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Call for Participation at the Global Conference On Mobility Futures

February 18, 2013


Centre for Mobilities Research
Lancaster University, UK

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, Bianca Freire Medeiros, Ole B. Jensen, Caren Kaplan,  Sven Kesselring, James Marriott, Leysia Palen, Kim Sawchuk, Mimi Sheller, Elizabeth Shove, Adriana da Souza e Silva, John Urry, Susan Zielinski.

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 at


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 at


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 at


If you have ideas for unusual conference contributions that do not fit any of the above formats, please contact Jen Southern at

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
  • The organizing committee:
    • Monika Buscher
    • Javier Caletrio
    • Pennie Drinkall
    • James Faulconbridge
    • Jen Southern
    • David Tyfield
    • John Urry
    • Lisa Wood

The event is being sponsored by the Mobile Lives Forum and Routledge/Taylor & Francis.