Mobility in History

Editor in Chief: Kyle Shelton, Rice University


Volume 8 / 2017, 1 issue per volume (winter)

Subjects: History


  Published on behalf of The International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility

T2M Members: Online access to the journal

Latest Issue Table of Contents

Volume 8 (2017): Issue 1 (Jan 2017)

Author: Jessica Lockrem

This essay reviews scholarship which has focused on the bodies and embodied experiences of people moving and being moved. Scholars have long been interested in how physical bodies move through space and how actors perceive space during movement. This attention to embodied experience includes phenomenological engagements with the environment, sensorial perceptions during movement, and emotional entanglements with ways of moving through space. The essay then examines studies of transportation that analyze how gender, class, race, and national identity (and the intersections thereof) affect how a person experiences, uses, and ascribes meaning to modes of transportation. The essay demonstrates that just as experience and subjectivity shape transportation choices, so do transportation choices shape experience and subjectivity.

Author: Gina Porter

Drawing on published material, gray literature, and personal research, this article explores the implications of growth in mobile phone usage across Africa for patterns of physical mobility, organization of transport services, and the potential for improved transport planning. Emerging intersections between virtual and physical mobility—and broader interactions with wider social, economic, and political contexts—offer fascinating new foci for research in the continent. Social equity issues, including those associated with gender- and age-related mobility, will require careful monitoring and further explication over time, as patterns of phone ownership develop and change.

Author: Anru Lee

Mobility is a key word for understanding gender and class formation. In a recent review of feminism, gender, and mobility, historian Georgine Clarsen reminds us that movement never occurs through neutral physical space; it involves gendered bodies through gendered spaces, by means of transport technologies that are often deeply gendered. Furthermore, gendered meanings, practices, and experiences change greatly over time and location. For all these reasons, mobility is—and has to be—contextualized. This article takes inspiration from Clarsen and investigates recent literature on the issue of gender and everyday mobility in urban Asia across a number of academic disciplines.

Author: Gijs Mom

Using Peter Merriman's recent book as a trigger, this review-cum-polemic argues that mobility history is facing a scholarly crisis in the midst of other mobility-related fields that are blossoming. The core of the diagnosis is a lack of debate on a central question that is painfully missing. The article suggests as a remedy the opening up of the field along the paths of transmodality, transdisciplinarity, and especially transnationality. The national bias of much historical scholarship is a hindrance to its future blooming.

Author: Ivan V. Small

Vietnam has been the focus of a creative and burgeoning body of academic, policy, and industry research broadly focused on mobility. This review is designed to give an inter-disciplinary overview of some of the new mobility related academic work on Vietnam and reflect on the broader political, economic and social contexts and catalysts of the mobility turn. The review considers three sub themes: transportation mobility, migratory mobility, and social mobility. It concludes with some reflections on the potentials and limitations for intersection between these fields, and anticipations of new mobility research areas in the coming years.