In a brief reflection on the multiple disruptions of mobilities imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this article shows the significance of the scholarship published in Transfers over the last ten years for thinking about the future. Clearly the encounter with a novel and deadly virus—transferred between people, traveling rapidly across geographical regions, crossing over the threshold of our bodies, buildings and borders—has drastically changed many things about us, about cities, about economies, and about the world. An analysis inspired by critical mobility studies highlights the inequities of the mobility disruption, especially in the United States, the importance of histories and representations of mobility for understanding the present situation, and the need for changed choreographies of mobility after the pandemic.
Mimi Sheller, Ph.D. is Professor of Sociology, Head of the Sociology Department, and Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University. She is founding co-editor of the journal Mobilities, associate editor of Transfers, and past president of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic, and Mobility. She is author or editor of more than 125 articles and book chapters and twelve books, including most recently Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2020) and Advanced Introduction to Mobilities (Edward Elgar, 2021). ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9097-9563. Email: email@example.com