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Containing mobilities

Changing time and space of maritime labor

Johanna Markkula

Santiago's story to highlight three issues that are central to this article. First, Santiago's description of the short port stays and the transfer of cargo out at sea points to a set of transformations in maritime shipping where the increased mobility of

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New Mobilities, Spaces, and Ideas to Market

European Travel Writers and the Making of a Genre—Comment

Steven D. Spalding

hold the promise of creatively bridging this journal’s interest in mobilities with the concerns of travel writing studies. The contributions here seek to inspire a new cast to both Mobility Studies and Literary Studies, driving a cross-pollination of

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Race and the Micropolitics of Mobility

Mobile Autoethnography on a South African Bus Service

Bradley Rink

between race, gender, class, safety, and convenience that complicate the South African transportation landscape, as well as the normative discourses of mobility that privilege some practices while restricting others. 1 My bus travel takes place in a

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Mobility and Infrastructure in the Russian Arctic

Das Sein bestimmt das Bewusstsein?

Nikolai Vakhtin

This special issue of Sibirica arose from a 2015 panel that was part of the annual conference at the European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP). The panel—Mobility and Infrastructure in the Russian Arctic: Das Sein bestimmt das Bewusstsein? 1

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Kudzai Matereke

The articles in this special section highlight the need to adopt “an African-focused perspective” to understand African experiences of mobility. 1 The impetus for an African-focused perspective that places African experiences at the center

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Vandana Sukheeja and JapPreet Kaur Bhangu

Before the pandemic caused it to pause, mobility had become a buzzword in the contemporary world. In the first two decades of the third millennium, there has been a tremendous increase in the unhampered movement of people across cultures. The

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Alla Bolotova, Anastasia Karaseva, and Valeria Vasilyeva

compare mobility practices and senses of place in these regions. We demonstrate how similar social practices work differently in regions considered to be parts of one macroregion, the Russian Far North. At the same time, we call into question some

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Andreas Hackl

Exile is an ancient concept of political displacement expressing the enduring consequences for those affected by it. At least since antiquity exile has been a particular existence but also a form of figuration for those writing about it. This slippage contributed to a widening gap between experiences of exile as a condition of displacement and the qualities the figure symbolises, thus complicating the question of who may be considered exiled under what circumstances. Using this slippage between condition and figure productively, this article first traces the figure through Edward Said and outlines the exile's relation to other key figures of mobility and diaspora. A second analytical move compares this figure to anthropological research and to the particular case of Palestinians living in exile ‘at home’. Once reinstated as a condition of displacement for the anthropology of mobility, exile illuminates the subjective and temporal dimensions of political displacement and its enduring aftermath. It helps us to grasp the myriad processes by which people are excluded, allowed and forced to move, while also illustrating the forced movement of boundaries and political projects across and around people.

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Jackie Feldman

Zygmunt Bauman wrote that whereas the modern problem was to construct an identity and keep it stable, the postmodern one was to avoid fixation and keep all options open. He characterises this shift from solid modernity to liquid postmodernity as the movement ‘from pilgrim to tourist’: the pilgrim follows a lifelong path through the desert of life. Along the road, sacrifices are made, pleasures foregone, byways ignored, immediate rewards forsaken, to achieve one's ultimate goal. In liquid modernity, the pilgrim is replaced by the tourist, the systematic seeker of diversity, pleasure and novelty. I argue that Bauman's image of the ‘plodding pilgrim’ does violence to the multiplicity of pilgrim experiences. I show how historical pilgrimage has involved risk‐taking and serendipity, a suspension of social ties and routines as well as a desire for transcendence. Contemporary pilgrimage often includes a desire for intimacy, intense bodily experience, changed attitudes towards time and nature and the quest for self‐transformation. Pilgrimage may forge alternative bonds of community and provide new ways of imagining futures. The pilgrim, far from being an icon for a frozen past, is a figure that embodies many aspects of contemporary mobility and identity.

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Key figure of mobility

The flâneur

Jamie Coates

The flâneur acts as a key figure for understanding the relationship between the individual, modernity and the city. A reference to dandy young gentlemen, who walked, performed and loitered within the arcades of late 19th‐century Paris, the flâneur has transitioned from a literary and theoretical figure to one used in mobile urban ethnographies. The flâneur, traditionally male, is a figure of pedestrian mobility whose sensorial and mobile engagements with the urban landscape generate distinct forms of creative practice. For this reason, the flâneur has been invoked in relation to the methods and experiences of the ethnographer, who moves and takes note in similar ways. This paper conducts a review of extant literature on the flâneur in ethnographic research, which shows a strong connection between this key figure and its ties to a European tradition dealing with Anglo‐European (post)modernities. It has also inspired a range of methodological innovations in urban ethnography more broadly. Finally, through the case of Tokyo, the paper asks the question of who is drawn to flânerie and who is deterred from it, demonstrating how the transgressive potentialities of flânerie are only desirable for some.