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Blue Sky Matter

Toward an (In-flight) Understanding of the Sensuousness of Mobilities Design

Ole B. Jensen and Phillip Vannini

In this article we present a theoretical framework for an understanding of the relationship between the material design of mobilities technologies and the multisensorial human body. Situating our work in the emerging field of “mobilities design” within the broader so-called mobilities turn, we focus on two very different aircraft types and their design (the large passenger jet Boeing 737 and the small propeller aircraft DHC-2) in order to explore the sensuousness of in-flight experience and atmosphere. We focus on the interior design of the aircraft as well as on their technical capacities, and end with a conclusion that offers a fl at ontological view of mobilities design. We argue that according the material design of mobilities technologies must be inscribed on equal terms with the sensing human subject if we are to claim that we have reached a better understanding of how mobility feels.

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The Map and the Territory

The Seventh International Road Congress, Germany 1934

Kristina Skåden

In transnational history of traffic, transport, and mobility, historians have been arguing for studying organizations as “transnational system builders” in the establishment and modification of transnational infrastructure. Emphasis has been placed on examining human actors. Here, I argue that the role of material objects, the nonhuman actors, should also be taken into account by investigating how a particular map matters. The major research issue is, therefore: How can we understand and analyze how the Nazi regime put the map Deutschlandkarte displayed at the exhibition Die Strasse (Munich, 1934) into play? In addition, how did the map figure in transnational system building during and after the seventh International Road Congress arranged by the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses? Insights from transnational history in the fields of traffic, transport, and mobility as well as material cultural studies, critical mapping, and actor-network theory inform this article.

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Miriam Shadis

This article examines a series of wills created by members of the royal family of Portugal over three generations, from the mid-twelfth to the mid-thirteenth century. Wills served different functions depending on the political context of their makers: fundamentally pious documents, expressing hopes for salvation, they also worked to shape the political future of the realm. Above all, these wills demonstrate certain features of material life and the deep personal connections enjoyed by members of this large and fractious family.

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Bina Fernandez

International migration in the contemporary era of globalization generates complex inequalities that require a non-statist approach to justice. This paper considers how the analysis of these inequalities may be fruitfully undertaken using Nancy Fraser’s framework of redistribution, recognition, and representation. The discussion uses empirical material from a case study of Ethiopian women who migrate as domestic workers to countries in the Middle East. The paper suggests potential directions for more transformative approaches to justice within the context of international migration.

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Christian Kehrt

A closer look at military pilots promises new insights into processes of automation, changing man-machine relations, and the cultural and political meaning of these experiences. The review of recent scholarship is combined with concrete historical examples. By drawing from the German case between the two world wars, the author discusses how the material and cultural experience of flight can be investigated and which new directions such an approach makes possible.

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Georgine Clarsen

Paul Gilroy observed in 2001 that there were “surprisingly few” discussions of automobiles in histories of African American vernacular cultures, in spite of their “epoch-making impact.” He argued that a “ distinctive history of propertylessness and material deprivation” had led to a disproportionate African American investment in automobiles. This article considers how car culture has also operated as a salve for the “indignities of white supremacy” for Indigenous Australians, though on very different terms.

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Jørgen Burchardt

The main question for this article is: How has research in Danish transport history developed over time? How strong has research activity been, and what topics, theories, and methods have been used? A scientometrical method is used as the basis for this investigation. This is useful in understanding the development of trends within specific areas of study and tracking the dynamics of ongoing research. The article will use as its source material the published books on the topic of transport written about Denmark.

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Anna Edmundson, Margo Neale, Michèle Rivet, Brett Mason, Katie Kyung, Rebecca Gibson, Alison K. Brown, Tatiana Argounova-Low, Maria Lucia de Niemeyer Matheus Loureiro, Charlotte Hyltén-Cavallius and Fredrik Svanberg

MEETING REPORTS

Return of the Native: Contestation, Collaboration, and Co-authorship in Museum Spaces, Australian National University, 18–19 June 2015

Access Is a Human Right: The Federation of International Human Rights Museums Conference, Te Papa, Wellington, 23–25 September 2015

PROJECT REPORTS

Narrative Objects: The Sakha Summer Festival and Cultural Revitalization

Object, Document, and Materiality: Outline of an Ongoing Research Project

Museums Beyond Homogeneity: Museums and Diversity in Sweden

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Stephen Prince

When Sam Peckinpah turned over his raw footage for Ride the High Country

(1962) to the MGM studio editor, she declared that the material he had filmed

for the final gunfight was incompetent and that it could not be edited together

in a coherent way. Viewed today, the scene does not seem especially

transgressive in its treatment of continuity, but in that earlier period when

studio editing rules were more conservative, Peckinpah’s disregard for standardized

camera set-ups and conventional coverage perplexed and infuriated

MGM’s editor.

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Listening to the Troubled Waters

Ethnographical Work as a Reciprocal Activity

Jaana Kouri

The history of Lypyrtti, an old pilot village in the southwestern coast of Finland, is for many villagers a story of depopulation of a vital community during the last fifty years. In 2005 the villagers of Lypyrtti expressed their interest in collecting the oral history of their village. This material is gathered, edited and released in the context of research on the topic of 'narrated environment', which draws attention to the interdisciplinary methods and theories of the practices of place making