workshop on mobility, discourse and inequality at SGS Kongress 2013

SGS Kongress 2013

26-28 June 2013, Bern

Workshop 09 on Mobility, Discourse and Inequality (in German)

Call for papers

Marcel Endres and Katharina Manderscheid organise a workshop on Mobility, Discourse and Inequality at the 2013 Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association. Deadline for abstracts is 28 February. See for more information

Call for papers – Challenges for the International Mobility of the Highly Skilled, 7-8 February 2013, Barcelona

Call for papers

Challenges for the International Mobility of the Highly Skilled in the XXI Century – Women in movement

7-8 February 2013
deadline for submitting an abstract (200 words): 1st of December.

Geographical mobility among professionals is a vital aspect of the knowledge society, and one which has to be carefully managed by the institutions, governments, enterprises and individuals involved. Mobility facilitates knowledge transfer and the exchange of ideas and innovation between countries and organisations. It also affects people´s labour market engagement patterns, career pathways, and work-life experiences, including their family relationships and caring work.
The conference on “Challenges of the International Mobility of the Highly Skilled in the XXI Century – Women in Movement” addresses the development of mobile careers and their implications for institutions, organisations and individuals. This will be held the 7th and 8th of February 2013 in Barcelona.
The conference will focus on the following topics:
– Statistical data on mobility patterns and professional profiles
– Gender differences in mobility patterns
– Effects on gender agency
– Family support in the mobility process
– Management of national identities
– Knowledge and innovation transfer
– Networks of the diaspora
– Mobility of dual-career couples

The conference will be led by Dr. Ana M. González Ramos, senior researcher in the Gender and ICT Research Programme in the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, who will use a life course approach to explore the gender dynamics of mobility skilled professionals, their families and scientific institutions.

For more information see

Call for papers Pan-American mobilities network: Differential Mobilities: Movement and Mediation in Networked Societies

Call for papers

Differential Mobilities: Movement and Mediation in Networked Societies

Pan-American Mobilities Network May 8-13, 2013

Conference website and abstract submission (deadline November 21st):

From May 8-11, 2013 the Mobile Media Lab in the Communication Studies department of Concordia University in Montreal will be hosting an international conference sponsored by the Pan-American Mobilities
Network in collaboration with the European Cosmobilities Network.

Confirmed keynote and plenary speakers:
Darin Barney (McGill University, Montreal, Quebec)
Gisele Beiguelman (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Micha Cárdenas (University of San Diego, California)
Vera Chouinard (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario)
Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney, Australia)
Ole B. Jensen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Jason Lewis and Skawennati Fragnito (Concordia University,Montreal, Quebec)
Danielle Peers and Lindsay Eales (University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta)

Mobilities has become an important framework for understanding and analyzing contemporary social, spatial, economic and political practices. Mobilities research is interdisciplinary, focusing on the systematic
movement of people, goods and information that “travel” around the world at speeds that are greater than before, creating distinct patterns, flows– and blockages. Mobilities research contributes to the study of these technological, social and cultural developments from a critical perspective. The theme of this year’s conference is “Differential Mobilities: Movement and Mediation in Networked Societies”. The term ‘differential mobilities’ has been deployed to describe dynamics of power within networked societies. When we conceptualize movement, mobility, or flows within spaces and places, we need to account for the systemic
differences within infrastructures and terrains that create uneven forms of access. ‘Differential mobilities’, conceptually, highlights how exclusions occur, creating striations of power. It draws attention to differences in
how these inequalities are experienced, the strategies for resistance, and the processes of mediation that have been implemented to instigate change.

We invite scholars, artists, and activists to submit creative presentations or papers that address all aspects of this theme, or related topics in mobilities research, such as:
Alternative mobilities and slow movements;
Borders, surveillance, and securitization with ubiquitous and mobile technologies;
Class, culture and the mediation of mobilities;
Civic engagement and political participation through mobile social media, new mapping practices and
location-aware technologies;
Creativity and the mobilization of resistance;
Discrimination and the built environment;
Embodiment, performance and mobile mediations;
Environmentalism, mediation and mobilities;
Immigration, migration and mobilities;
Indigenous culture and the mobilities paradigm;
Media theory and differential mobilities;
Mobile communications, differential mobilities and everyday life practices;
New methodologies for mobilities research;
Planning, policy and design for present and future mobilities;Privacy and surveillance issues and location-based social networks;
Race, gender and the politics of mobilities;
Regulating networks;
Social movements and mediated mobilities;
Urban and rural spatialities and the geographies of place;
Tourism, imaginary travel, and virtual travel;
Transitions toward sustainable mobilities;
Transportation and differential movements;

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, Sound and Visual Arts, Politics and International Relations, Public Policy, Sociology, Theatre and Performance Studies, Tourism Research, Transport Research, and Urban Studies.

Conference location:
Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

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

Important dates:
Deadline for abstracts: 21 November, 2012
(maximum 300 words, including references)

Notification of acceptance: 15 January, 2013
Conference registration opens: 15 January, 2013
Early Registration deadline: 2 March 1, 2013
Conference Dates: 8-11 May, 2013

Please submit your abstracts through the form hosted by the conference website by no later than November 21st:

Organizing Committee:
Kim Sawchuk (Concordia University, Québec)
Jim Conley (Trent University, Canada)
Owen Chapman (Concordia University, Québec)
Adriana de Souza e Silva (NC State University, USA)
Paola Jirón Martinez (University of Chile, Chile)
Mary Gray (Microsoft/Indiana Univerisity, USA)
Ole B. Jensen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
André Lemos (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil)
Mimi Sheller (Drexel University, USA)
Jen Southern (Lancaster University, UK)
Phillip Vannini (Royal Roads University, Canada)

For further information, contact:
Ben Spencer, Administrative Coordinator, Mobile Media Lab
Concordia University, Montréal, Québec

Job opening – postdoc at MAPS, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Job opening

Post-doctoral position at 80%

at the Humanities Faculty, Maison d’analyse des processus sociaux (MAPS)

(Laboratoire d’études transnationales et des processus sociaux), University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

We are seeking a highly motivated post-doc who will conduct research on the project “Transnational Mobility of Academics in the Early Stages of their Careers: Transforming or Reproducing Gender Regimes” (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation).

Starting date January 2013 (or upon agreement); the position is a 3 year part-time (80%) appointment

– holds a PhD in a social science discipline (obtained between January 2009 and August 2012)
– demonstrates a good research and publication record in gender and migration/mobility issues
– possess excellent knowledge of quantitative (surveys, network analysis) and qualitative methodologies (biographic interviews, ego-centered networks, etc.) and research experience in both fields
– has perfect knowledge of English and perfect knowledge of French or  German with good mastery of the other language
– demonstrates an interest in interdisciplinary and team work

According to legal conditions of the University of Neuchâtel

A summary of the research project can be consulted at

Applicants should submit a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, and a representative publication (all PDF on format) no later than November 15, 2012 to Aylin Bastürk:

Questions about this position may be addressed to Professor Janine Dahinden:

The University of Neuchâtel is an equal opportunity employer.

Call for chapters for the proposed book: Planning and Religion – Exploring the Nexus in Developing Countries

Call for chapters for the proposed book

Planning and Religion – Exploring the Nexus in Developing Countries

Keywords: Religion, religious practices, cities, religious cities, space, mobility, gender, planning practices, master planning, Developing Countries, Asia
Deadline: 5th December 2012
Proposed Publisher: Routledge Earthscan
Proposed series: Questioning Cities

Editors for the proposed book:
Yamini Narayanan, PhD (Urban Sustainability and Religious Studies)
School of Social Sciences and Humanities, La Trobe University
Bundoora (Melbourne campus)
VIC 3086, Australia

Tanu Priya Uteng, PhD (Urban and Transport Planning)
Urban and Transport Planner
Planning Division
Rambøll Consultancy Services Ltd.
Please submit a 500-word abstract, title of the proposed paper and up to 6 keywords by the 5th of December 2012 to the Editors.

Book Proposal: An introduction
The book ‘Planning and Religion – Exploring the Nexus’ will study the limitations of secularist urban planning practices in cities from developing countries with specific and astounding religious character. Our initial aim was to dig for cities with a pilgrimage character, for example, Benares in India. However, after careful deliberation, we think this might overtly narrow the scope of the book so we have expanded to include cities from developing countries with a religious character. To this end, the project will examine primarily Asian cities, but the proposal remains open to include the gamut of cities from other developing countries, and explore the ramifications of religious/ideological understandings
and practices in terms of time and space. The implementation of religious practices and beliefs in the urban space gives rise to different facets of development which can provide quintessential point for deliberation and subsequent modifications for creating healthy cities. Some of these facets, for example, can be: how do religious beliefs provide a space for environmental and social activism, or pose a challenge to sustainable urban planning of the city? Are the mobility patterns included as part of the planning protocol with regard to religious practices, festivals? One of the critical contributions of this book lies in extracting the linkages between religion, sacred geography, urban-transport planning, mobility and livelihoods in major Asian cities.

The benefit of studying cities with a religious character is that the interface between the specific religion of the city and the development problematic may be more starkly presented and understood. For example, the pollution of the River Ganga flowing through the city of Varanasi in India is an excellent example of how Hindu practices may both assist and challenge the sustainability of river ecology. There are ritualistic and belief resources within religion that urban planning can – and must – utilise while devising sustainability of the city. Religion is, in such contexts, acts as critical an anthropological construct for development as culture itself.

To cite another example drawn from Varanasi, Varanasi stands at the fracture of being an “orthogenetic city” (Levy 1997: 56) – a city with its long-established, secure and continuously developing religio-cultural traditions, and a newer, multicultural city, with a secularist technical and administrative way of understanding itself. Orthogenetic transformation in a smaller city or a town would mean making whatever small social or technical adjustments that were required to adapt to developing urban life (Redfield and Singer 1954). However, for a large, high-profile and one of the largest destinations of tourist-pilgrims in India, urban planning in Varanasi both offers Hinduism a challenge and an opportunity to self-introspect, while being challenged in turn, by the vivid meaning-making religious, cultural and intellectual resources of Hinduism. In such contexts, Levy (1997: 61) calls Hinduism “a symbolic machine which has the power to organize space, time, society, and people’s private mental worlds on the large scale of the communal order of a ‘unicultural’ city. It is a kind of religion–in scale and in the uses to which it is put–which differs significantly, on the one hand, from that of simpler communities and, on the other, from that of the still larger imperial and economic orders which were to dissolve Hinduism’s kinds of cities. It is the kind of religion necessary to a city of orthogenetic transformation” (Levy 1997: 61).
The idea of putting this anthology together is also timely, particularly in light of Asia’s unprecedented, phenomenal urban growth. India, for instance, has over 500 major pilgrimage cities and several thousand minor ones (Srinivas 2008) though it’s planning policies remain purportedly secularist, concerned with technological innovations and rationalist approaches to built human settlements. Thus, creative postmodernist urban planners criticize this “secularization of our cityscapes” (Davey 2005: 207) and call for more holistic planning approaches that include appreciation of the role of religion and spirituality. Furthermore, studying the religion/planning nexus is important in light of growing religious fundamentalism and the ‘avoidable’ dentures transforming cities into communalised spaces, leading to social and spatial exclusion of the ‘other’ (AlSayyad and Massoumi 2011). This is a particularly volatile issue in cities with competing religious claims on the city’s space, heritage and identities.

Thus it will be a major task of this project to suggest ways in which the theology, informed by the intersecting dimensions of religion, gender, mobility, livelihoods and culture of pilgrimage cities may be used to inform urban planning policies in the chosen cities. Integrating religious theology into secularist urban policy may be a tricky task; however, it is also one that may be achieved through creativity and provide the most suitable striking point for sustainability in Asia. Empirical evidence from 59 countries already points to the fact that economic growth thrives when religious beliefs emphasise work ethic as a duty to God (Barro and McCleary 2003). Religious beliefs may thus similarly impact the efficiency (or inefficiency) of a range of secularist institutions such as the legal framework, governments, markets and corporations. In religious cities, these positive or negative impacts will be most obvious, because religious expressions will occur not just in beliefs but also in practices. This study will provide valuable empirical evidence of such impacts and accordingly suggest ways in which these impacts may be reflected and implemented through urban planning and development policies.
The book is envisaged to be divided in three parts. The first part will have a theoretical focus on the theme of religion and planning covering a wide range of topics ranging from religiosity – urbanism – feminity – livelihoods – media – technology – transport – disaster management etc. which we hope will initiate a dialogue on the nexus between religion and planning and set the arena for exploring the different and differentiated development regimes.

The second part will contain case studies from Asia and other developing parts of the world to cover the issues of development and religion in the pilgrimage cities of Asia.

The third or the last section will contain chapters looking into policy guidelines for easing the translation of understandings built in the first two sections.

The proposed book will be of interest to Students and Academic Research Institutions ranging from third year undergraduate, post-graduate researcher to university academia, Development Agencies, National and Local Governments, Policy Makers and policy-making institutions like The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Health Organisation, United National Environmental Program, United Nations Development Program etc.

Results of the Project
This project will be useful in addressing the following critical gaps in knowledge in a diverse range of disciplines – cultural studies, urban studies, religious studies, development, women’s studies, sociology, anthropology and ecology:

1. Retrieving religious understandings of religion, time, space and mobility and applying them to sustainable urban planning theory and practice using pilgrimage cities to identity important theoretical intersections more clearly
2. Identifying the cause and effect of ruptures between orthogenetic and contemporary city development in Asian cities
3. Locating the interface and tensions between religious participation in the selected cities

This book will thus attempt to clarify certain fundamentals of the developing relationships between urbanisation, modernisation, traditionalisation, and re-traditionalisation in the cities, through urban planning, development and influence of religion, gender and the many severe ecological crises that the Asian cities face in contemporary times. If you are interested in contributing a chapter to this end,

Please submit a 500-word abstract, title of the proposed paper and up to 6 keywords by the 30th of November 2012 to the Editors.

AlSayyad, N & and Massoumi, M. 2011. The Fundamentalist City? Religiosity and the Remaking of Urban Space. Oxford: London.
Barro, R. J. and R. M. McCleary. 2003. Religion and Economic Growth across Countries. American Sociological Review 68(5): 760-781.
Davey, A. 2005. The Spirituality of Everyday Life. In A. Walker (Ed.), Spirituality in the City. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
Levy, R. 1997. The Power of Space in a Traditional Hindu City. International Journal of Hindu Studies, 1 (1), 55-71.
Srinivas, S. 2008. The Presence of the Baba: Body, City and Memory in a Global Religious Movement. Leiden and Boston: Brill.