2nd Call for Papers: RGS-IBG Conference, London 31st August – 2nd September 20011
Organisers: Rachel Aldred (UEL), Katrina Brown (Aberdeen), Justin Spinney (UEL)
With the mobilities turn in social enquiry it is now accepted that movement and mobility are about much more than just about getting from A to B. Daily mobility is amongst other things an arena where identities and citizenship are constructed, conferred and contested (Aldred, 2010; Cresswell 1999). As Bourdieu’s (1977) concept of habitus suggests, power is reproduced because we perceive and act in accordance with embodied orientations and understandings of the world. For example as Ingold (2004) has demonstrated, seemingly taken for granted modes of comportment become normative measures of ‘moral rectitude’. Likewise geographical imaginaries become (sometimes literally) mobilised in myriad ways in the embodiment, practice and legitimation of particular notions of citizenship. Accordingly the mobile embodiment of conduct, technology, style, place, gender, etc. shapes understandings of the place, status, and legitimacy of individuals and groups in the world. Citizenship here is understood broadly, encompassing embodied claims to space, the social construction of il/legitimate conduct, the privileging of some social identities over others, and the operation of power. Thus the bigger questions that this session intends to explore (with reference to everyday mobility) are how do particular mobile embodiments both (re)produce and contest norms regarding what counts as legitimate citizenship, how are geographical imaginaries (and materialities) implicated and reworked, and what inequalities arise as a result? Papers might address the following topics:
• The role of particular modes of comportment such as activity/inactivity, hunched/upright, shuffling/striding.
• “Active travel” and the bio-citizen.
• The role of visual representations in shaping perceptions of the il/legitimate use of street space.
• Citizenship and the senses: what levels and forms of sensory engagement are deemed appropriate for different groups of mobile citizens?
• Contradictions and tensions between different constructions of citizenship, for example between embodied and discursive constructions or between ecological and cosmopolitan citizenship.
• The influence of mobile technologies (shoes, bikes, cars, phones, planes, boats, ICTs and other media) in configuring embodied performances.
• The ways in which social categories of racialised, gendered, aged, classed and disabled mobile bodies intersect with constructions of citizenship.
• The role of governmental/ institutional regulation and the media in shaping mobile power relations.
• Historical accounts of mobility, embodiment and citizenship.
Please note, the focus of this session is on daily mobility rather than more ‘extraordinary’ and occasional forms of mobility such as migration. We welcome theoretical and empirical papers from a range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to geography, anthropology, sociology, architecture, cultural studies and history. Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted by Friday the 11th of February 2011 to Justin Spinney ([log in to unmask]).