International Conference T2M "Mobilities and Materialities: Building Bridges Between Past and Future"

Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Paris Sorbonne, Mondial.Tech
16.10.2019 - 19.10.2019
Conchon Anne

Mobility clearly has a strong material dimension. In these times of demand for "fluid" mobility, "autonomous" and electric vehicles, shared transport, the physical infrastructure that underpins and makes mobility possible is subject to profound changes (borders of energy supply, route 2.0, etc.). Infrastructure networks and transport services have also undergone significant material transformations throughout the history of the long term (macadam coating, steam engines, electrification…).

Generally, vehicles, equipments and infrastructures are considered separately in studies dealing with transport and mobility. However these infrastructures (roads, waterways, harbors, airport, bike paths…) are essential to the physical conditions of traffic in all modes of transport (coaches, cars, buses, boats, planes…). Looking at mobility from the perspective of material culture is a way of articulating these two dimensions and of approaching infrastructure and means of transport based on the most concrete and visible aspects.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the concept of material culture was an important heuristic tool, mobilized in particular by historians and archaeologists. Nowadays, this attention to material issues is being significantly renewed in different disciplines to understand the relationships that societies and individuals have with things and their social life. From manufacture to consumption, the function, appropriation and status of objects evolve over time and according to whoever handles them. This question of materialities is just as essential to the understanding of mobility and its technical, economic and social transformations.

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to deepen our understanding of these infrastructures and mobility ecosystems: their functions, the concerned actors, the spatial stakes, the logistical issues, the consequences of new supply chains, and what controversies and challenges they bring, with particular attention to their materiality.
Proposals for papers and sessions on one or more of the following topics will be strongly encouraged, although all contributions are welcome:

- Archeological evidence of mobility
- Museum collections, displays and transportation heritage
- Connexions between academic field and technical or economic stakeholders
- Innovation dynamics
- Mobility practices, social uses and consumption patterns
- Places for mobilities (infrastructures, gas station, fuel pump, refinery, terminal, drives in, signaling…)
- Worlds of objects (toys, advertising, tickets, tenues…)
- Duration and obsolescence
- Speed and slow mobilities
- Materiality and dematerialization…
- Tourism issues (travel guides, apps…)

This mobility history conference aims to bridge research approaches, welcoming proposals from different disciplines dealing with mobility studies (history, sociology, anthropology, geography, economy, planning studies, business history, architecture, design, communication, archeology, etc.) We particularly encourage the submission of interdisciplinary panels or sessions.

Deadline and submission Procedures

Individual paper proposals must include summary in english no longer than a half page (300 words) and a 100/150-words biographical note (with indication of academic title or professional position, address and e-mail address).

For a session, please send a general presentation (300 words), an abstract of each paper (300 words maximum) and a 100/150-words biographical note for each speaker.
All proposals must be submitted on the website: t2mparis2019 (under construction).
Special attention with a session regarding practices of mobility teaching and poster sessions will be appreciated.
Deadline for proposals for papers and sessions: March 2019, 1st
Letter of acceptance: May 2019, 1st
Once an abstract or panel has been accepted, there will be a strict deadline for conference registration and full payment at least three months prior to the conference in order to appear on the program.

Travel grants and awards

T2M offers a number of travel grants for young scholars from developing countries, who are heartily welcome to apply. T2M has also a long tradition of “best-paper” awards.


Etienne Faugier
T2M Secretary
Contact Email:

International Conference T2M "Mobilities and Materialities: Building Bridges Between Past and Future", 16.10.2019 – 19.10.2019 Paris, in: Connections. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists, 16.02.2019, <>.