Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Over the past decade, a new approach to the study of mobilities has emerged involving research on the combined movement of peoples, animals, objects, ideas, and information. This can be viewed through the lens of complex networks, relational dynamics, and the redistribution or reification of power generated by movement. But despite the emphasis on movement, this “mobility turn” must be viewed in the light of the relationships between mobilities and associated immobilities: borders as well as border crossings, isolation as well as connectivity, disability as well as ability. It thus encompasses both the embodied practice of movement and the representations, ideologies, and meanings attached to the mobile and immobile. Should we embrace mobility as the constitutive condition of culture and not its disruption? How does mobility influence and even constitute our everyday life or the lives of past cultures? What exactly does it mean to be “socially mobile”? How might mobility affect our work? Do our “mobile” devices liberate us? What are the relations, if any, between the social mobility afforded by systems of connection such as the internet and the confined actual space in which it takes place?