Written by

Ulrich Beck (1944-2015)

BeckWe are deeply concerned to hear that German sociologist and author of the Risk Society, Ulrich Beck passed away on January 1st. The global sociology community in general and the Cosmobilities Network has lost a public intellectual, a singular free mind, constant inspiration, a challenging voice and unique political figure in science and society.


In his writings and social commitment Ulrich was fighting for cosmopolitan mobilities and a world where mobility wouldn’t be a threat but a blessing. He was fully aware of all risks and dangers for modern lives. But he never lost his optimism for a better world and another, a reflexive modernity where people meet and interact with each other instead of being xenophobic and destructive in competition.


Ulrich was very generous and supportive with Cosmobilities from the earliest days of the network. In his welcome note for the 10th anniversary conference in Copenhagen last November he wrote:


“It is a pleasure for me to see how this research network has been growing over the last ten years. I can still remember the first days of Cosmobilities and the workshop on Mobility and the Cosmopolitan Perspective at our research centre on reflexive modernization in Munich in 2004.”


“Today, Cosmobilities has been growing from social science into a strong voice in interdisciplinary research on mobility and transport. Your work still has a significant impact on the mobilities turn in social science. Understanding cosmopolitanization and the globalization of the modern world is impossible without understanding the diverse forms and dynamics of mobilities.”


“Against this background the Cosmobilities Network has become a reflexive place and space for re-thinking the basic principles of modernity and for the future of modern societies. Congratulations for ten years of innovative scientific work! And all the best for the future.”


We are deeply concerned about his death and feel with his family and friends.
Mobility and the Cosmopolitan Perspective will live on in our network and future.


Photo by Regina Schmeken, published in Süddeutsche Zeitung 


Read Ulrich Becks 2008 text on Cosmopolitanism and Mobility:

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The Future of Mobilities: Flows, Transport and Communication

The Future of Mobilities: Flows, Transport and Communication

T2M logo



Call for papers

Joint conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) and the Cosmobilities Network
Santa Maria C.V. (Caserta), Italy – September 14-17, 2015

Deadline for Submission (extended) : March 16th 2015

Aslak Master
The International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T²M) and the Cosmobilities Network invite proposals for panels and papers to be presented at their first joint conference. The conference will be hosted by the “Dipartimento di Lettere e Beni Culturali” of the Second University of Naples, Italy on 14-17 September, 2015.
Papers may address the conference theme, or any social, cultural, economic, technological, ecological and political perspectives on the history, present, and especially future of transport, traffic and mobility. The conference openly aims to bridge research approaches, welcoming proposals from different disciplines dealing with mobility studies (history, sociology, anthropology, geography, economy, planning studies, business history, architecture, design, communication, etc.) While the organizing association are rooted in history and sociology, we particularly encourage the submission of interdisciplinary panels.
The conference language is English (only).


The conference theme offers several lines of investigation:
• The future of mobilities in terms of both the future of mobilities studies as well as the
future of mobilities itself.
• The question of time-frames, e.g. how research concerning the past and the present
of mobility can be linked to the future.
• Mobility in the broader horizon of flows and emergent connections between transport, communication and movements.
• Trans-disciplinary research paths, and related theoretical and methodological issues.

Mobility studies have developed out of different disciplinary trajectories, with some studying mainly the past (e.g., transport history, travel writing), others concerned especially with the present (e.g., geography of mobility, mobile media), and still others looking towards the future (e.g., the new mobilities paradigm, transition studies). Yet these historical, contemporary, and future-oriented perspectives may all be diachronic in character, interested in processes and projects, rhythms and articulations, transitions and transformations, evolutions and revolutions. This conference proposes to investigate how we might bring these three streams together into an over-arching project of mobility studies.
Established in the 1950s and 1960s, future studies have been taken more seriously within economic fields, which have had the greatest influence on public policy. Although the action of forecasting often relies on the elaboration of historical and current trends, too often social scientists and humanities scholars have played a marginal role in futurology. Additionally, planning and policy in the mobilities field is still largely dominated by the “technological fix” approach, in which social sciences and humanities remain peripheral. Yet the emerging interdisciplinary mobilities studies suggest that learning lessons from the past and paying attention to the path dependency of developments provides a deeper understanding. In practice, a richer perspective on past and present mobilities could help inform visions of the future and enable more sustainable, equitable, and holistic future oriented solutions.


The conference aims, however, is not only to debate the future of mobilities per se and the risks and chances of the mobilization of modern worlds. It also considers – in a self-reflexive way –the future of mobility studies as well as the opportunities and limits of a wider trans- disciplinary cooperation among the different research “tribes”.
The 2015 conference theme also openly challenges the traditional division of study among transport, communication and flows (e.g., of water and sewage, of knowledge and money, of rubbish and debris etc.). The entangled relation among those elements calls on scholars to extend our investigations in multiple directions, while also being cognizant of the greater interdependency we expect they will have in the future. As we breach traditional disciplinary boundaries and tread on others’ territory, we raise new theoretical and methodological questions, presenting opportunities and challenges.
The questions linked to the conference theme include (but are not limited to):
• How do we envision and perceive the future of mobilities?
• What economic, technological, and policy perspectives should we adopt?
• What role will be played by environmental issues?
• How will gender and other social disparities shape mobility futures and inform
mobility studies in the future?
• What is the role of social science and humanities research scholarships and education in relation to policy makers, industries, governments and civil society?
• How relevant can an inquiry into retrospective futures be, e.g. an historical study of the future envisioned in the past, including fiction and science fictions?
• How can – or even should – comprehensive mobility studies shape future mobility landscapes and lives and in what directions?
• What methods would improve our study of the intertwined connections of flows, transport and communication?
Participants are encouraged, though not required, to organize panels on these or any other related themes. A panel consists of a chair and normally up to three speakers (see below for further information on papers and panels).


The Conference will be hosted by the Dipartimento di Lettere e Beni Culturali (Department of Arts and Cultural Heritage) of the Seconda Università di Napoli (the Second University of Naples).
The Seconda Università di Napoli is a comprehensive global research university that is ranked the top among the universities of South Italy. The Department promotes the development of competences allowing deeper knowledge of the complexity of world’s cultural heritage and all forms of interaction with disciplinary areas linked to similar research frameworks. It thus promotes scientific, technological and IT competences for the study, protection, conservation, restoration, and enhancement of the cultural heritage.

The Department hosts an Environmental Policies Watch that aims at encouraging the creation of a network among scholars (not only Italian) who concern themselves with environmental issues.

Santa Maria Capua Vetere is the town hosting the meeting, and it is located approximately 200 km from Rome International Airport, and about 40 km from Naples International Airport.

Field Trips will include the near The Royal Palace of Caserta, and they will be detailed soon.

Paper submission

The submission of a paper includes one-page resume regarding the presenter and one-page abstract regarding the paper itself. Individual presentations at the Conference are therefore to be limited to a fifteen-minute summary to allow for debate and discussion within the session. The full paper (usually 6,000-8,000 words) has to be submitted in a later stage of the process, and only after the selection outcomes.
Panel: A panel consists of a chair and normally up to three speakers; no discussant is required. We especially encourage transnational, comparative and interdisciplinary approaches, and welcome proposals exploring theoretical or methodological issues as well as those of a more empirical nature. We invite recent entrants to the profession and graduate students to submit proposals. A panel submission should include an abstract of 3 one-page, and one-page presentation regarding the papers included. A short biography of the presenters is also required.
Other: Any other innovative way of presenting research outcomes are welcome. In this case, the submitter(s) are invited to contact the local committee via


The deadline for the submission (max. 1 page each; Word or rich text format only) is 16th of March 2015. Send proposals to:

A notification of acceptance will be sent by April 15 2015. The full text of papers accepted must be submitted by 1 August 2015. The conference will be held on September 14-17, 2015
All participants are required to register.

Travel grants and Awards
T2M offers a number of travel grants for young scholars, who are heartily welcome to apply. T2M has also a long tradition of “best-paper” awards. Further information will be posted on


For enquiries about the program, please contact Sven Kesselring or Massimo Moraglio. For information about local arrangements, please contact Federico Paolini. Further details of the 2015 conference will be posted in due course by T2M and Cosmobilties.

Program Committee:

Valentina Fava (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Malene Freudendal-Pedersen (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Andrea Giuntini (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy)
Kevin Hannam (Leeds Beckett University, UK)
Sven Kesselring (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Anna Lipphardt (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany)
Mimi Sheller (Drexel University, USA)

Local Organising Committee:

Massimo Moraglio (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany)
Federico Paolini (Second University of Naples, Italy)
Gerardo Marletto (Università di Sassari, Italy)

Special Sessions: Networked Urban Mobilities Conference 2014

Calls for papers to special sessions at the Networked Urban Mobilities Conference 2014 are open.

We are very happy to invite abstracts for the following 8 special sessions before the 28th of may.


‘Art as Mobile Research: The Journey of Making’

In recent years, it has been argued that new research methods are needed to study current mobility practices, discourses and materialities. Next to more traditional social science methods, mobile methods have included participatory observation, virtual and autoethnographies, and various kinds of mapping. Building on these methodological innovations, this session theme explores art as mobile research. Since the early 1990s, artistic research has developed as a distinct field of study. Making art is taken to be a form of doing research and the works of art that result from that research are presented as a form of knowledge. Practical testing is frequently an essential part of this ‘journey of making’ process, enabling ideas and techniques to be resolved before making finished work as part of the whole creative process. Art is not only relevant from the perspective of the aesthetic experience, it is argued, but also as knowledge claim. For artistic practice, this development undermines the modern dichotomy of autonomy and instrumentalism, thus breaking away from the alleged ‘otherness’ of art as a societal domain that has clear boundaries and can be separated from science.

In this session, we investigate how art practices might contribute to mobilities research, as well as how artists reflect on mobile worlds in their work. How can artistic research practices and discourses be drawn upon to develop new ways of understanding and researching the performative ontologies of travel? How can artistic production be seen as a meaningful context to explore mobilities? How can the creative process of the ‘journey of making’ inform mobilities? We invite papers and art works examining these questions.

The session will be organizaed by Kevin Hannam from Leeds Metropolitan University and Peter Peters from Maastricht University.

Please, submit your abstract of no more than 300 words no later than May 28th to Kevin Hannam at  or Peter Peters at


‘Urbanization in “Non-Urban” Space: the role of mobilities in new urban epistemologies’

Since its inception, urban theory has been grounded in the basic assumption that urban phenomena are produced in cities. Cities, meanwhile, are constructed as qualitatively distinct, nodal and bounded sociospatial settlement spaces, discursively constructed in opposition to the “non-urban” spaces of the suburbs, rural communities, “remote” regions (i.e. the Arctic) and so on. In his recent work, Neil Brenner (2013) questions such accepted understandings and argues instead for new urban epistemology that embodies “urban theory without an outside”. Mobilities research has much to contribute to this pivotal new framing of urbanization by drawing our attention to the ways in which broad constellations of urban relationships are produced through diverse relationships between people and places across time and space. In particular, attention to role of mobilities allows for the examination of diverse forms of linkage—economic, cultural, social, institutional, colonial, and so on—in the (re)production of these expansive urban meshes.

In this session, papers are invited that broadly explore the dynamics of mobility and urbanization in ways that aim to conceptually supersede the persistent non-urban/urban divide in urban studies. In particular, these papers will seek to contribute to a conceptualization of urban forms and processes as multiscalar, diffuse, and enmeshed in complex and context-dependent (economic, social, cultural, infrastructural, institution) entanglements that extend well beyond cities as sites of agglomeration and accumulation. Papers that empirically examine the role of mobilities in urban forms, processes and transformations outside commonly accepted urban locales—i.e. the Arctic, the Amazon, the Oceans—are especially welcome. Moreover, papers that draw from diverse methodologies (social science, literary, audio, visual) are also most welcome.

The session will be organized by Julia Christensen from Roskilde University.

Please send your abstracts of no more than 300 (and/or any questions, comments, or concerns) no later than May 28th to Julia Christensen at


‘Energy Transition and E-Mobility: a chance for convergence?’

Based on innovation theory the case of electric mobility in networked urban environments leads to the hypothesis of converging and intertwining two sociotechnical transitions: the transition towards renewable energy systems and the transition from combustion engine based transportation to elec- tric vehicle systems. In this innovation context a question arises: what is the impact of regime con- vergence in the innovation process?

Comparative international case studies can help to deepen this aspect. Both chances and obstacles should come into focus of the session.

The e-mobility hype seems to be over. But the energy transition from fossil resources to renewable energies got a huge momentum. Established structures in energy production and consumption erode and boundaries blur. The so called “prosumer” came into the game as a new actor.

The more renewable energies will be installed the more storage capacities and demand side man- agement are requested. The question is, whether the mobility sector can develop from an energy consumer to an energy storage component and potentially even become an energy provider. A promising way can be running cars under control of fleet managers as rental cars – especially as car- sharing cars as elements of intermodal services. This would have a technical dimension: norms and standardization of technical interfaces and protocols will become more relevant in a networked and decentralized energy world. Access and loading procedures must be user-friendly. This also has a strong social and economic dimension: what are potential businesses cases of “renewable e- mobility” and their acceptance? In the consequence of growing fleet based e-mobility the dominance of private car model starts to crumble.

The session will be held by Weert Canzler and Andreas Knie from Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB).

Please send your abstract of no more than 300 words no later than May 28th to


‘Mobility in the Arts. A Meeting Between Art Studies, Cultural Policy, and Mobility Studies’

During the past decades, the complex interconnection between mobility and the arts has evolved as a prominent topic within the arts, but also within diverse academic fields and within cultural policy. So far there has however been little interdisciplinary and intersectoral exchange on this issue. The aim of this thematic session is to bring together practitioners from the cultural policy sector with scho­lars from mobility studies and various art-related disciplines (such as theater and dance studies, art history, sociology and anthropology of the arts, cultural economics or cultural policy studies) to discuss the interrelations between mobility, the arts, and cultural policy. The session invites to engage in a dialogue on a) mobility as a critical category within the context of current artistic production, b) mobilities role in cultural policy initiatives, and c) the art world as a field of particular epistemic value for Mobility Studies. Possible topics for the proposed session include:

  • The historical evolution of mobility in the arts
  • Artistic mobilities in and between different world regions
  • Mobility within different art sectors
  • Mobility and cultural policy on the transnational, national and local level
  • Artistic labor in the global economy – economic base, legal frameworks, risks
  • Unequal mobilities in the arts (as a result of categories such as gender, citizenship, or dissidence)
  • Artistic mobilities and un/sustainability
  • Methodological and ethical challenges to document, assess and visualize artists’ mobilities on a quantitative level.

The session focuses on structural, policy-related and conceptual issues related to artists’ mobility rather than on mobility as a theme of art works, art criticism and cultural theory. The session is intended to serve as a meeting place for cultural policy practitioners and scholars who want to discuss past and present projects on the above mentioned issues and/or seek possible future collaborations across disciplines and sectors. As Cosmobilities is a voluntary research network with limited funds, please note that we cannot subsidize travel and accommodation costs.

Convener: Anna Lipphardt from RG Cultures of Mobility in Europe at Universität Freiburg.

Please send your abstract (300-400 words) and a short CV no later than May 28th to Anna Lipphardt at


‘Urban Planning in the Mobile Risk Society’

Today, cities and regions are increasingly struggling with risks and uncertainties. Simple certainties and securities for planning the future of the urban and regional settlements have been lost and the reflexive modernization of planning and policy making is progressing fast (Beck 1992, Hajer 2009, Healey 2001). Urban stakeholders and planners are facing risks and challenges endangering the fundaments of urban systems and the living conditions of urban societies and economies. At the same time, the rate of urbanisation is accelerating, particular in growing economies.

How to influence the sustainability and liveability of urban regions for future generations is the overarching question of the 21st century, not at least against the background of growing relevance of megacities and splintering urbanism. On-going economic crises, the side effects of perpetual growth, ecological problems, splintering urbanism, infrastructure capacity, global competition, social disintegration and criminality push economic, social, health and infrastructural systems to the limits. To complicate matters further, urban systems and society at large are growing increasingly complex, and conventional planning tools are often ill- equiped at handling the resulting uncertainty that this introduces in predictive analyses (Taleb, 2007).

This produces a situation where urban planning and innovative ways of policy and decision- making become vital for the future of the urban condition. The mobilities of people, artifacts, goods, knowledge, data and information, waste and resources are fundamental for the future of the urban. Cities are living bodies where multiple flows stream in and out (Ritzer 2010). In a general sense, sustainable urban ‘mobility management’ is an elementary and constitutive need and a strategy for the future of urban regions and living conditions.

The session will be organized by Morten Skou Nicolaisen and  Sven Kesselring, from Aalborg University.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words no later than May 28th to Sven Kesselring at 


‘Cycling Futures’

The Cycling and Society Research Group celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014. Linking with the 10th Anniversary Conference of the Cosmobilities Network, Networked Urban Mobilities, a special session is being organised on bicycling. Networked Urban Mobilities is a joint conference between Aalborg University (AAU) and Roskilde University  (RUC) at Aalborg University Campus in Copenhagen (South Harbor district), DK

The session theme, Cycling Futures reflects a core question posed in the Cycling and Society volume that was a product of the very first CSRG meeting, and the session is intended to link cycling studies more closely with other elements of current mobilities research. While there is a rapidly growing literature on current practices and behaviours, this session invites analyses that go beyond the reporting of findings and explore the potentials and problems that accompany the diverse practices that constitute the many forms of cycle mobility. We seek to present a range of studies that consider not just what is, but what might be? How do the various cultures and subcultures presented in recent studies interconnect and interact with each other and with wider mobility practices. To what extent does cycling today still reflect cycling a century ago, and what might cycling practices 50 years hence look like as part of broader sustainability practices. What can change, what may need to change if cycling is to become the default urban mobility choice?

We invite papers on practices of cycling, examining intersections of meanings, technologies and competencies and their place both in changing current urban milieux and in anticipating low-carbon futures. While looking ahead is core to the vision of the session, we also recognise the need to look back at prior historical cases of mobility transitions to understand better the forces and effects involved. We would particularly welcome contributions that engage with some of the questions posed in Cycling and Society. What role for cycling in the ‘post-car’ future? What will future cyclings look like? To what kind of societies will those cyclings contribute? How prominent a part can it play in an increasingly global, increasingly mobile world?

Please submit your abstract of no more than 300 words no later than May 28th to Peter Cox at


‘Corporate Mobilities Regimes in Cities and Regions’

Today, corporate mobility, business travel, and mobile work are in a process of fundamental transformation. The normalization and rationalization of corporate mobilities and the time- space-compression of everyday business practice shape the relations of mobility and power. Social science has largely neglected the topic of spatial mobility. Dealings with distance and travel, however, are driving forces for the modernization of modern societies and urban environemnts. They indicate the networked character of economic activities of companies, business travellers and industries at large. Economic activity is based on mobility and companies deploy sophisticated mobility regimes to be present in markets. The increase in mobile work brings new issues centre stage such as the control of mobile workers, social cohesion, and the spatial complexity of corporate activities. Mobile work and business travel are signifiers for social change in the organization of work.

The session will be organized by James Wickham from Trinity College Dublin and Sven Kesselring from Aalborg University.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words no later than 28th of May to  Sven Kesselring at


‘Embodied mobility practices and everyday life’

This special session investigates research on physical and virtual mobilities’ influence on everyday life, generating descriptive accounts and novel theoretical concepts about practices, cultures, communities etc. within understandings of mobilities and urban life.

Mobilities are experienced through bodies interacting with mobile technologies weaving themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it. These embodied mobilities are often practiced non-reflected but yet with fully felled and realized sensations, moods and affects.

Everyday life should not be understood as isolated units when it is constantly challenged and influenced by the multi-scale character of social praxis, identity formation and social processes. The basis in everyday lives reveals that which creates meaning and significance – why things matter to people – and thus also how, through their praxis, they shape societal institutions.

Form: The intend of the special session is to integrate all papers in an open discussion conceptualizing embodied mobility practices in everyday life through common-developed metaphors. Contributors are therefore asked to participate in the informal debate generating fruitful ways of describing the interconnectedness between mobility practices and everyday life.

The session will be organized by Katrine Hartmann-Petersen and Malene Freudendal-Pedersen from Roskilde University.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words no later than 28th of May to Katrine Hartmann-Petersen at or Malene Freudendal-Petersen at


Networked Urban Mobilities Conference and Mobile Art Exhibition 2014

Registration is now open! Please follow this link to register

 Keynotespeakers for the conference will be:

John Urry Professor of Sociology & director of CeMoRe, Lancaster University

Mimi Sheller Professor of Sociology & director at MCenter Drexel University

Vincent Kaufmann Professor & director of LaSUR Polytechical University of Lausanne

Stephen Graham Professor of Cities and Society, Newcastle University



Networked Urban Mobilities 

How new technologies change cities, cultures and economies

5-7th of November 2014 
Venue: Aalborg University Campus in Copenhagen, DK
Joint hosts: Aalborg University & Roskilde University

To make cities places of lived social, economic and ecological sustainability, it needs strong and socially inclusive mobility systems. To celebrate its 10th anniversary the Cosmobilities Network invites scholars from social sciences and other mobility relevant disciplines to investigate and assess the impacts of networked urban mobilities on the urban condition.

Cities and regions are constituted by complex settings of social, technological, geographical, cultural, and digital networks of mobility (Graham, Marvin 2009). The urban scale is an essential part of the global ‘network society’ (Castells 1996) with new forms of social and cultural life emerging and with strong impacts on the ecological conditions. The great crash from 2007-8 onwards, means that future mobilities are going to be developing in a resource-constrained world. Excessively consuming infrastructural developments are highly risky for the future of modern societies. Thus, innovation in policies, products, services, and technologies is needed to tackle climate change and increasing urban social and economic challenges. An approach is required which bridges research disciplines and analyses societal consequences of path dependencies, funding decisions and technology policies.

When mobility is made plural and becomes mobilities it stems from the newly emerging field of interdisciplinary Mobilities research (Urry, Sheller 2006; Canzler, Kaufmann, Kesselring 2008; Grieco, Urry 2012). The concept of ‘mobilities’ (Urry 2000) encompasses the large-scale movements of people, goods, capital, and information, as well as the more local processes of daily transportation, communication and the travel of artefacts. These different mobilities are considered fundamental in framing modern social life and urban cultures in particular. All this demands better theory and empirical research to examine the interdependencies between changes in physical movement, electronic communication and their increasing convergence and potential substitution of travel and transport.

Against this background, the international Cosmobilities Network invites researchers and scholars to celebrate its anniversary and discuss their work on the social, economic, and ecological risks and opportunities of these emerging developments. The conference addresses these challenges and calls for the exchange of ideas on how to significantly improve the conditions for life in urban spaces.


We invite papers contributing to the following themes in relation to Networked Urban Mobilities:

Technologies: ‘Seamless mobility’ is a historically grown vision held by architects, planners, and engineers. Optimizing city spaces for the mobility of people, vehicles, goods and so on, with minimum loss of time and energy, has mobilized innovation, capital and entrepreneurial capacities.

Practices: Networked urban mobility infrastructures enable and limit everyday mobile practices of people at the same time. Based upon advanced mobile devices, people can manage complex arrangements of socio-spatial organization, scheduling, and negotiations.

Companies: For the sustainability of urban mobilities modification within companies are a key issue. The rise of the Internet and the spread of mobile computers and mobile phones, as well as recent developments such as Cloud computing have been mobilizing businesses in a way not imaginable only some years ago.

Governance & Planning: The need for sustainable mobilities in urban environments pressures urban politics. ‘Reflexive governance’ and the capacity to allocate expertise and knowledge at the right place and to the right time, is prerequisite for developing non-destructive future-oriented strategies for low carbon and socially inclusive mobilities.

Ethics/responsibilities: Considerations and systematic analysis of the ethical implication of mobility solutions is a research deficit. I.e. overcoming automobility and car-dependency in the Western societies without offering alternative ways of transport in rural areas. Or the use of ICT’s both in mobility research in form of mobile methods and in the application of mobility solutions such as Intelligent Transport Systems highlights problems of surveillance and privacy.

Arts: Art is yet another point of departure for the Cosmobilities Network towards a transdisciplinary perspective in Mobilities research. We explicitly call for artistic contributions on mobility from fine arts, music, film, writing, performance arts etc.

Mobile Arts Exhibitions: During the conference collaborative research will be generated in the form of on site exhibitions exploring themes of mobilities, cities, cultures, economies and ecologies. The exhibitions will inform and be informed by the discussions at the conference and establishing productive relationships between objects, media, places, landscapes, technologies and atmospheres


The open call has closed, but we now invite abstracts for the following thematic sessions:

Cycling Futures

Mobility in the arts

New Corporate Mobility Regimes

Planning Mobilities

Energy Transition and E-mobility: a Chance for Convergence?

Doing Ethnography in Hyper Mobile Fields: Methodological Challanges

Embodied Mobility Practices and Everyday Life

Urbanization in “non-urban” Space: the role of Mobilities in new Urban Epistemologies

Art as Mobile Research: The Journey of Making

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted  to Malene Freudendal-Pedersen (Roskilde University), or Sven Kesselring (Aalborg University), no later than the 28th of May 2014.


Organization Team

Malene Freudendal-Pedersen (RUC), Sven Kesselring (AAU), Line Thorup (RUC), Enza Lissandrello (AAU), Aslak Aamot Kjærulff (RUC), Katrine Hartmann Petersen (RUC), Dorte Norgaard Madsen (AAU) and Birgitte Steen Hansen (RUC).

Scientific Committee

Malene Freudendal-Pedernsen (RUC), Ole B. Jensen (AAU), Lise Drewes Nielsen (RUC), Kevin Hannam (Leeds University), Sven Kesselring (AAU), Katharina Manderscheid (Universiät Luzern)

Call for papers – 3rd Mobilities conference 2012: Local and mobile

3rd Mobilities conference 2012: Local and mobile: Linking mobilities, mobile communication and locative media

Conference website and abstract submission:

From March 16-18 2012, the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media (CRDM) Program and the Mobile Gaming Research Lab at NC State University will be hosting the 3rd joint international conference of the Pan-American Mobilities Network and the Cosmobilities Network.

Invited keynote speakers:
· Paul Dourish (University of California, Irvine)
· Rich Ling (IT University of Copenhagen)
· Teri Rueb (University of Buffalo, SUNNY)

Mobilities has become an important framework to understand and analyze contemporary social, spatial, economic and political practices. Being interdisciplinary in its nature, Mobilities focuses on the systematic movement of people, goods and information that “travel” around the world in rates much higher (or much slower) than before. As such, mobility studies challenge traditional scholarship that often ignores the social dimensions of mobility, overlooking how travel, movement, and communication and transportation networks help to constitute modern societies and communities. Mobility has always been critical for the creation of social networks and to the development of connections to places. In addition, Mobilities contributes to study of the technological, social and cultural developments in transportation, border control, mobile communication, “intelligent” infrastructure, surveillance.

While mobility is an important framework to understand contemporary society, the pervasiveness of location-aware technology has made it possible to locate ourselves and be networked within patterns of mobility. As user generated maps and location-aware mobile devices become commonplace, we experience a shift in the way we connect to the internet and move through space. Networked interactions permeate our world. We no longer enter the internet–we carry it with us. We experience it while moving through physical spaces. Mobile phones, GPS receivers, and RFID tags are only a few examples of location-aware mobile technologies that mediate our interaction with networked spaces and influence how we move in these spaces. Increasingly, our physical location determines the types of information with which we interact, the way we move through physical spaces, and the people and things we find around us. These new kinds of networked interactions manifest in everyday social practices that are supported by the use of mobile and location-aware technologies, such as participation in location-based mobile games and social networks, use of location-based services, development of mobile annotation projects, and social mapping, just to name a few. The engagement with these practices has important implications for identity construction, our sense of privacy, our notions of place and space, civic and political participation, policy making, as well as cultural production and consumption in everyday life.

We invite papers that address themes at the intersection of mobility and location, or related topics, such as:
· Mobile communication and location awareness in everyday life practices;
· New urban spatialities developed with mobile gaming and locative social media;
· Privacy and surveillance issues as they relate to mobile and location-based social networks;
· Identity and spatial construction through locative media art / embodied performance;
· Civic engagement and political participation through mobile social media, new mapping practices and location-aware technologies;
· Borders, surveillance, and securitization with ubiquitous and mobile technologies;
· Aeromobilities, air travel, and aerial vision;
· Alternative mobilities and slow movements;
· Planning, policy and design for future mobilities and location-based services;
· Tourism, imaginary travel, and virtual travel;
· Transitions toward sustainable mobilities;
· New methodologies for mobilities research.

Disciplines represented at the conference may include (but are not exclusive to): Anthropology, Architecture and Design, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Communication, Criminology, Cultural Studies, Geography, Media and Visual Arts, Politics and International Relations, Public Policy, Sociology, Theater and Performance Studies, Tourism Research, Transport Research, and Urban Studies.

Conference location:
North Carolina State University, Raleigh (NC), USA

Conference hotel:
Brownstone Hotel (
Discounted rates will be available to registered participants.

Important dates:
Deadline for abstracts: 30 October 2011 (800 words, including references)
Notification of acceptance: 15 December 2011
Registration deadline: 30 January 2012
Conference Dates: 16-18 March 2012

Please submit your abstracts through the conference website:

Organizing Committee:
Adriana de Souza e Silva (NC State University, USA)
Heather Horst (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia)
Lee Humphreys (Cornell University, USA)
Ole B. Jensen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Mimi Sheller (Drexel University, USA)
Irina Shklovski (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Phillip Vannini (Royal Roads University, Canada)

For further information, contact:
Adriana de Souza e Silva, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Communication
Interim Associate Director, Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media Ph.D program
North Carolina State University

Phillip Vannini
Professor and Canada Research Chair
(Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography)
School of Communication and CultureRoyal Roads University