Understanding Mobilities in a Dangerous World
Gail Adams-Hutcheson, Holly Thorpe, and Catharine Coleborne
The mobilities framework offers a particularly informative and potent paradigm through which to draw together interdisciplinary scholarship about the present world. In this introduction—and indeed, derived from a symposia on mobilities in a dangerous world—we explore the dynamics of contemporary mobilities through a critical focus on “dangerous” spaces and places. We discuss the potential of a sustained dialogue between mobilities studies and our focus on risk, adversity, and perceptions of danger. Although disasters link to four of the articles, ideas are expanded to draw on the multiple scales of risk and danger in everyday life within and across an array of international contexts. In this special issue, dynamic mobilities are facilitated by ships, skate-boards, buildings, art, and cities; they are also encountered in darkness, in light, and through bodies as well as physical and imagined movements.
Mimi Sheller and Gijs Mom
Print Culture, Mobility, and The Pacific, 1920–1950
Victoria Kuttainen and Susann Liebich
This special section considers the interconnections of print culture and mobility across the Pacific in the early twentieth century. The contributors explore how print culture was part of the practices, experiences, mediations, and representations of travel and mobility, and understand mobility in a number of ways: from the movement of people and texts across space and the mobility of ideas to the opportunities of social mobility through travel. The special section moves beyond studies of travel writing and the literary analysis of travel narratives by discussing a range of genres, by paying attention to readers and reception, and by focusing on actual mobility and its representation as well as the mediation between the two.
Peter Merriman, Georgine Clarsen, and Gijs Mom
Florian Krobb and Dorit Müller
Travel is a special form of human mobility that is subject to different historical conditions and one that, deliberately or not, always entails knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer. Travel facilitates the encounter with peoples, ideas, and material artifacts. In the age of Enlightenment, the nexus between travel and knowledge gained a new intensity, as the movement beyond the known turned into a specific scientific project with manifestations in theoretical reflection as well as literary practice. In the special section on Travel Writing and Knowledge Transfer contributors from the fields of Literary and Travel Studies investigate how human mobility gains epistemic significance in the exploration of nature and foreign cultures. The articles focus on conditions and forms of knowledge production while traveling (itinerant knowledge). They analyze how observations, experiences, and reflections made on the move are molded and transformed in fiction and nonfiction, and they discuss the impact on European cultural and intellectual horizons.
Georgine Clarsen and Gijs Mom
Moments in the History of African-American Masculine Mobilities
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.