“The Future of Mobilities: Flows, Transport and Communication” – Conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) and the Cosmobilities Network Santa Maria C.V. (Caserta), Italy – September 14-17, 2015

“The Future of Mobilities: Flows, Transport and Communication” – Conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) and the Cosmobilities Network Santa Maria C.V.

Lieu : (Caserta), Italy

Date : September 14-17, 2015

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The conference theme offers several lines of investigation:

– The future of mobilities in terms of both the future of mobilities studies as well as the future of mobilities itself.
– The question of time-frames, e.g. how research concerning the past and the present of mobility can be linked to the future.
– Mobility in the broader horizon of flows and emergent connections between transport, communication and movements.
– Trans-disciplinary research paths, and related theoretical and methodological issues.

Mobility studies have developed out of different disciplinary trajectories, with some studying mainly the past (e.g., transport history, travel writing), others concerned especially with the present (e.g., geography of mobility, mobile media), and still others looking towards the future (e.g., the new mobilities paradigm, transition studies). Yet these historical, contemporary, and future-oriented perspectives may all be diachronic in character, interested in processes and projects, rhythms and articulations, transitions and transformations, evolutions and revolutions. This conference proposes to investigate how we might bring these three streams together into an over-arching project of mobility studies.

Established in the 1950s and 1960s, future studies have been taken more seriously within economic fields, which have had the greatest influence on public policy. Although the action of forecasting often relies on the elaboration of historical and current trends, too often social scientists and humanities scholars have played a marginal role in futurology. Additionally, planning and policy in the mobilities field is still largely dominated by the “technological fix” approach, in which social sciences and humanities remain peripheral. Yet the emerging interdisciplinary mobilities studies suggest that learning lessons from the past and paying attention to the path dependency of developments provides a deeper understanding. In practice, a richer perspective on past and present mobilities could help inform visions of the future and enable more sustainable, equitable, and holistic future oriented solutions.

 

 


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