The Center for Mobilities Research and Policy (mCenter) at Drexel University promotes new theoretical approaches, new methods and the academic leadership to research, envision and foster alternative mobility futures based on innovative collaborations between the arts and social sciences, participatory engineering, business, media and design, and public health. This is an area of growing academic interest, policy debate and research investment. The mCenter is a nexus for generating innovative collaborations within Drexel, across the Greater Philadelphia region and internationally.
Mimi Sheller, PhD, professor in Drexel's Department of Sociology, is director of the mCenter. She has played a central role in advancing the new mobilities paradigm within the social sciences, co-founding the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University in the U.K. and the international journal Mobilities. Through her own research on automobility, tourism mobilities, and Caribbean mobilities, she has helped to develop the field of mobilities research. In founding the mCenter at Drexel and supporting the formation of the Pan-American Mobilities Network she is helping to expand the presence of the field in North America.
The mCenter offers occasional courses through the Department of Sociology, the Center for Science, Technology and Society, and the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement. Courses cover topics such as mobile media, new mobilities, sustainable transport and mobility justice. Sheller also supervises independent studies, Steinbright research co-ops, and Humanities Fellows in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The mCenter engages in public outreach through conferences, symposia, workshops, film screenings, and art exhibitions focusing on issues such as:
- Contemporary urban environments and their complex infrastructures of mobility, mobile communication and networked connections
- Border control, population surveillance and political conflict over the rights to mobility and rights to enter, stay, and reside
- Movement of risks and diseases across the increasingly interdependent and vulnerable world, including the mobilities associated with humanitarian disaster response and climate change
- Development of new mobile technologies including automated highways, cybercars, mobile locative media and ecologically sustainable "smart" cities
We also extend occasional consultancy services to companies working in the field of mobility, transport and urban design. We have expertise in envisioning mobility futures and the social and cultural aspects of the uptake of new mobility technologies. Please contact Mimi.Sheller@drexel.edu for more information.