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Call for papers 

Moving boundaries in mobilities research 

Organised by the
University of Cagliari in collaboration with the Cosmobilities Network 

Venue: University of
Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy)

Dates: 5-7 July 2012.


Keynote speakers

Freudendal-Pedersen (Roskilde, Cosmobilities Network)

Sven Kesselring (MoRE,
Munich/Aalborg, Cosmobilities Network)

Mimi Sheller (mCenter,
Drexel, Philadelphia, Pan American Mobilities Network)



Mobilities is a
distinct strand of theory and research in social science, an evolving approach
that synthesises in an original way existing and new writings on the combined
movements of people, objects and information. The mobilities turn addresses
conceptual and methodological challenges posed by old and new transformations
in transport and communication systems and their implications for contemporary
lives and natures.

Over the last decade
the mobilities turn has generated enthusiasm across different fields and
informed studies in a wide range of topics and problematics, from tourism,
migration, transport, urban planning and mobile communication to logistics,
climate change, consumption and inequality. In the Anglophone world interest is
particularly evident in sociology and human geography. One among many anecdotal
examples is Tim Cresswell’s article ‘Towards a politics of mobility’ which
currently figures as the most downloaded paper in the last twelve months in Environment and Planning D: Space and Society. 

While research has, up
to date, tended to focus on the daily micromobilities of people and objects,
attention is also being directed towards histories of mobility, the mobility of
ideas, large scale circulation systems, building materials and resource
consumption and circulation.  As an
approach with moving boundaries, mobilities research is also developing
methodologies and methods that respond to both conceptual innovations and the
empirical realities of a world on the move. Innovations in ‘mobile methods’ are
openning up promising prospects and still unfulfilled possibilities some of
which are related to the way new ICTs routinely generate, collect and
disseminate data. The mobilities turn, like most social science, still has to
come to terms with these trends and create synergies with streams of research
that are successfully exploiting these opportunities. At the moment, major
advances in network theory, one of the backbones of complexity theory, are
coming not so much from the physical sciences but from research on the social,
drawing on vast amounts of data generated by intelligent networked
infrastructures and mobile telephony.  


This conference,
funded by the University of Cagliari and organized in collaboration with the
Cosmobilities Network, aims at discussing new directions in mobilities
research, showcasing the state of the art in the field, and providing a unique
opportunity to create lasting links among researchers, especially in the north
and the south of Europe. 

The language of this
event will be English but the range of papers presented will be a reflection of
the diversity of concerns, approaches and methodologies informing mobilities
research in Europe and beyond. 

Young and experienced
researchers are invited to submit abstracts for paper presentations. High
quality abstracts on any aspect of mobilities are welcomed although submissions
addressing the following themes are particularly encouraged:

histories of mobilities

cultures of mobilities 

mobilities outside the north Atlantic rim

the spaces and politics of mobility (and immobility) in the
Mediterranean city

forms of mobility other than car, train and aeroplane

research conducted in collaboration with artists and public and private
actors outside academia illustrating the way 
new knowledge collectives are formed around the use of new ICTs

transnational research involving different institutional settings



In order to maximise
opportunities to present a wide range of research and learn about what is
happening in the field of mobilities, this event is organised as a ‘festival of ideas’ consisting of short
presentations followed by plenty of time for questions and collective
discussion. The time for each presentation will depend on the number of submissions
finally accepted and participants should be prepared to make brief
interventions. The event will be scheduled in a way that maximises the time for
discussion and socialising. 

Introducing the Cosmobilities Network

This conference is
part of a series of regular events jointly organised between European
universities and Cosmobilities to promote mobilities research in southern and
eastern Europe and strengthen links between researchers in and outside
academia. On Thursday 5 July, following the inaugural presentation, Malene
Freudendal-Pedersen and Sven Kesselring will introduce the Cosmobilities
Network, and talk about its origins in 2004, its activities, future plans and
how to become involved. 

Deadline for abstract submissions

Dealine: April  25, 2012 

Contact for abstract submissions: 

Javier Caletrío [log in to unmask]

Ugo Rossi [log in to unmask]



Event organized and
funded by the University of Cagliari (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali e delle
Istituzioni) in collaboration with the Cosmobilities Network.

Professor Giuliana
Mandich (University of Cagliari)

Dr Javier Caletrío
(CeMoRe, Cosmobilities, Visiting Fellow University of Cagliari)

Dr Ugo Rossi (University
of Cagliari)


Registration and accomodation

No registration fees
are required. A modest contribution may be required for the partecipation to
the conference dinner. Further information can be found at For 
accomodation options in Cagliari please have a look here:



Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, is the
perfect location for a Cosmobilities event. A crossroad between
cultures throughout the centuries - among which
Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantins, Aragons, Catalans- it offers one of the most beautiful and longest
beaches in the Mediterranean and a crystal-clear sea around, besides an
unspoiled natural environment consisting of lagoons, bird sanctuaries and
wildlife reserves, as well as museums and archaeological sites, which
altogether make it a unique scene in Europe. 


  Preliminary schedule 
Thursday 5
  17.30 –
  Welcome and introduction
  18 –
  Inaugural presentation
  19.30 –
  Presentation of the Cosmobilities Network
  20.30 –
  Friday 6
  July 2012
  10 – Keynote
  11.30 –
  Session 1
  14 – Lunch
  15.30 –
  Session 2
  Saturday 7
  July 2012
  10 – Keynote
  11.30 –
  Session 3
  14 – End of
  the conference




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