Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig
The annual conference of the SFB 1199, which is in its second funding phase, focuses on mobilities as a space-making practice while concentrating on mobile actors as spatial entrepreneurs.
For the last two decades, the field of mobility studies has been flourishing, to a large extent in reaction to what has been perceived as a too narrow focus of migration studies. This restricted view includes the “mobility bias”, which after receiving more and more criticism has resulted in a number of innovative proposals to think about mobilities and immobilities as being entangled. A still open field to be developed is how to bring global studies and mobility studies systematically into a closer dialogue, for instance by not only investigating transregional and transnational connections and ruptures in mobility regimes, but also aiming at systematically comparing and connecting different types of mobilities while asking how they are related to processes of respatialization under the global condition.
The SFB 1199 pursues an innovative research agenda that brings together scholars from geography, history, anthropology, political science, cultural studies, and sociology to investigate globalization projects of various types of actors in different world regions from the late 18th century up to the present – projects that are being expressed and advanced as respatializations of the world.
The fifth annual conference of the SFB 1199, which is in its second funding phase, focuses on mobilities as a space-making practice while concentrating on mobile actors as spatial entrepreneurs. These actors act and live under historically specific but variable conditions, which have an impact on their choice of mobility forms and on the effects these mobilities have on spatial orders and spatial formats. Mobile actors can challenge existing spatial orders and formats, possibly leading to the creation of new ones. They also seem to be particularly capable of bringing – or forced to bring – into relation and/or translate between different spatial formats because they are crossing borders of empires and nation-states, thereby dealing with varying jurisdictions, scales, languages, and cultural frameworks. Mobile actors, such as migrants, entrepreneurs, or cultural brokers, develop their own spatiality, which might conflict with those produced by people interested in stability and static conditions. Hence, an understanding of the relation between mobility and respatialization requires considering not only actors and their motives, forms, tools, and resources for mobility, but also those (not necessarily immobile) actors aiming to control, contain, divert, or restrict mobility. Thus, we have to go beyond a dichotomy between the mobile and the immobile as well as reflect upon the fact that actors might have changing strategies over time. Rather, we aim at differentiating between types of mobilities and the reactions to such mobilities – this dialectic is a crucial part of processes of respatialization.
The conference takes place online, providing space for a keynote lecture by Tim Cresswell (U Edinburgh), a roundtable, as well as panel discussions and open working formats. Participation is free of charge, but registration is required through the conference website, which also provides additional and up-to-date information. After registering, you will receive the access code to the virtual panel rooms. If you have further questions, please contact Dr. Ute Rietdorf at firstname.lastname@example.org.