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Historical Fragments’ Mobile Echo

Encountering the Current Refugee Crisis with Ai Weiwei

Susan E. Bell and Kathy Davis

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Is the Kingdom of Bicycles Rising Again?

Cycling, Gender, and Class in Postsocialist China

Hilda Rømer Christensen

Abstract

The is article focuses on new types of cycling in postsocialist China, especially mountain and sports biking, and on the particular entanglements of gender and class brought with them. The shift in mobility and biking from the Mao era to the postsocialist China is analyzed in the contexts of cultural-analytical notions of global assemblages and gendered interpellations. Based on Chinese newspaper materials and fieldwork in Beijing and Shanghai, the article examines the social and gendered implications of the new biking cultures. These new biking practices mainly interpellate new middle-class men and masculinities as part of an exclusive leisure culture. If the “Kingdom of the Bicycles” is going to rise again, there is a need for a broader scope that addresses access for all, including women and families, as smart bikers, as well as biking as a daily mode of transportation.

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Terry-Ann Jones

Abstract

The concept of internal colonialism has been used to frame studies of marginalized populations exploited by the dominant or majority population. Brazil’s regional inequalities have gained notoriety, as wealth tends to be concentrated in the southern regions, while poverty is most rampant in the north and northeast. Inequality in Brazil is connected to geographic region and related to complex factors such as race, ethnicity, color, kinship, and class, and is deeply rooted in Brazil’s colonial history. Using data from in-depth, qualitative interviews with seasonal sugarcane workers, this article argues that the inequality that motivates their migration pattern is rooted in internal colonialism. These temporary labor migrants travel from northern and northeastern states to the cane fields of São Paulo, where labor demands are high and they face many of the challenges that international labor migrants encounter, including discrimination, poor wages, and inhumane working conditions.

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Alejandro Miranda

Abstract

Current scholarly work on mobilities has focused largely on how practices of mobility produce space, place, and landscape through their enactment and representation. There has been significantly less attention to the study of how social practices move, that is, how socially recognized ways of doing are produced through mobility. Although the literature of various disciplines generally agrees that practices are on the move at different scales, the mobilities of practice have yet to be developed explicitly. This article contributes to this emerging area of research by examining the case of music making. Drawing on ethnographic research, it analyzes how son jarocho, a musical tradition from southeast Mexico, is currently diffused and re-created across communities of practitioners in the United States. In doing so, the processes of diffusion, reproduction, and transformation of social practice are dependent on, and reciprocally related to, the movement produced during performances.

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Moving Onward?

Secondary Movers on the Fringes of Refugee Mobility in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya

Jolien Tegenbos and Karen Büscher

Abstract

This article examines the migration-asylum nexus in the microcosm of Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya by focusing on refugees and asylum seekers who move onward from a first refuge, in Central-East Africa. By drawing on qualitative ethnographic field research in Kakuma, the article outlines how such “secondary movements” cause many anxieties, as the distinction between refugees and migrants is blurred by motivations that are not exclusively protection related. Based on a Foucauldian analysis of power and discourse, we argue that this creates a contested social and semantic space wherein all actors struggle to uphold the rigid distinction. Additionally, by combining the strengths of migration studies’ consideration for policy categories and mobility studies’ holistic perspective toward migration, the article aims to further deepen academic interaction between two literature traditions in order to enhance our understanding of how mobility is “shaped” and “lived” by people in wartime situations.

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Ovarian Psycos

An Urban Cadence of Power and Precarity

Jennifer Ruth Hosek

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Wake in Guangzhou

The History of the Earth

Maria Thereza Alves

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Ambivalent Mobilities in the Pacific

“Savagery” and “Civilization” in the Australian Interwar Imaginary

Nicholas Halter

Abstract

Australian travel writing of the interwar period expanded with the growth of tourism in the Pacific Islands and the development of publishing and literacy at home. This article focuses on how the Australian middlebrow imagination was shaped by the diverse travel accounts of Australian tourists, adventurers, executives, scientists, officials, and missionaries writing at this time. Many of their texts borrowed and blended multiple discourses, simultaneously promoting the islands as educational and exotic, and appealing to an Australian middlebrow readership. In this article I argue that not only was travel writing middlebrow in its content and style, but the islands themselves were a particularly middlebrow setting. This is evident in representations of the islander “savage” in the region of Melanesia, a prevalent theme in Australian travelogues. I argue that this middlebrow literature was characterized by ambivalent and often contradictory ideas about the civilized “self” and the savage “other.”

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Carlos López Galviz

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Becoming “Pacific-Minded”

Australian Middlebrow Writers in the 1940s and the Mobility of Texts

Anna Johnston

Abstract

The travel writer Frank Clune saw World War II as a turning point in Australia’s consciousness, turning its inhabitants’ attention to the Pacific region. Similarly, the writer Ernestine Hill was delighted to find new American markets for her Australian books in wartime as troops were mobilized across the Pacific theater. In America, as Janice Radway has shown, the sentimental mode of “middlebrow personalism” enabled writers to engage their readers in wider geopolitical affairs. Middlebrow intellectuals, texts, and institutions were crucial in educating Americans about their evolving midcentury relationships with Asia, just as writers such as Clune and Hill educated Australians about the Pacific: a coalition of American and Australian mobilities and imaginaries in middlebrow midcentury print culture. This article examines the multiple ways in which these books and their writers “made Australia” in terms of a regional imaginary that extended across the Pacific during this period.