Global Conference On Mobility Futures


See the details of Lancaster’s Centre for Mobilities Research 10 year anniversary conference below


Call for Participation 

Global Conference On Mobility Futures 

Lancaster Centre for Mobilities Research

As part of the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) at Lancaster University, we are pleased to announce and invite contributions for the ‘Global Conference on Mobility Futures’, September 4-6th, 2013, at Lancaster University, UK.

Over the past ten years, the work of CeMoRe and others have helped to ‘mobilise’ the social and human sciences and developed innovative analyses of economic, social, technological, political, policy and design transformations. The ‘Global Conference on Mobility Futures’ will reflect this work and provide a forum for the presentation of cutting edge research from across the social sciences/humanities that reflects back on, explores the present and looks towards future mobilities.

The conference theme 

The conference will address all aspects of Mobilities research.

Mobilities research addresses not only the movement of people, objects, information, messages, risks and images through intersecting mobility-systems. It also explores the motivations, pleasures, pains and practices of stillness, of coordinating movement, blocking it, holding things in place, creating and maintaining social and material infrastructures. Some likely past, present and future mobilities to be debated at the Conference include: disasters; electric bikes; social networking; emergencies; military mobilities; experiences of being on the move; 4G; space tourism; climate change refugees; oil wars; gendered, aged and ethnic mobilities; ‘future mobile imaginaries’; citizen innovation; mobile art; mobile methods; food vs fuel; 3D printing; Arctic mobilities; slow travel; Chinese and Indian mobilities; high speed rail; and alternatives to corporeal travel.

A key priority theme, reflecting current and urgent societal concerns, will be questions about limits to the expansion and sophistication of future mobilities. Such questions mean considering if there are limits to mobility, what the limits are, and what consequences limits may have for people’s lives. It also means considering whether different mobilities might substitute for each other, whether this is likely or desirable, and how to design and bring about ‘good mobilities’ in a period of continued austerity.

Conference format 

This event will bring together leading theorists and practitioners, transport professionals, computer experts, artists, policy-makers, established academics and junior researchers who are contributing in some way to this paradigm. Confirmed keynote and invited speakers include:

  • Peter Adey, Reader in Human Geography, Royal Holloway, London
  • Bianca Freire Medeiros, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Center for Research and Documentation on Brazilian Contemporary History (CPDOC) at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Ole B. Jensen, Professor of Urban Theory, Aalborg University and Director of theResearch Cluster for Mobility and Tracking Technologies (MoTT), Denmark
  • Caren Kaplan, Professor of American Studies, University of California, Davis, US
  • Sven Kesselring, the Cosmobilities Network and Professor, Aalborg University
  • James Marriott, Co-Founder of Platform (‘Arts, Activism, Education, Research’) and co-author of The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London 
  • Leysia Palen, Associate Professor in Computer Science, Director Project EPIC: Empowering the Public with Information in Crisis and Director of Connectivity Lab, University of Colorado at Boulder, US
  • Kim Sawchuk, Professor of Communication Studies, Concordia University, Canada
  • Mimi Sheller, Director, Center for Mobilities Research and Policy and Professor of Sociology, Drexel University, US
  • Elizabeth Shove, Professor of Sociology and Director of EPSRC/ESRC Research Centre DEMAND, Lancaster University
  • Adrian da Souza e Silva, Associate Professor of Communcation, North Carolina State University, US
  • John Urry, Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University, and Distinguished Professor of Sociology
  • Susan Zielinski, Professor of Transportation Research and Director of Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation (SMART), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, US

Based at Lancaster University, the conference will be multi-sited with events, lectures, seminars, exhibitions, video streams, and short talks linked together around the world. It will be curated by Lancaster staff but with participation from other mobility centres and networks.

Call for Contributions 

We invite a range of different kinds of contributions on the themes outlined above. Please note that there is a no-fly attendance option, where you have the opportunity to present and discuss your work without physically travelling to Lancaster.


Academic papers exploring the theory, practice, and implications of mobile living. Participants will be expected to deliver a (ca 20min) talk. Please submit a 500 word abstract by 12th April 2013. Notification of acceptance: 10th May. For further information please contact Monika Buscher


Accepted posters will be presented in short ‘Pecha-Kucha’ sessions (a series of slides delivered in 6 minutes) in addition to being exhibited in the social spaces of the conference. Authors will also be expected to be available for discussion during specified poster sessions during breaks. Please submit a  poster by 19th  April 2013. Notification of acceptance: 18th  May. For further information please contact Lisa Wood .


There will be a physical and virtual exhibition of art relating to the conference themes (in the widest sense). Artists may be asked to deliver a short talk. Please submit a 500 word abstract by 19th  April 2013. Notification of acceptance: 18th  May. The Lancaster-based Catalyst project is offering a bursary of £2000 for new mobilities art work related to ‘citizen-led digital innovation for social change’. ( ) For further details please contact Jen Southern .

Important Dates 

Full Paper Abstract Submission by 12th April 2013

Notification of acceptance: 10th May

Poster and Artwork Submissions by 19th April 2013

Notification of acceptance: 18th May

Registration opens 15th February 2013

Early Bird Registration ends 12th July 2013

For more information visit CeMoRe

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