While a lot of the recent literature on mobility has focused on urban,
cosmopolitan and transnational contexts, remote areas are often neglected or implicitly defined by the absence of movement. Yet, in the 21st century, the increasing interest of resource developers and politicians to such remote regions as the Arctic brings more mobility and connectivity to these “frontiers” through new infrastructure building and communication technologies.
The term mobility, in the sense of spatial practices, refers to different types of movements and migrations, from nomadism to contemporary transport. Mobility infrastructures enable and – sometimes dictate – people’s travels and flows of goods, resources and information around the world. In addition to “traditional” means and systems of transportation, including tracks and trails, “modern” infrastructures – highways and railroads, aviation corridors, river channels and sea routes – are being continuously imagined and built.
Our workshop intends to explore the many dimensions of mobility under
conditions of remoteness – paucity of tracks and low accessibility, distance from administrative centers, as well as social, economic and cultural marginalization and other characteristics of non-central places.
The questions we are going to address include but are not limited to the following:
How does spatial mobility reconfigure local perceptions and experiences of remoteness? What are the motives, conditions, advantages and limitations of (im)mobility in remote areas in contrast to centers? What roles do ethnicity, gender, age, way of life and other social categories play in concepts, imageries and practices of appropriation of space and how can this research contribute to intersectionality studies? In which situations and for which actors can remoteness be a resource? Can we speak of a “Right to Remoteness” in addition to the “Right to the City”? How do transportation infrastructures impact 1) mobility patterns or 2) social networks? What is the role of communication technologies (mobile phones, Internet, etc.), in addressing mobility and remoteness?
Send your abstract (max. 250 words) to Ilja.Steffelbauer@univie.ac.at until 1st of March 2017. Indicate if you need a travel stipend (amount in Euro). You will be notified no later than the 20th of March 2017.
Organisers: Prof. Peter Schweitzer, Dr. Olga Povoroznyuk, Dr. Gertrude Saxinger, Mag. Christoph Fink
This workshop is an activity in the framework of the research project Configurations of “Remoteness” (CoRe) - Entanglements of Humans and Transportation Infrastructure in the Baykal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Region at the University of Vienna/Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology.
Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) [P 27625]