Mobilities sessions at this year's New Zealand Geographical Society-Institute of Australian Geographers Joint Conference

There are a number of mobilities-themed sessions at this year's New Zealand Geographical Society-Institute of Australian Geographers Joint Conference happening in Auckland, 11-14 July 2018. If you're interested, please send queries and abstracts to the session organisers listed below by the end of March:


Future Mobilities: transitions, trials and transformations

Helen Fitt, Angela Curl, and

Transport systems have experienced long periods of stability punctuated by disruptive changes. The interplay between emerging technologies, user practices and expectations, policy, and infrastructures may contribute to novel transformations of mobility systems. This session seeks contributions that examine potential configurations of future mobilities. In particular, we are interested in: conceptualisations of mobile futures and spaces of mobility (e.g. utopias, dystopias, imagined mobilites, smart infrastructures and cities, networked places, connected, autonomous, and electric vehicles, e-bikes, mobility scooters, bike and car sharing schemes, Mobility as a Service); how different futures may come about (e.g. sites of experimentation and real-world testing, politics and practice of transition, mobility transition governance, future assemblages of technology, mobile and sensing bodies, and material spaces); novel, innovative, and creative approaches for geographical investigations of future mobility (e.g. spatially and temporally mobile methods, future focussed social practice approaches, socio-technical transitions, futures and foresight methodologies); implications of future mobilities (e.g. equity of impacts, behavioural responses, futures for mobile workers and mobile work, transitions in mobility and demography, wider perceptions, possibilities, and practicalities of social change). In this session, we are keen to draw together a diverse range of geography sub-disciplines as well as interdisciplinary insights to explore future mobilities.

Home, memory and mobility: settling while on the move

Caitlin Buckle and Charishma Ratnam

On average, residents in Australia and New Zealand live in five different places throughout their lifetime (Bernard et al. 2017). Moving from place to place – locally, domestically and internationally – has prompted deeper investigations into how settlement and place-making ensue among migrants. Thus, increasingly mobile lives also require reconsiderations of ‘home’, from a stable place, to a concept that is fluid across time and space (Buckle, 2017). The lived experiences of migrants and mobile individuals as they move reveal how they deconstruct and reconstruct home over time (Blunt & Dowling, 2006; Boccagni, 2017). Memory aids in (re)constructions of home by fostering a sense of place and identity that is often (re)produced and performed through movements, practices, materiality, attachments and frequent encounter in home spaces (Ratnam & Drozdzewski, 2017). In this session, we hope to showcase research that explores the connections between home, memory, and mobility. We encourage participants to consider: how the concept of home is made meaningful (or not) in a mobile world; what role memory plays in the (re)construction(s) of home?; how do we creatively (methodologically and theoretically) approach examinations of memory, home and mobility?; Does mobility, transnationality and migration influence how homes are (re)constructed and remembered? 

Materials, mobilities and in/securities

Kaya Barry, Michele Lobo 

Across scholarly and public debates there is increasing emphasis on the potency of materials, objects, artefacts, and a range of nonhumans that are integral to everyday mobilities and global flows. Materials are entangled within policy, debates, and practices that govern how and where human action is secured, conformed, and moulded into the pretence of a safe and secure global society. Materials large or small—from personal belongings, waste, bacteria, coal, or A380s—can disrupt or unsettle security practices and future trajectories of global mobilities. We question how in/securities are produced through materials and mobilities. How are non- or more-than-human assemblages held to account for the challenges, changes, and conflicts facing the world? Are contemporary mobilities systems contingent on diminishing materials and risky assemblages? How might attending to the intersections of materiality and mobility allow new creative conversations and connections to develop? We invite papers that speculate on the agencies, potencies, and in/securities that are produced through intersections of materiality and mobility. Theoretical, empirical, or innovative methodological approaches on topics such as, but not limited to: Risky, disruptive, or un/in/secure material assemblages; Mobilities and security design; Futures of transport, tourism, and material resources; Narratives of migration and personal experiences of materiality.

Mobilities and weather

Tim Edensor, Kaya Barry, Maria Borovnik, Gail Adams-Hutcheson

Heat, dust, ice, snow, precipitation, sunlight, clouds, tides, ash, haze, fog, particles, high or low pressure, cyclones—these and other states of ‘weather’ alter the ways in which we humans are intertwined with weather landscapes. Weather and climate has been a frequent theme in mobilities studies, regarding atmospheres and affects, or environments and ecological entanglements, where human action is repositioned within and affected by the ‘weather world’1. These can be everyday experiences in which kinaesthetic, visual, or affective resonances merge humans and landscapes2; or in disastrous and extreme ‘events’ disrupting and rerouting mobility; or in the changing climate making headlines globally. Our experiences of weather are diverse and ever-changing. We invite papers from an array of perspectives, including: Walking, driving, cycling, skiing, swimming, flying etc. through/in weather; Atmospheres and weather; Adapting mobilities for climate change; Cross-disciplinary explorations of weather sciences, landscapes and mobilities; The non-human and weather; Weather as disrupting event. 

Moving stories: Narrative histories of car journeys

Tim Edensor, Uma Kothari

Since the second half of the 20th century, the car journey has been integral to many people’s lives. Family jaunts in the car, holiday drives through local and foreign landscapes, road trips, hitch-hiking escapades as well as more mundane daily commutes often provide rich memories and engender interesting encounters. This session seeks to deepen the historical underpinning of new mobilities thinking by compiling a narrative history of automobility. We aim to identify some of the key themes through which personal and collective experiences of car travel have fostered intimate, novel, unexpected and sensuous engagements with people, places and landscapes. In addition, we explore how deep attachments to automobiles and their interior environments can emerge through travel but also within the car as a site of encounter. Accordingly, we invite papers that reflect upon personal stories that demonstrate the enduring affective and social impacts of car travel. 

Platform Cities

David Bissell, Alan Latham

This session invites papers that explore how mobile ‘gig economy’ platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo, Grab, Kidsiter, Airtasker and AirBnB are changing the way that we inhabit, sense and understand cities. Where some recent geographical work has explored the evolution of the ‘smart’ city, we suggest that the various mobile dimensions of these platforms demand closer attention. As such, this session invites conceptual and empirical papers that explore the changing mobilities of people, goods and services via mobile platforms. Papers might explore platforms from a consumer, labour or governance perspective. They might consider how platforms create and rely on differential mobilities of bodies, ideas and policies. They might explore the changing everyday conventions and socialities upon which they depend. They might assess the geographical diversity of different sorts of platforms in different cities, and the new kinds of inequalities that are being created. They might evaluate the political implications of platforms for changing relations of private and public infrastructure, and the ways these platforms use and alter existing infrastructural elements.