode of transport?

In this panel session, discussion is facilitated by a discussant (one of the chairs) who establishes connections between the papers and underlines their contribution to the humanities turn in mobility studies.

If you want to submit a paper in this session, enter the session name in the remark field.

4. Gender and mobility: a contemporary and historical perspective

Pelgrims Claire

Much has been written about contemporary gendered mobility patterns: women have shorter travel time and/or distance to work, are more likely to use public transportation, do more multi-stop trips, serving passengers/children… (Hanson & Johnston 1985, McGuckin & Nakamoto 2005) Women (de-motorised) mobility patterns look more like ‘ethical’ mobility, in the sense of more sustainable and care-related mobility than does men’s travel. However, these patterns mask different constraints and meanings to people (lived experiences, impacts on identities) that results of gendered relationship of domination (Hanson 2010) that are historically rooted. Mobility practices are in each period and space indicative of gender inequalities. Gendered perceptions, attitudes towards mobility practices and objects –and therefore mobility behaviours– are deeply affected by gender roles (Prati et al 2019). Mobilities become gendered as specific movements are iteratively performed by individuals in relation to their gender identities and roles. If mobilities are materialized by a gender reiteration, this materiality is never completely finished, thus giving a glimpse of its instability and its possibility of re-materialization (Butler, 1990). In fact, gender identity is constructed in a complex and contradictory way and is not totally pre-constituted (De Lauretis, 2007). These mobility practices become an evolving indicator –creating, reinforcing and transforming meanings– of that gender identity through ‘gendering’ processes (Cresswell & Uteng 2008, Bonham, Bacchi, Wanner 2015). These are the always incomplete processes of gender formation through which feminity and masculinity become attached to, and detached from vehicles, equipment, practices and infrastructure. Gathering scholars from history, sociology, geography and urban studies, this panel is devoted to exploring the past and present, disruptions and reconnections, of these ‘gendering’ processes in several urban and rural contexts offering a wide range of case studies and plural approaches. The session will offer the opportunity to provide an overview of current cutting-edge research in this growing field.

If you want to submit a paper in this session, enter the session name in the remark field.