Entangled Im/Mobilities:
Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences

March 18-20, 2021
University of Vienna

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Peter Adey, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Sara Upstone, Kingston University London, UK

Submission closed

In times of crisis, im/mobilities within a global-local continuum become ever more perceptible, yet not equally transparent. As the COVID-19 pandemic has most recently shown, im/mobilities are embedded in and constituted by social relations, practices and structures. These entanglements are by no means new in academia and have been theorized within the field of mobility studies in the past years. The multifaceted field of mobilities research, expanding across and beyond disciplines, tackles topics ranging from im/mobilities resulting from climate change and (post)colonial displacements, through experiential qualities of embodied movement, to cultural and literary representations and materializations of im/mobilities.

This conference, organized by the Research Platform Mobile Cultures and Societies, conceptualizes im/mobilities as the potential for movement or stillness which is »entangled in the way societies and cultures assign meaning through talk, images and other representations and live out their lives« (Adey, referring to Cresswell, 2017: 7). The myriad entanglements between mobile and immobile actors, practices and objects shed light on different Regimes of Mobility (Glick Schiller and Salazar 2013). Through entanglements, circumscribed within unequal power relations and colonial legacies, translocal mobilities may be perpetuated or reinforced via spatio-temporal entrapments and friction »to keep global power in motion« (Tsing 2005: 6) – leading to the intersection of different scales and modes of im/mobility. Further levels of entanglement ensue from the fact that im/mobilities arise through interactions between human and non-human actors, material objects as well as the natural and built environment or spatiotemporal structures. What is more, im/mobilities are inscribed in semantic contexts and relations of meaning, becoming subjects of artistic and epistemic representations, but also of institutional discourses and policies.

One of our intentions is to find out how a nuanced view of entangled im/mobilities could reveal complex relations of meaning, shaped by geographic, cultural, historical and material contexts. In order to cover a wide variety of topics and to combine reflections from the humanities and the social sciences, the conference is divided into 12 panels. The programme will also feature 2 keynote lectures and artistic contributions.

List of panels

  • Entangled Inequalities: Intersectional Approaches Towards Public Health Crises
  • »Points of Entanglement« in and beyond the Caribbean
  • Entangled Im/Mobilities in and from Africa: Of Hubs, Networks and Literary Paths Abroad
  • Entangled Im/Mobilities in and from Africa: Of Journeys Spiritual, Accidental, Competitive or Shared
  • Von anderen Mobilitäten. Verkörperungen und Narrative zwischen Stilllegung und Mobilisierung (DE)
  • Mobility Justice? The Underrepresented Entanglement of Im/Mobilities in Climate and Environmental Change
  • Im/Mobilities in the Experiences of Refugees, Asylum-Seekers, and Migrants
  • Non-human Im/Mobilities
  • Infrastructural and Spatial Constructions of Meaning
  • Conceptualizing Entangled Im/Mobilities in Diverse Contexts
  • Im/Mobilities in the Planetary Now: Migration and Diaspora in World Cinema
  • Transnational and Translingual Im/Mobilities

A conference website with more information about the programme and how to register is coming soon. For questions, please contact: entangled.mobilities@univie.ac.at

Adey, Peter (2017): Mobility. Second edition. London, New York, NY: Routledge (Key ideas in Geography).
Glick Schiller, Nina; Salazar, Noel B. (2013): Regimes of Mobility Across the Globe. In Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39 (2), pp. 183–200.
Sheller, Mimi (2018): Theorising Mobility Justice. In Tempo Soc. 30 (2), pp. 17–34.
Tsing, Anna (2008): Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.