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Rail Networks, Mobility, and the Cultures of Cities

Introduction to the Special Section

Steven D. Spalding

Scholars writing about railway mobility have pointed to the rails' impact on the culture of cities, while urban theorists and critics have cited the crucial importance of movement and mobility to how cities are lived. A truly interdisciplinary approach, which balances the priorities of mobility studies and urban studies, and informs itself through compelling cultural artifacts (including visual, literary, or other media) offers insight into the processes of urban cultural production and their close link to the discursive valences of urban rail mobility.

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Vistas of Future New Mobility Studies

Transfers and Transformations

Georgine Clarsen, Peter Merriman and Mimi Sheller

, the field of mobilities was still new and boasted only one dedicated, broad-ranging journal, Mobilities , which saw its first issue in 2006 and focused largely on scholarship from the social sciences, most notably sociology but also cultural geography

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Mobility and Infrastructure in the Russian Arctic

Das Sein bestimmt das Bewusstsein?

Nikolai Vakhtin

This special issue of Sibirica arose from a 2015 panel that was part of the annual conference at the European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP). The panel—Mobility and Infrastructure in the Russian Arctic: Das Sein bestimmt das Bewusstsein? 1

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Kyle Shelton

What good are mobility scholars? And what does our scholarship—be it rooted in history, geography, sociology, anthropology, or any other discipline—provide the world outside academia? Those are questions I have been pondering for the last year, ever since Gijs Mom and Peter Merriman engaged in a stimulating polemic in the pages of Yearbook Six. Must we move beyond our academic silos, as Mom suggested, and peek (if not step boldly) into interdisciplinary work and even policy? Can the scholar be a planner or policy maker? Can the historian offer insights on the future of mobility? And what of our subjects? Should our gaze be turned to the international? The comparative? Or, as Merriman argued, should we polish well-trod national mobilities in ways that allow new subjects, local particularities, and actors to shine through?

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Kyle Shelton

This is the eighth issue of Mobility in History. It is also the last issue that will appear as a stand-alone journal. While no new versions of the publication will be created in the existing mold, the publication and the types of work it has published over nearly a decade of production are far from disappearing. Elements of the Yearbook will become an essential part of T2M’s website, providing a key interface between the organization, its members, and the public. Further, with a strong stable of publications in operation, some articles traditionally found in Mobility in History may have landing spots in Transfers and The Journal of Transport History. Finally, back issues of Mobility in History will remain accessible to members in perpetuity, providing a meaningful archive of work.

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Student Mobility and Internationalisation

Rationales, Rhetoric and 'Institutional Isomorphism'

Vered Amit

Drawing on interviews with Canadian and Australian officials, this article examines the frame of student mobility within the broad discourse of internationalisation. Difficulties in definition and admitted shortfalls in achieving progress even on the more easily articulated benchmarks of student mobility, do not seem to staunch the enthusiasm of a variety of officials for the idea of internationalisation. This article will examine some of the contradictions framing these institutional discourses of internationalisation. These include the gaps between institutional claims and their substantiation, between lauding the internationalism inculcated by student mobility programmes and the more mixed motivations or engagements of student clients, and between claims for the entrepreneurial potential of internationalisation as against the uncertainty of its outcomes. I argue that a long-standing Western view of travel as a vehicle for self-cultivation and transformation combined with competitive efforts to keep up with perceived trends in the fields of post-secondary education are producing a momentum that is elusive even as it threatens to bulldoze its way across important institutional practices and procedures.

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Judith A. Nicholson and Mimi Sheller

Race matters. “Too often scholars discuss mobility in the abstract, assuming or omitting the highly consequential matter of the identity of those who move and its effects on how they move.” 1 This special issue on Mobility and Race has invited

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Introduction

Understanding Mobilities in a Dangerous World

Gail Adams-Hutcheson, Holly Thorpe and Catharine Coleborne

millions of refugees to travel long distances in search of a safe place to call “home.” The Syrian refugee crisis in particular has ignited the fear of the figure of the refugee and the impact of their mobilities on host nations. 1 Politically, now is also

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Introduction

Print Culture, Mobility, and The Pacific, 1920–1950

Victoria Kuttainen and Susann Liebich

, and more people than ever traveled across the globe as migrants, workers, armed forces, and leisure travelers, travel and mobility came to be symbols of modernity. As Timothy Cresswell has noted, to be modern meant to be mobile. 1 This growing

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Black Moves

Moments in the History of African-American Masculine Mobilities

Tim Cresswell

This article builds on previous work on the politics of mobility within the broad remit of mobility studies to ask how such an approach might illuminate the history of black geographies in the United States. 1 As befits a mobilities approach the