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Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Juliano Fiori

necessarily an epistemological project of deconstruction. But to contribute to a counterhegemonic politics, this project must move beyond the diagnosis of epistemicide to challenge the particular substance of European thought that has produced systems of

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Bicycle Politics

Review Essay

Jennifer Bonham

J. Harry Wray, Pedal Power: The Quiet Rise of the Bicycle in American Public Life (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2008)

Jeff Mapes, Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2009)

Zack Furness, One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010)

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Mathieu Flonneau

Adding to discussion started by Gijs Mom and Peter Merriman in Yearbook 6, this text is a plea for scholars to claim a role in the politicization of mobility. Globalization is profoundly upsetting previous mobility practices and raising important questions about democratic, equitable access to mobility. This essay argues that a historic understanding of mobility can shed light onto how representations of different users and modes of transportation affect current political debates. Historical readings remind citizens to be wary of seductive, novel, and high-tech mobility solutions—concepts that have persisted, in a variety of forms, for centuries. Today's “smart mobility” and sustainable development, for all their promise, must be compared to historic trends and weighed against today's low-tech modes of travel that persist in the face of modernity.

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Valeria Gruschetsky

Argentina is characterized by its large territory and diverse geography. In a book that has defined Argentinian historiography, Halperin Donghi analyzes the national geography in detail and investigates the first ten tumultuous years after the May Revolution of 1810, which defined the political, economic, and social centrality of the Pampas and Littoral regions. Halperin Donghi intertwines geography with politics and economics, providing a vivid image of Argentina’s physical space. Such description challenges readers’ assumptions

about the historical problems arising from mobility, the development of modern transportation systems and their corresponding infrastructure. These topics have been covered in Argentinian historiography but from very different approaches. The historiography of mobility in Argentina reveals diverse analytical perspectives, including economic, cultural, and urban history.

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Judith A. Nicholson and Mimi Sheller

invited contributors to rethink how unequal relations of power inherent in both mobility and race shape a racialized mobility politics. The articles that follow examine what Cotten Seiler has called the “racialization of mobility,” 2 meaning the ways in

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Vanessa Stjernborg, Mekonnen Tesfahuney, and Anders Wretstrand

This study focuses on Seved, a segregated and socioeconomically “poor” neighborhood in the city of Malmö in Sweden. It has attracted wide media coverage, a possible consequence of which is its increased stigmatization. The wide disparity between perceived or imagined fear and the actual incidence of, or exposure to, violence attests to the important role of the media in shaping mental maps and place images. Critical discourse analysis of daily newspaper articles shows that Seved is predominantly construed as unruly and a place of lawlessness. Mobility comprises an important aspect of the stigmatization of places, the politics of fear, and discourses of the “other.” In turn, place stigmatization, discourses of the other, and the politics of fear directly and indirectly affect mobility strategies of individuals and groups.

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Naila Maier-Knapp

suggest that ASEAN integration from within has contributed significantly to peace and economic prosperity in the region and hence, nurtured political cohesion at the regional level. Yet, there remain political cracks within the ASEAN edifice which

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(Dis)Connected Rail

Infrastructural Suspension and Phatic Politics in Romania

Adrian Deoanca

The political force of infrastructures is often attributed to their functioning as designed, while their political afterlives remain underexplored. In this article, I explore ethnographically the phatic force of ruins of infrastructure, by dwelling on a liminal railroad segment in Romania that remains unrehabilitated many years after its breakdown. Such an open-ended state of suspension allows the isolation of infrastructure’s political and affective dimensions. The Giurgiu-Bucharest railroad met its demise in 2005 in the wake of heavy floods, producing an infrastructural gap that impacts local mobility and unravels the postsocialist social contract. State authorities and citizens engage in tactics of remediation that, while unsuccessful in resuming traffic, maintain a sense of phatic connection that kindles nostalgia for the past and frustrates anticipation of the future. These tactics make the railroad a medium for hope and at the same time a symbol for the absolute impossibility of hope.

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Melina Piglia

Commercial aviation has played a significant economic, political, and symbolic role in Latin America–not only propelling economic development, but also helping to the processes of territorial integration and sovereign state construction. Despite the important role that commercial aviation has played in countries like Argentina, it has not received much attention from academic historians. This essay reviews the few works done on Latin American and Argentine aviation history but mainly proposes a research agenda, based on the Argentine case, for the study of the history of Latin American aeromobility from a social, cultural, technological, economic and political perspective.

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Kyle Shelton

It is striking how much recent scholarship on the mobility history of the United States has come to emphasize moments of relative motionlessness. More concerned with events in the halls of government than on the open road, historians have moved away from the nuts and bolts of transportation systems—the vehicles, the modes, and the infrastructure—to instead investigate how these networks have been shaped by larger political and social forces. Scholars have investigated these influences by highlighting how groups of Americans have codified, contested, or perceived the nation’s transportation system. By centering their studies on actors, rather than the actual systems, mobility scholars have framed their subjects in new ways and linked their subfield to political, legal, and social history.