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 Chapters – Book project ‘Discourses and Ideologies of Mobility

Call for Chapters | Book Project:

Discourses and Ideologies of Mobility

Editorial Team

Katharina Manderscheid, Department of Sociology, University of Lucerne, Switzerland.
Marcel Endres, Graduate Program Topology of Technology, Faculty of History and Social Sciences, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany.
Christophe Mincke, Centre d’études sociologiques, Facultés universitaires Saint Louis, Brussels, Belgium.

In the last two decades, the conceptualisation and empirical analysis of mobilities of people, objects and symbols has become a legitimate strand of the social sciences. Yet, as Mimi Sheller and John Urry argue, the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ should not be “a quest­ion of privileging a ‘mobile subjectivity’, but rather of tracking the power of discourses and practices of mobility” (Sheller and Urry 2006, p.211). Along these lines, scholars suggest that a ‘politics of mobility’ demands development, which would help to uncover the “social relations that involve the production and distribution of power” and “the ways in which mobilities are both productive of such social relations and produced by them” (Cresswell 2010, p.14).

The majority of mobilities scholars’ framings recognises objects within the dichotomy of mobilities and immobilities, movement and moorings. However, analyses of the formation of mobilities as an object of knowledge shaped by social sciences as well as other scientific discourses has not yet been given sufficient attention. Therefore, this book pursues a strategy of conceptualising mobilities beyond the dichotomy of movement and stasis. As Bonham (2006) argues, transport and movement has to be constituted first as objects of knowledge in order to hierarchise and govern mobilities. It is this formation of ‘movement-cum-knowledge’ — discourses, ideologies, classifications, prioritisations and obscurings — which engenders mobilities as objects of government, power struggles, and truth regimes. This approach moves beyond the discursive differentiations and sheds light on the constitution and various discursive strategies deployed to distinguish between licit and illicit ‘movers’, namely, illegal migrants, high-status expatriots, gypsies, leisure travellers, creative nomads, and so on (Cresswell 2006; Urry 2007).

Following Michel Foucault, we regard discourses and ideologies on mobility as systems of thought, which “systematically constitute the objects of which they speak” (Foucault, 2002, p.54). These systems always contain a normative dimension by shaping specific ideas and judgements regarding the value and handling of various mobilities. Therefore, discourses of mobility are interfused with ideological codings and power hierarchies, which constitute certain social meanings and areas of knowledge. In a sense, both discourses and ideologies permanently build connections “from matters of fact to matters of concern” (Latour 2004, p.225), which are far from “exclusive from science” (Foucault 2002, p.199) Or, as Peter Adey puts it, “mobilities are underpinned by specific ideological and discursive meanings, which are not limited to any boundary between both academic and real social worlds” (Adey 2010, p.14).

Thus, social scientists can simply reproduce and adopt discourses on mobility, for instance in regards to migration and biopower; social networks and circulations; or in studies of mobile genders, bodies and ethnicities. Or social scientists can critically engage with the construction of these discourses by  de- and reconstructing them. The latter highlights that social sciences are frequently traversed by ideological traits, for instance in the concept of automobility, in debates on the right to mobility, in ideas of cosmopolitanism and sustainable mobility, and, not least, in general equations of mobility with modernity and freedom.

Against this outlined concepts of mobility, the aim of this book is to explore the unprecedented career of mobility as a discoursive formation in the humanities and social sciences. Following Michel Foucault, we want to encourage the historicisation of mobility discourses and their ideological implications in the sense of a genealogy and epistemology of mobilities. In accordance, the book´s interest is on mobility as a knowledge object rather than an identified subject within the historical contingency of movement. How do discourses and ideologies structure social life and lived reality? What are the real world affects of/on the will and the ability to be mobile? And, how do these lived realities, in turn, invigorate or intefere with certain discourses and ideologies of mobility?

Based on this framework, the book aims to address the problem on three interrelated levels:

Connotations: We want to explore the ongoing discursive construction, contestation and  changes in regards to the valuation and meaning of movement and stasis, mobility and moorings especially against the background of social change and processes of globalisation. Both, mobility and immobility are highly ambivalent terms differentiating in changing ways between good movers and bad movers, desired stasis and blocking social fixes, the promise of mobility (motility), forced movements and so on.

Cross-Disciplinary Connections: We assume that mobility discourses are often deeply interrelated with knowledge formations in other disciplines, for instance medicine and anatomy, thermodynamic and experimental physics, kinetics and engineering, ecology or evolution theory. The transference of ideas in regards to mobilities from one field of scientific knowledge to another has not yet gained a lot of attention. This also touches the question of what can be identified as the very essence of mobilities at a specific historical time and geographical place.

Science History and Episteme: We also seek to shed light on the uneven picture of the various historical origins of mobility discourses. In the sense of an “archaeology of knowledge on mobilities”, we want to stress particular meanings given to movement in different systems of thoughts and due to epistemological connections between them.

Chapter Contributions
We are looking forward to contributions which scrutinise the implicitness of the “mobility turn” as a stringent need as well as the indiscriminate recognition of a world that seems to be mobilised overly across the board. Article contributors should signpost approaches along one of the following lines of argument:

·         addressing the impacts of thought schemes and structures on current social, political and scientific discourses on mobility

·         emphasising conversely the role of mobility discourses for predominant thought patterns in other fields of knowledge

·         picking up, refining or drafting alternate theoretical concepts of mobility and their potentialities for further research

·         addressing the relationship between spatial mobility and other conceptual forms of mobilities (social, cultural, inter-generational, virtual, of thought, ideas, imaginations)

We intend to prepare the ground for a broad topical range of submissions. Exemplary topics could be:

·         powerful figures and metaphors of mobile subjectivity (e.g. “new nomadism”, cosmopolitanism, diasporas, home/rootlessness, ubiquity, fluidity). 

·         materialisations of mobility and their discursive charge (e.g. vehicles, tracks, areas, cities, objects, institutions, procedures).

·         legal, posited and social norms and acceptances of mobility (e.g. registration practices, legal obligations and rights, public opinion, social representations, moral regulations).

·         infrastructural and institutional constraints and possibilities (e.g. public and private transport systems, behavioural settings, incentive schemes, social organisations, social life structures).

·         medial constructions of mobility (e.g. print media, literature, movies, music, arts, news, web content, political discourses).

·         history and genealogy of (im)mobility discourses (e.g. history of movement rights and claims, etymological / encyclopedical origins, conceptual history of mobility terms).

·         scientific concepts and models which hisorically produced certain connotations and meanings  of mobility (e.g. blood circulation, graphical network models, thermodynamics, epidemology).

·         the co-constitution of specific disciplines and profession together with the formation of specific mobility and transport knowledge (e.g. traffic engineering).

·         the interweaving of security and control as a powerful dispositif of the present with normalisation and criminalisation of specific mobile subjects and their practices of movement.

Submission guidelines
Proposals should consist of a preliminary title, an abstract with a maximum of 600 words and a short CV of the author.

Submissions should be sent until March 31st, 2013 to the Editors:,,

The deadline for full papers is December 31st, 2013.
Papers should not exceed 8000 words.
The book is planned to be published in mid of 2014.


Peter Adey (2010): Mobility. New York: Routledge

Jennifer Bonham (2006): Transport: disciplining the body that travels. In: Böhm, Steffen; Campbell, Jones;  Land, Chris; Paterson, Matthew (Eds.): Against Automobility. Malden, Oxford: Blackwell: 57-74.

Tim Cresswell (2006): On the move. Mobility in the modern West. New York: Routledge.

Tim Cresswell (2010): Towards a Politics of Mobility. In: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28, 17-31.

Michel Foucault (2002),: The Archeology of Knowledge. Abingdon: Routledge (Routledge Classics).

Bruno Latour (2004) Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam ? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern, In Critical Inquiry – Special issue on the Future of Critique, 30, 2, pp.225-248.

Mimi Sheller and John Urry (2006): The new mobilities paradigm, Environment and Planning A 38 (2), 207 – 226.

John Urry (2007): Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity Press.

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