The article outlines a possible course for mobility in Latin American history based on the diagnosis made by previous reviews on the field. It claims that although the emergence of new studies have signified a critical approach to transport technologies and greater emphasis on cultural and social practices of mobility, the term needs to be discussed more in theoretical terms to shape a common language among scholars from different perspectives. Moreover, mobility discussions should lead scholars to reconsider Latin America as a subject of analysis by critically revisiting the matter of periphery.
Dhan Zunino Singh
Dhan Zunino Singh
Considering ‘urban mobility as an important everyday life practice that produces meaning and culture,’ the present review discusses underground railway history in cultural terms. Following Colin Divall and George Revill, culture is understood here as representations and practices, and the underground railway ‘as mediation between the imaginable and the material.’ This review does not cover the prolific literature about this topic, but gathers perspectives from within and beyond transport or mobility history to contribute to a historical and comparative assessment of spatial representations and practices related to the production and uses of this subterranean mode of transport. The sources of these perspectives are Benson Bobrick’s Labyrinths of Iron, Rosalind Williams’s Notes on the Underground, Michael Brooks’s Subway City, David Pike’s Subterranean Cities, and Andrew Jenks’s A Metro of the Mount.
Dhan Zunino Singh
This article traces a genealogy of sexual harassment in Buenos Aires public transport, analyzing the intersection between gender and mobility through cultural history. It focuses on the first decades of the twentieth century in which the city became a modern metropolis and women became more visible commuters using public transport. It deals with the tensions, interactions, expectations, and representations that emerged from the increasing presence of female passengers within the male imaginary and how women became a sexualized object in order to contextualize sexual harassment and explain how it became a “natural” practice over time. Finally, this article argues that the case study triggers the need to analyze gendered mobilities paying more attention to the relationship between sexuality and transport to understand passengers as sexualized bodies.
A Discussion of the Circulation of Ideas and Their Local Uses and Meanings
Dhan Zunino Singh and Maximiliano Velázquez
The following critical review of notions of mobility in Argentina is motivated by the rapid spread of this globalized term and how it is being appropriated by transport scholars, policymakers, and technicians. Our concern as sociologists – now involved in cultural history and urban planning – and as members of the Argentinean University Transport Network, is the lack of a profound discussion that allows us to talk about a mobility turn.
We argue that the movement from transport to mobility tends to be a semantic change mostly because social sciences and humanities do not lead it, as experienced in other countries. Moreover, we believe that the particular way in which the notions of mobility spread in Argentina must be understood in the context of circulation and reception of ideas, experts, capital and goods, and re-visiting center–periphery debates.
Dhan Zunino Singh and Mikkel Thelle
As the centerpiece of the eighth T2M yearbook, the following interview about representations of mobility signals a new and exciting focus area for Mobility in History. In future issues we hope to include reviews that grapple more with how mobilities have been imagined and represented in the arts, literature, and film. Moreover, we hope the authors of future reviews will reflect on the ways they approached those representations. Such commentaries would provide valuable methodological insights, and we hope to begin that effort with this interview. We have asked four prominent mobility scholars to consider how they and their peers are currently confronting representations of mobility. This is particularly timely given the growing academic focus on practices, material mediation, and nonrepresentational theories, as well as on bodily reactions, emotions, and feelings that, according to those theories, cannot be represented or symbolized by words or images.
Dhan Zunino Singh, Tomás Errázuriz, Rodrigo Booth and Melina Piglia
For more than a decade a group of scholars has tried to reconstruct and analyze the history of mobilities in Latin America. Meetings such as the T2M annual conference and rich collaborative projects and publications have fostered a common approach to this work, a method built upon theoretical and methodological approaches as much as a common “sensibility” toward mobilities. Without being fully aware of his position, Guillermo Giucci has been an invaluable member of this group. Although distance and other circumstances have prevented his direct participation in the meetings mentioned above, his work has nonetheless traversed the region, capturing the attention of fellow mobility scholars and becoming an essential reference for most ongoing work. Giucci’s influential position stems from his willingness to study subjects that few of his colleagues have grappled with and to break with the typical isolation and lack of comparative research found in Latin American mobility history.