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Uncertain Mobilities

A View from the Past

Colin G. Pooley

Contemporary society assumes high levels of unimpeded mobility, and disruptions to the ability to move quickly and easily can cause considerable concern. This paper examines the notion of mobility uncertainty and disruption from an historical perspective, arguing that interruptions to mobility have long been a characteristic of everyday travel. It is suggested that what has changed is not so much the extent or nature of disruption, but rather the resilience of transport systems and societal norms and expectations about travel. Data are taken from five examples of life writing produced by residents of the United Kingdom during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The texts are used to illustrate the travel problems encountered and the strategies adopted to deal with them. A concluding discussion examines these themes in the context of twenty-first century mobility.

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Gijs Mom

pioneers has meanwhile morphed into “manufactured uncertainty,” 3 the unique knowledge of flood-affected children, the “sterilized” mobility systems of the homeless and the “parkouring” youngsters who take pictures of each other in front of their destroyed

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Understanding Mobilities in a Dangerous World

Gail Adams-Hutcheson, Holly Thorpe, and Catharine Coleborne

, “Mobile Disasters: Catastrophes in the Age of Manufactured Uncertainty,” offers a macro view when he considers how disasters themselves are highly mobile. Homing in on twenty-first-century disasters, he is able to provocatively portray how initially

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Ocean, Motion, Emotion

Mobilities and Mobilizations in the Pacific

Matt Matsuda

simply connected geographic locales, but connections and links that generate places invested with emotions and historical meanings: uncertainty and affirmation, struggle, loss, mourning, denial, anxiety, and hope. To illustrate these discussions, I might

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Mobile Disasters

Catastrophes in the Age of Manufactured Uncertainty

Steve Matthewman

, and environmental sciences. Part of this project involves reckoning with industrialization’s unintended consequences (which I discuss here as the condition of manufactured uncertainty), particularly the continued plunder of scarce, nonrenewable, and

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Kudzai Matereke

, precariousness, uncertainties, and vulnerability. Global “flows” are not always smooth as ordinarily suggested. They can be stalled as the “extended case study” highlights. The planned migration from Italy to Nigeria turns into frustration and becomes an

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Worldly Tastes

Mobility and the Geographical Imaginaries of Interwar Australian Magazines

Victoria Kuttainen and Susann Liebich

presents relative immobility. Stories of sentimental domestic social melodrama prevail, highlighting tensions in romantic relationships or misunderstandings based on uncertainty about changing gender roles and social expectations. For stories set out of

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Lazy Labor, Modernization, and Coloniality

Mobile Cultures between the Andes and the Amazon around 1900

Jaime Moreno Tejada

was able to correct the uncertainties of transportation between the Andes and the Amazon. In 1889 the idea was raised that all postal deliveries should be made by two native porters, which in theory would increase the chances of punctuality. 55 Four

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Alessandro Jedlowski

the precariousness, vulnerability, and uncertainty of their present was within reach. Ultimately, the (filled) container was an object able to strengthen Larry and Venus’s self-confidence. They were no longer dreaming about economic success—they were

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Johannes Görbert, Russ Pottle, Jeff Morrison, Pramod K. Nayar, Dirk Göttsche, Lacy Marschalk, Dorit Müller, Angela Fowler, Rebecca Mills, and Kevin Mitchell Mercer

, watching the sunrise as “the runways were awash with bubblegum light, and the airplanes started to glow” (70). Romance is accompanied by uncertainty or danger, also vividly evoked: “Thus another thing about airports that weather exposes is a degree of