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Sunday, October 7, 2012

CFP: Differential Mobilities: Movement and Mediation in Networked Societies

"From May 8-11, 2013, the Mobile Media Lab in the Communication Studies department of Concordia University in Montreal will be hosting Differential Mobilities: Movement and Mediation in Networked Societies. This international conference is sponsored by the Pan-American Mobilities Network, in association with the European Cosmobilities Network. The conference will be held in collaboration with the 4th annual meeting of the Pan-American Mobilities Network. Previous conferences have been held at: Royal Roads University, Victoria B.C (2010); Drexel University, Philadelphia PA (2011) ; and North Carolina State University, Raleigh-Durham NC (2012).

The conference is an opportunity for scholars, artists, activists, and policy makers to engage in a lively exchange of ideas in an interdisciplinary context, taking the term “mobilities” as a fulcrum. 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.

Each year the conference has a different thematic focus, reflecting the interests and expertise of the local organizing committee. Previous themes have included: Cultures of Movement: Mobile Subjects, Communities, and Technologies in the Americas (2010); Mobilities in Motion: New Approaches to Emergent and Future Mobilities (2011); Local and Mobile: linking mobilities, mobile communication and locative media (2012)

This year’s theme 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.

An excellent group of keynote and plenary speakers have been invited to join us. A series of workshops, exhibitions and performances are being planned to coincide with the conference.

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: 8-13 May, 2013

Please submit your abstracts here.

The Pan-American Mobilities Network is a scholarly and professional network dedicated to the study of mobilities in South, Central, and North America. Membership is free and new members are always welcomed. We are developing a new website and once this is in place, we welcome new members. The Pan-American Mobilities Network gathers individuals and groups interested in developing more knowledge about mobilities on–or intersecting with–these continents and keen on building collegial relationships.

The Cosmobilities Network connects European scientists working in the field of mobility research. As an interdisciplinary network it represents state of the art research on different aspects of social, physical, cultural and virtual mobilities. It fosters mobility research as a key discipline for the modernization of European societies under the conditions of globalization and global complexity.

Conference Chair
Kim Sawchuk (Concordia University, Qu├ębec)."

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