Archives

Written by
The John Urry Memorial Lecture

The John Urry Memorial Lecture

John Urry

Lancaster University is celebrating the life of the eminent Sociologist, Distinguished Professor John Urry with a inaugural John Urry Memorial Lecture. Professor of Sociology Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, will be the special speaker.

Date: Thursday 26th April 2018

Time: Tea and coffee served from 5.30pm, with the lecture beginning at 6pm

Venue: Lancaster University Management School Hub

Cost: This event is free and tickets can be booked here. You can also email us at public-events@lancaster.ac.uk or call 01524 592994 to book.

To join click here

Background for the memorial lecture “At the paradigm’s edge: Constructing the object of study in the social sciences”

The accumulation of knowledge, data and scholarship across past decades has been a substantial enabler for social scientists, whether working on immigration, the family, inequality, political power, or many other social science fields.

Yet every now and then, social scientists are confronted with emergent conditions which are not well captured by existing models and measures.

In this inaugural John Urry Memorial Lecture, Professor Saskia Sassen explores the search for a mix of categories which have enabled her to capture and conceptualise conditions that cut across established categories, finding configurations that lack a recognised formal ‘home’ – an established specialised sub-discipline.

Professor Sassen will also cite how leading international and Lancaster University sociologist, the late Professor John Urry, stimulated a major contribution to the range of sub-disciplines through his wide-ranging work and opened up the field for new generations of researchers to ask new types of questions.

About the speaker

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and a Member of The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University (www.saskiasassen.com). Her latest book is Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014), now out in 18 languages. She is the recipient of diverse awards, including multiple doctor honoris causa and the Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences, and was made a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences of Netherland.

About Distinguished Professor John Urry

John Urry was an influential scholar who has shaped several fields of sociology. He died suddenly on 18 March 2016. The John Urry memorial lecture is held in his memory to generate and debate the big ideas in society.

Professor Urry was a former Head of the Scoiology Department at Lancaster University, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and University Dean of Research. From 2003 to 2015 he was Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research and helped to develop the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ in social science research.

John guided the development of the Sociology Department at Lancaster University as well as the direction of research in the wider community of Sociology, and made a significant contribution to the establishment of the Academy of Social Sciences. With a global intellectual presence and international recognition as a public intellectual, he pursued ideas and engagement for social justice through collegiality and collaboration.

 

Mobile Utopia: Pasts, Presents, Futures

Mobile Utopia: Pasts, Presents, Futures

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 09.39.10

For information and registration go to the conference website: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/t2mc2c/

Go to this article to read more about the Call for Papers, Artworks, Poster – OBS Deadline April 15th

Mobile Utopia: Pasts, Presents, Futures

This joint Cemore + T2M + Cosmobilities conference will bring together historians, researchers, artists, policy-makers, designers, and innovators to explore Mobile Utopia: pasts, presents, futures. The Centre for Mobilities Research (Cemore) at Lancaster University, the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) and the Cosmobilities Network have joined together to invite contributions across the spectrum of mobile utopian themes.

Recognising the global uncertainties of the Anthropocene, we invite reflections on utopia (and dystopia) that explore how societies shape, and have been shaped by, complex im|mobilities, from microbial to big data mobilities, from horse-drawn carriages to driverless cars, from migration to planetary jet streams.

We invite proposals deploying utopia as a heuristic and creative methodology – rather than as a narrative closed system – which challenges our assumptions about what has been possible in the past and what will be possible and preferable in the future. We welcome reflections from any city, country or place, in relation to any theme, scale, or period in history. In addition, proposals may address any aspect of the history, and social, cultural, economic, technological, ecological and political aspects of the diverse dimensions of im|mobility. Proposals are encouraged to use a range of formats, academic, creative and otherwise, as outlined in the call for papers.

We welcome contributions from any academic perspective or discipline, as well as contributions by artists, professionals, policy makers and practitioners. Recent entrants to the research field and doctoral students are especially welcome, with reduced rates and travel bursaries available in some cases.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University.

The Programme Committee

Chairs: Monika Buscher, Carlos López Galviz

Malene Freudendal-Pedersen
Julia Hildebrand
Sven Kesselring
Mimi Sheller
Jen Southern

 

Mobile Utopia_partners2

 

 

Call for Papers, Artsworks, Posters

Call for Papers, Artsworks, Posters

Mobile Utopia: Pasts, Presents, Futures

Conference 2-5 November 2017 / Fringe Events 29 October – 2 November 2017

At Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University, UK

‘Mobilising’ utopia can provide important insights into intergenerational, multi-scalar, human and non-human interconnectivities across transport, traffic and mobilities. From Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) to Ruth Levitas’ Utopia as method (2013) and John Urry’s What is the future? (2016), utopia has been a powerful means to explore how societies have shaped, and have been shaped by, complex im|mobilities, from microbial to big data mobilities, from horse-drawn carriages to driverless cars, from migration to planetary jet streams. Faced with the global uncertainties of the Anthropocene, utopia provides renewed analytical and creative purchase.

This joint conference brings together historians, researchers, artists, policy-makers, designers, and innovators to explore Mobile Utopia: Pasts, presents and futures. Lancaster’s Centre for Mobilities Research, the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) and the Cosmobilities Network have joined together to invite contributions across the spectrum of mobile utopian themes. In addition, proposals may address any aspect of the history, and social, cultural, economic, technological, creative, ecological and political aspects of transport, traffic and mobility.

The celebrations that marked the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia have been both global and wide-ranging. In his seminal work, More outlined his ideas around an alternative society living in a City of Man in contrast with former visions of the City of God. Five centuries later, we are part of a world where 54 per cent of the population live in cities (Worldbank 2015), and the trend is set to continue and increase, with the UN estimating that the world’s population is to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. This poses great challenges concerning natural resources, (food) security, clean water, energy, environmental and social justice, and more. This all involves mobilities of different kinds, operating at different spatial and temporal scales, with different motivations, processes, and consequences.

Utopia is an integrative method that can assist us when thinking about the relationship between societies and mobilities past, present, and future. It can help us trace the complex interconnections between the urban and the rural, the digital, oceanic, global, and planetary, the here-and-now and the longue durée. Utopia creates rich ground for contestation, as one person’s utopia can be another’s dystopia, and innovative visions followed through produce unintended consequences. From the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to visions of a future where CO2 emissions are no longer the norm, utopia helps us challenge the past and present by imagining the future.As research has shown, transformations in governance, everyday practices, and exchanges between communities are key to the success or failure of these visions.

This call invites proposals exploring utopia as a heuristic and creative methodology – rather than as a narrative closed system – which challenges our assumptions about what has been possible in the past and what will be possible and preferable in the future. We invite reflections on the diverse dimensions of im|mobility adopting such a utopian perspective from any city, country or place, in relation to any theme, scale, or period in history. We encourage transnational, comparative, artistic, design-led, interdisciplinary and trans-modal approaches, and welcome proposals exploring theoretical or methodological issues as well as those of a more empirical nature. We invite different submission and presentation formats.

Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

  • Traffic, transport, mobilities and social futures
  • Urban, rural, digital mobilities
  • Space, geoengineering, planetary mobilities
  • Intergenerational mobilities
  • Embodiment, health, healing and wellbeing
  • Civility, migration and citizenship
  • Mobility justice, human rights and mobility
  • Pasts, presents, futures of tourism
  • Energy production and consumption
  • Automation, autonomous machines, robotics
  • Post-human ontology, phenomenology
  • Critiques of the concept of anthropocene, non-human mobilities
  • Sustainable mobilities
  • Utopia in the ruins of capitalism and modernity
  • Living alternatives
  • Corporate mobilities futures
  • Utopia as method
  • Mobile utopias, dystopias, anti-utopias, beyond-utopias
  • The history and heritage of mobile utopia
  • Mobile Utopia & the state, globalization, cosmopolitanism
  • Free-market and neoliberal utopia
  • Values and moral orders of mobility and travel
  • Arts practice and research as mobile utopia

Proposals can be for individual papers, panels, artworks, posters, and other creative formats as outlined below. We welcome relevant contributions from any academic perspective or discipline, from professionals, policy makers and practitioners, as well as artists and creative professionals, designers, and engineers. Recent entrants to the research field and doctoral students are very welcome.

The conference language is English.

Submission deadline is April 15th.  Hope this give you a little bit more space to be creative.

We can’t wait to receive your contributions!

The Programme Committee

Mobile Utopia_partners2

Sharing Mobilities – New Perspectives for societies on the move?

Sharing Mobilities – New Perspectives for societies on the move?

 

Sharing_Mobilities-Slider-IMG

Keynotes

Bridgette Wessels (University of Sheffield), Tim Cresswell (Northeastern University, Boston), Philipp Rode (London School of Economics) John Urry memorial session: Roundtable conversation on the legacy of John’s work on the mobilities turn in social science.

Fishbowl session

Sharing mobilities from a practitioners perspective: Invited speakers from mobility-related industry and city planning will engage with conference participants in a lively, moderated discussion.

Moving on – Closing Panel

Mimi Sheller (Drexel University), Kevin Hannam (Edinburgh Napier University), Sven Kesselring (Nürtingen-Geislingen University). The panelist will pick up on themes they have encountered throughout the conference and engage with conference participants in a discussion on the future of sharing mobilities.

Conference scope

The mobility world is massively changing. New policies, new modes of transport and new socio-spatial practices of mobilities are on the rise. Jeremy Rifkin saw this clearly in 2000. In his bestseller ‘The Age of Access’ he says the future of modern societies will no longer be solely organized through individual property and ownership. Rather, new collaborative forms of consumption and sharing would play a key role in the organization of everyday life and business. In fact, new cultures of sharing and participation are emerging: people share cars, bikes, houses, expertise and mastery in science and craftsmen’s work etc. Once radical visions have become part of the lingering but steady transformation of norms, procedures, routines and capitalist principles. A burgeoning political awareness can be witnessed in cities, regions, in mobilities research, planning, politics, business and civil society. Even global car producers are becoming part of the new sharing culture and seriously considering themselves as selling mobility instead of cars.

Where does this social change come from? Why is ‘sharing’ an appealing idea? Can we expect a new mobility regime and growing markets for ‘sharing mobilities’? Or is this just a new fashion, a new trend, or furthermore, greenwashing? Does it provide the access that Rifkin was foreseeing, in terms of more equality, or even sustainable mobilities?

For the Cosmobilities Network, the biggest European mobility research network, it is about time for a critical scientific investigation of this topic. Therefore, the 12th Cosmobilities Conference invites contributions on the following questions:

• What are the social, ecological, cultural and aesthetic dimensions that generate this resonance of ‘sharing mobilities’?

• Are we observing the birth of a culture of multimobility, of changing (auto-) motive emotions and of sustainable mobilities?

• What are the socio-political implications of a new mobility culture?

• Is the hype on sharing mobilities just an expression of the pursuit of big business and the next phase of capitalist development?

• Are new mobilities arising as a ‘common good’? Or rather as a social and cultural resource in a cosmopolitan world full of social, ecological, economic and cultural risks?

• What does ‘sharing mobilities’ mean against the background of global migration and tourism flows and what is its impact on networked urban mobilities?

The 12th Conference of the Cosmobilities Network invites contributions which focus on the social, cultural, spatial, ecological and socio-economic consequences of new sharing concepts. Papers and contributions elaborating aspects of their related risks, chances, utopias and dystopias are in particular welcome.

The Cosmobilities Network encourages scholars and practitioners to present and discuss theoretical, conceptual, empirical and applied work as well as perspectives on the past, present and future of sharing mobilities. Cosmobilities conferences aim to foster inspiring, creative and thought-provoking environments. The majority of sessions will foster exchange and discussion. Therefore, we especially encourage participants to submit abstracts for the 7/7 and the panel sessions.

New journal out: Applied Mobilities

New journal out: Applied Mobilities

We are very proud to announce the first issue of our new journal Applied Mobilities – A journal of planning, design, technology and culture co-edited by Malene Freudendal-Pedersen, Kevin Hannam & Sven Kesselring. The first issue is available for free at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rapm20/1/1 .

“The journal Applied Mobilities has been launched to address this field of contradictions and ambivalences concerning the benefits and risks of mobilities. With a focus on applied perspectives, our aim is to utilize the connections between the theoretical and the empirical to highlight, emphasize and develop a greater understanding of the transition of mobility systems towards sustainable practices and the socio-political consequences of diverse mobilities. The mobilities field is trans-disciplinary by nature, and Applied Mobilities seeks to reach out to praxis and demonstrate how a deeper understanding of current social, economic, political and environmental issues provides opportunities to shape future sustainable mobilities. (Freudendal-Pedersen, Kesselring & Hannam 2016)”

1st of April, we launched the new ‘Applied Mobilities’ journal at the AAG conference in San Francisco (http://www.tandfonline.com/rapm). Jonathan Manley and Zoe Brooke from Taylor and Francis invited us and about 50 people from the conference for a very nice reception. Jonathan opened the launch by saying that he wishes Applied Mobilities the same big success as Mobilities, which is one if the strongest Routledge journals. Mimi Sheller, co-editor of Mobilities, said some very nice words to commemorate the late John Urry and we gave him our biggest tribute. 

We are very happy about this new journal and the great collaboration with Taylor & Francis/Routledge. This new journal is a great opportunity to move on with the mobilities turn and to demonstrate that social science based mobility research has a strong contribution to the future of modern societies. We are looking forward to many excellent and exciting submissions in the near future!

Please, inform your librarians about this new journal which is closely working together with the Mobilities journal at Routledge and which can be subscribed as a package.

Help us to make Applied Mobilities a new strong voice in mobilities research!

First issue of Applied Mobilities

First issue of Applied Mobilities

Launch of journal reception