Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies

Editor: Stéphanie Ponsavady, Wesleyan University, USA

Subjects: History, Cultural Studies, Migration

Membership: T2M Member Online Access

Images to accompany Special Anniversary Issue 10(1)


Latest Issue Table of Contents

Volume 11 (2021): Issue 1 (Mar 2021)

Volume 11 / 2021, 3 issues per volume (spring, summer, winter)

Aims & Scope

Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies is a peer-reviewed journal publishing cutting-edge research on the processes, structures, and consequences of the movement of people, resources, and commodities. Intellectually rigorous, broadly ranging, and conceptually innovative, the journal combines the empiricism of traditional mobility history with more recent methodological approaches from the social sciences and the humanities.

The journal's scholarly articles, book and exhibit reviews, and artwork and photography, as well as special features, provide a rich variety of perspectives that include: analyses of the past and present experiences of vehicle drivers, passengers, pedestrians, migrants, and refugees; accounts of the arrival and transformation of mobility in different nations and locales; and investigations of the kinetic processes of global capital, technology, chemical and biological substances, images, narratives, sounds, and ideas.

Convened around a broad conception of mobility, Transfers provides an interdisciplinary platform to explore the ways in which experiences of mobility have been enabled, shaped and mediated across time and through technological advances.


Transfers is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Scopus (Elsevier)
  • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers
  • MLA International Bibliography
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS)
  • Bibliometric Research Indicator List (BFI)

Editor: Stéphanie Ponsavady, Wesleyan University, USA

Associate Editors
Georgine Clarsen, University of Wollongong, Australia
Mimi Sheller, Drexel University, USA

Review Editors
Fernanda Duarte, North Carolina State University, USA
Book Reviews Assistant: Rachel Wachman, Wesleyan University, USA
Book Reviews Adjunct Editor: Matilde Cordoba Azcarate, University of California San Diego, USA
Museums: Chia-ling Lai, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
Ideas in Motion Editor: Lin Weiqiang, National University of Singapore
Film Review Editor: Neil Archer, Keele University, UK
Literary Review Editor: Dave McLaughlin, University of York, UK

Editorial Assistant: Jessica Khan, ICOMOS International Secretariat, France

Editorial Board
David Bissell, University of Melbourne, Australia
Jennifer Bonham, University of Adelaide, Australia
Maria Borovnik, Massey University, New Zealand
Deborah Breen, Boston University, USA
Tim Cresswell, University of Edinburgh, UK
Tim Edensor, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Charlotte Mathieson, University of Surrey, UK
Peter Merriman, University of Aberystwyth, UK
Beth Notar, Trinity College, USA
Ruth Oldenziel, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Lynne Pearce, Lancaster University, UK
Noel Salazar, University of Leuven, Belgium
Victor Seow, Harvard University, USA
Edward Simpson, SOAS, University of London, UK
Michael Zinganel, Independent Scholar, Austria


Manuscript Submissions

Please review the general submission and style guide carefully before submitting.

Transfers is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal that publishes interdisciplinary scholarly works that examine the processes, structures, and consequences of the movement of people, resources, and commodities. It provides a unique forum to explore the ways experiences of mobility have been enabled, shaped, and mediated across time and through technological developments.

The journal provides a rich variety of perspectives and includes scholarly articles, book and exhibit reviews, artwork and photography, and special features. The editorial team welcomes contributions. Submissions should be prepared as Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf) files and submitted using the journal's online submission system:

Authors must register with the journal on the submission system prior to submitting, or, if already registered, they can simply log in. On registering as an Author, authors have the option of also registering as a Reviewer (to be called upon to undertake peer reviews of other submissions).

Please note that all correspondence will be transmitted via e-mail.

Section Guides:
Mobility and Art Guidelines
Ideas in Motion Guidelines
Book Review Guidelines
Film Review Guidelines
Special Section Guidelines

Have other questions? Please refer to the Berghahn Info for Authors page for general information and guidelines including topics such as article usage and permissions for Berghahn journal article authors.

Contact Information

General Editorial Queries
Stéphanie Ponsavady
Jessica Khan

Book Reviews
Book Reviews Assistant: Rachel Wachman, Wesleyan University, USA

Mobility and Art Reviews
Fernanda Duarte
North Carolina State University, USA

Museum Reviews
Chia-ling Lai
National Taiwan Normal University

Ethics Statement

Authors published in Transfers certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions; book, film, art, and museum reviews; and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions, or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete Transfers ethics statement.



Annual Subscriptions

Volume 11/2021, 3 issues p.a. (spring, summer, winter)
ISSN 2045-4813 (Print) · ISSN 2045-4821 (Online)
(rates include handling & surface postage)

Free Sample Issue (Online)
Recommend to Your Library


Contact Berghahn or your subscription agent to subscribe/renew:

2021 Pricing

*Price freeze at 2020 rates

Institutional Rate (Print & Online)
$265.00 / £165.00 / €203.00

Institutional Rate (Online Only)
$238.00 / £149.00 / €183.00

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$34.95 / £22.95 / €30.00

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Contested Spaces

Bicycle Lanes in Urban Europe, 1900-1995

Today most cities emphasize the construction of separate bicycle lanes as a sure path toward sustainable urban mobility. Historical evidence shows a singular focus on building bicycle lanes without embedding them into a broader bicycle culture and politics is far too narrow. Bicycle lanes were never neutral, but contested from the start. Based on comparative research of cycling history covering nine European cities in four countries, the article shows the crucial role representations of bicycles play in policymakers' and experts' planning for the future. In debating the regulation of urban traffic flows, urban-planning professionals projected separate lanes to control rather than to facilitate working- class, mass-scale bicycling. Significantly, cycling organizations opposed the lanes, while experts like traffic engineers and urban planners framed automobility as the inevitable modern future. Only by the 1970s did bicycle lanes enter the debate as safe and sustainable solutions when grass-roots cyclists' activists campaigned for them. The up and downs of bicycle lanes show the importance of encouraging everyday utility cycling by involving diverse social groups.

Frontiers of Visibility

On Diving Mobility in Underwater Films (1920s to 1970s)

Author: Franziska Torma

This article deals with the history of underwater film and the role that increased mobility plays in the exploration of nature. Drawing on research on the exploration of the ocean, it analyzes the production of popular images of the sea. The entry of humans into the depths of the oceans in the twentieth century did not revitalize myths of mermaids but rather retold oceanic myths in a modern fashion. Three stages stand out in this evolution of diving mobility. In the 1920s and 1930s, scenes of divers walking under water were the dominant motif. From the 1940s to the 1960s, use of autonomous diving equipment led to a modern incarnation of the “mermen“ myth. From the 1950s to the 1970s, cinematic technology was able to create visions of entire oceanic ecosystems. Underwater films contributed to the period of machine-age exploration in a very particular way: they made virtual voyages of the ocean possible and thus helped to shape the current understanding of the oceans as part of Planet Earth.

Target Practice

The Algorithmics and Biopolitics of Race in Emerging Smart Border Practices and Technologies

Author: Tamara Vukov


Taking the Canada–U.S. border as a starting point to reflect on emergent smart border practices, this essay analyzes the differential yet central place that race continues to hold in the regulation of mobilities through the technopolitical mechanism of the border. Against claims that smart borders offer a more scientific and “postracial” mode of border control, the essay offers a situated conceptual reflection on how race is currently being (re)shaped by the complex intersection of biopolitical and algorithmic forms of governmentality as they converge in border technologies. The essay proposes to think through four different sets of smart border technologies that enact and track race as a biopolitical assemblage in particular ways, analyzing the associated perceptual codes each puts into play (biometric, movement sensing, drone, and databased). It closes by reflecting on how these algorithmic technologies inflect the biopolitical targeting of race and mobility in ways that serve to insulate smart border practices from democratic accoun tability.

Theorizing Mobility Transitions

An Interdisciplinary Conversation


Despite a surge of multidisciplinary interest in transition studies on low-carbon mobilities, there has been little evaluation of the current state of the field, and the contributions of different approaches such as the multi-level perspective (MLP), theories of practice, or the new mobilities paradigm. As a step in this direction, this contribution brings together scholars representing different theoretical perspectives and disciplinary fields in order to discuss processes and uneven geographies of mobility transitions as they are currently theorized. First, we reflect upon the role of geographers and other social scientists in envisioning, enabling, and criticizing mobility transitions. Second, we discuss how different theoretical approaches can develop mobility transitions scholarship. Finally, we highlight emerging issues in mobility transitions research.

Black Moves

Moments in the History of African-American Masculine Mobilities

Author: Tim Cresswell


This article explores the mutual constitution of blackness and mobility in the context of the United States. Using insights gained from the interdisciplinary field of mobility studies, it argues that mobilities have played a key role in the definition of blackness (particularly black masculinity) at the same time as blackness has been mapped onto particular forms of mobility. The article is constructed through a series of suggestive vignettes moving backward through time that illustrate continuities in the way forms of movement, narratives of mobility, and mobile practices have intersected with representations of African-American male bodies. Examples include end-zone celebrations in American. football, stop and frisk procedures in New York City, the medical pathologization of runaway slaves, and the Middle Passage of the slave trade.