Mimi Sheller, PhD

Director, Center for Mobilities Research and Policy; Professor of Sociology

Mimi Sheller

Office: 3600 Market Street, Rm 729
Phone: 215.571.3652

Center for Mobilities Research and Policy
mCenter@Drexel [Facebook]
Centre for Mobilities Research in Lancaster
Mobilities (Journal)
Curriculum Vitae: Download PDF


  • AB, History and Literature, Harvard, 1988
  • MA, Sociology and Historical Studies, New School For Social Research, 1993
  • PhD, Sociology and Historical Studies, New School For Social Research, 1997

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Sustainable Mobility and Mobility Justice: new cultures and infrastructures of travel, transport, mobile communication, and urbanism
  • Caribbean Studies: history, culture and political theory of the region, including intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class
  • Caribbean Mobilities: the relation between tourism, migration and air travel across the U.S.-Caribbean borders
  • Tracing the histories and forecasting the futures of cultures of mobility and wider mobility regimes, including theorizing transitions in complex systems

Research Projects

  • Mobile Lives Forum: The Imaginary of Trains and Rail Transport in the United States with Allen W. Batteau, Susan Zielinski, Mimi Sheller, Frederick C. Gamst (2013-2014)
  • Danish Council for Strategic Research consortium project on Analyses of Activity-based Travel Chains and Sustainable Mobility (ACTUM), led by Dept. of Transport, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Transport), and with Aalborg University (2011-2013)
  • NSF-RAPID: Understanding Sudden Hydro-Climatic Changes and Exploring Sustainable Solutions in the Enriquillo Closed Water Basin (Southwest Hispaniola) with PI Jorge Gonzalez (CCNY) and Co-PI’s Reza Khanbilvardi, Fred Moshary, Michael Piasecki and Mimi Sheller. #1264466 (2012-2013)
  • NSF-RAPID: Supporting Haitian Infrastructure Reconstruction Decisions with Local Knowledge, PI Franco Montalto, Co-PI’s Michael Piasecki, Patrick Gurian and Mimi Sheller. #1032184 (2010-2012)


Mimi Sheller is Professor of Sociology and founding Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University. She is founding co-editor of the journal Mobilities; Associate Editor of the journal Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies; and serves on the Scientific Board of the Mobile Lives Forum, SNCF, France. She also serves on the editorial boards of Cultural Sociology and the International Journal of African and Black Diaspora Studies. She has held recent Visiting Fellowships at the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University (2008-09); Media@McGill in Montreal, Canada (2009); the Center for Mobility and Urban Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark (2009); and the Penn Humanities Forum (on Virtuality) at the University of Pennsylvania (2010-11).

She is the author of several books and numerous articles in the field of Caribbean Studies, including Democracy After Slavery (Macmillan, 2000); Consuming the Caribbean (Routledge, 2003); and Citizenship from Below (Duke University Press, 2012). As co-editor, with John Urry, of Mobile Technologies of the City (Routledge, 2006), Tourism Mobilities (Routledge, 2004), and a special issue of the journal Environment and Planning A on ‘Materialities and Mobilities’, she helped to establish the new field of mobilities research. Her work in progress includes the forthcoming book Aluminum Dreams: Lightness, Speed and Modernity (MIT Press, 2014); the co-edited volume Handbook of Mobilities (Routledge, 2013); the co-edited book Local and Mobile; and a special issue of Leonardo Electronic Almanac on mobile locative art.

Selected Publications

  • Mimi Sheller,  Aluminum Dreams: Lightness, Speed, Modernity (MIT Press, in press for 2014)
  • Mimi Sheller, Citizenship from Below: Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012
  • Mimi Sheller, Islanding Effects: Mobility Systems and Humanitarian Logistics in Post-Earthquake Haiti, Cultural Geographies, special issue on Islanding Geographies, eds. Eric Clark and Godfrey Baldaccino. [doi: 10.1177/1474474012438828]
  • Mimi Sheller, Mobilities (Review Article) [PDF] in Sociopedia.isa
  • Mimi Sheller, Air Mobilities on the US-Caribbean Border: Open Skies and Closed Gates,The Communication Review, Vol. 13: 4 (2010): 269-288
  • Mimi Sheller. Infrastructures of the Imagined Island: Software, Mobilities and the Architecture of Caribbean Paradise, Environment and Planning A, Vol. 41, pp. 1386-1403, 2009.
  • Mimi Sheller and John Urry (eds), Tourism Mobilities: Places to Play, Places in Play. London and New York: Routledge, 2004.
  • Mimi Sheller, Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies, London and New York: Routledge, 2003