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.
Italian mobility history studies have seen remarkable developments since this journal published a first report on the topic in 2009.1 A review of main trends in Italian mobility studies since then reveals innovative developments opening new fields of investigation, with uneven but altogether appealing results, achieved not only by academic researchers but also by enthusiasts and journalists. Three themes are particularly discernible: mobility history and collective identity, denunciation of deficient transport system management, and a renewed attention
to business history.
Mobility is a key word for understanding gender and class formation. In a recent review of feminism, gender, and mobility, historian Georgine Clarsen reminds us that movement never occurs through neutral physical space; it involves gendered bodies through gendered spaces, by means of transport technologies that are often deeply gendered. Furthermore, gendered meanings, practices, and experiences change greatly over time and location. For all these reasons, mobility is—and has to be—contextualized. This article takes inspiration from Clarsen and investigates recent literature on the issue of gender and everyday mobility in urban Asia across a number of academic disciplines.
The article relates the study of mobility history to the fields of history of emotion and affect theory in the promotion of a cross-disciplinary research agenda. Taking as its point of departure a workshop in Copenhagen on feeling and space, the text draws lines and points of potential interface between historical mobility studies and the two related fields.
Breathing Fresh Air into Mobility Studies from Down Under
Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga
As Georgine Clarsen summarizes this special section on Australian and settler colonial Pacific, these four articles add to the “rereading [of] settler-colonial formations through practices and representations of movement [and] circulation.” But that is only half the truth. They also constitute counterrepresentations. They deal not only with the stasis that follows European settling as a process but also with counter- and antimobilities that Indigenous peoples mount: against inward movement, against disruptive settling and forceful displacement of the Indigenous from their lands, and against emplacement and settlement upon it. The scholars in this special section present an example for studies of mobility in the colonial setting in two ways. First, they decenter technology and center the human factor, for which they get full marks. Second they allow mobilities to emanate from the subjects and context of study, rather than letting conceptions of Western-centric, technocentric history of transport and mobility studies guide them.
The article reviews the main literature on tourism and transport history in Uruguay, showing the recent progress on studies of mobility in the shaping of the national territory as well as new themes and periods that need to be studied. The article points out that the trilogy of tourism, mobility, and territory is relevant to understanding the image of Uruguay as a tourist country. Along with the importance given to road infrastructure, modes of transport, travelers, destinations, communication, and so on, the article highlights mobility processes such as internal migration provoked by tourism as phenomena that require more attention.
An Interdisciplinary Conversation
Cristina Temenos, Anna Nikolaeva, Tim Schwanen, Tim Cresswell, Frans Sengers, Matt Watson and Mimi Sheller
Despite a surge of multidisciplinary interest in transition studies on low-carbon mobilities, there has been little evaluation of the current state of the field, and the contributions of different approaches such as the multi-level perspective (MLP), theories of practice, or the new mobilities paradigm. As a step in this direction, this contribution brings together scholars representing different theoretical perspectives and disciplinary fields in order to discuss processes and uneven geographies of mobility transitions as they are currently theorized. First, we reflect upon the role of geographers and other social scientists in envisioning, enabling, and criticizing mobility transitions. Second, we discuss how different theoretical approaches can develop mobility transitions scholarship. Finally, we highlight emerging issues in mobility transitions research.
Transfers and Transformations
With our eighth volume of this journal, the Transfers editorial team celebrates our achievements under our outgoing editor, Gijs Mom. This article outlines our priorities under our new editor, Dagmar Schäfer, and reaffirms our commitment to the burgeoning field of new mobility studies. The presentations by Mimi Sheller and Peter Merriman, fellow members of the editorial team, at our journal’s panel at the recent T2M conference, “Vistas of Future Mobility Studies: Transfers and Transformations” is summed up for the convenience of those who were not able to attend. This journal will continue to encourage and publish work that places mobilities at the center of our scholarship, with special emphasis on the humanities. Our commitment is to good, innovative, activist scholarship that can help us move toward alternative mobility futures.
Mobility requires waiting, especially in intermodal transportation systems. People must wait in airports, stations, and vehicles; at bus stops; in queues at registration desks and luggage checks; at boarding; and elsewhere. Waiting is part of the public transportation routine. As Ohmori and Harata report, an average commute time for train commuters in Tokyo is sixty-nine minutes.
This article reviews the recent studies on ICT mobilities in Finland. Based on the reviewed literature, the article makes three arguments. First, literature presents a distorted view that the ways of using ICTs have become increasingly universal. Second, researchers have not paid sufficient attention to the materiality of ICTs. Third, the most concrete consequences of ICT mobilities have largely remained unstudied.