Conference: “Entangled Im/Mobilities: Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences”. University of Vienna, 18 – 20 March 2021

The Research Platform Mobile Cultures and Societies at the University of Vienna is pleased to announce that the deadline for submitting proposals for its conference “Entangled Im/Mobilities: Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences” has been extended and is now 31 October 2020

The conference will take place on 18–20 March 2021, hopefully with physical presence in Vienna, but with options for online participation. The conference aims to encourage discussion on how entangled im/mobilities interact and are co-produced to reveal complex relations of meaning, shaped by geographic, cultural, and historical contexts. It seeks to bring together reflections from the humanities and the social sciences to celebrate the multifaceted field of mobilities research, expanding across and beyond disciplines, tackling topics ranging from im/mobilities resulting from climate change to cultural and literary representations of im/mobilities. 

In times of crisis, im/mobilities within a global-local continuum become ever more perceptible, yet not equally transparent. As the COVID-19 pandemic has most recently shown, im/mobilities are embedded in and constituted by social relations, practices and structures. These entanglements are by no means new in academia and have been theorized within the field of mobility studies in the past years. The multifaceted field of mobilities research, expanding across and beyond disciplines, tackles topics ranging from im/mobilities resulting from climate change and (post)colonial displacements, through experiential qualities of embodied movement, to cultural and literary representations and materializations of im/mobilities.

This conference, organized by the Research Platform Mobile Cultures and Societies, conceptualizes im/mobilities as the potential for movement or stillness which is »entangled in the way societies and cultures assign meaning through talk, images and other representations and live out their lives« (Adey, referring to Cresswell, 2017: 7). The myriad entanglements between mobile and immobile actors, practices and objects shed light on different Regimes of Mobility (Glick Schiller and Salazar 2013). Through entanglements, circumscribed within unequal power relations and colonial legacies, translocal mobilities may be perpetuated or reinforced via spatio-temporal entrapments and friction »to keep global power in motion« (Tsing 2005: 6) – leading to the intersection of different scales and modes of im/mobility. Further levels of entanglement ensue from the fact that im/mobilities arise through interactions between human and non-human actors, material objects as well as the natural and built environment or spatiotemporal structures. What is more, im/mobilities are inscribed in semantic contexts and relations of meaning, becoming subjects of artistic and epistemic representations, but also of institutional discourses and policies. In order to cover a wide variety of topics and to combine reflections from the humanities and the social sciences, we have divided the conference into the following panels:

We invite proposals for the following thematic panels:

1. Entangled Inequalities: Intersectional Approaches towards Public Health Crises
2. “Points of Entanglement” in and beyond the Caribbean
3. Entangled Im/mobilities in Postcolonial African History
4. Of Other Mobilities. Entangled Embodiments and Narratives Between Mobilization and Immobilization
5. Mobility Justice? The Underrepresented Entanglement of Immobilities in Climate and Environmental Change
6. Open Panel: Topics not related to panel 1-5 that contribute to “Entangled Im/Mobilites”

We accept proposals in English and German for papers to be presented in panel format (a 20-minute presentation followed by a discussion) as well as artistic contributions (e.g. performance, poetry or short films). We especially encourage submissions from early-career scholars.

More details on the topic, panels and submission procedure can be found in the attached call (English and German version) and on our website: https://mobilecultures.univie.ac.at/en/conference2021/.

We would be grateful if you could share the call for papers with anyone who might be interested. Should you have any conference-related questions, please write us at entangled.mobilities@univie.ac.at.  

Research Platform Mobile Cultures and Societies: https://mobilecultures.univie.ac.at/

Photo credit: Wien – Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna, taken by Txllxt TxllxT.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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