Volume IV, number 2, May 2007
At the end of last month, just before Dutch Queen’s Day (when the country’s latent monarchism invaded the squares, pubs and city councils in an outburst of community celebration) T2M’s Executive Committee gathered for its traditional mid-year meeting in the city of Helmond, hotel West Ende, location of our jubilee conference of next October.
On antique Solex mopeds and under a summery sun, the committee toured the town and its surroundings, and after the meeting it hosted the mayor and his alderman of Economic Affairs, as well as members of the Board of Directors of our secretariat ECMD at a dinner in the garden of a heritage brick factory turned restaurant toasting on their hospitality and generosity. The mayor toasted, too, welcoming, through us, all participants of the coming conference. ‘We are looking forward to receiving you,’ he said, insisting that his town was rapidly becoming one of the European centers of automotive research and development, design and heritage. He offered us the city’s twelfth-century castle, now the municipal museum, as the place to have our welcoming reception at the start of the conference.
In-between, we had a long, long meeting, a lot of burocratic stuff in the morning, a review of the The canal in Helmond coming elections for new EC members and for a president-elect at noon, and in the afternoon two in-depth discussions on the journal situation (should we have a new journal or should we stick with JTH?) and the state of the art in our eld of scholarship. On the journal, we decided to continue searching for an attractive publisher at least until the next meeting. Regarding the state of the art the EC decided to continue and intensify the debate, started at our meeting in York of two years ago, on where we stand in relation to adjacent elds such as tourism history, transport policy and planning, and public history. Our evaluation of last year’s venue in Paris, where Vincent Kaufmann and Vanessa Schwarz rounded up the main themes of the conference, led to the recommendation to continue this tradition during the next annual events. And we discussed the Cultural Turn our eld is currently engaged in, asking ourselves how to keep the transition process going, and how to further enhance the quality of our presentations and debates on this topic, as well as the submissions to our journal. We decided to include a special plenary session dedicated to these issues involving all interested parties so as to enable the EC to make its decisions upon a much broader basis of engagement of T2M’s members. The EC’s eighth meeting made one thing perfectly clear: now that the construction of our organization comes to a close after four years of hard work, it is about time to dedicate our energies fully to the goals we started this association for in the rst place: giving transport and mobility history its proper role in and outside academia, building conceptual bridges towards planners and policy makers, engineers and museum curators, enriching general history with a narrative and analysis of moving things, knowledge and people, transgressing modal and national boundaries, and bringing to center stage those methodologies and approaches that have hitherto been lingering at the fringes of our eld. By now, all submitters of abstracts and sessions must have received a message from the local Programme Committee (if not, please contact the secretariat immediately): like in Paris, we have nearly a hundred presentations, including keynote speaches by Victoria de Grazia and David Gartman, and a special plenary session on design in the history of mobility. On the Thursday just before the ofcial start of the conference, we will have a Heritage Day where we hope to build an international network around our Virtual Mobility Museum in the making. And your presentations, during Friday to Sunday, reach from design and heritage to socialist tourism and the cars in James Bond movies, from motorization in Africa to tourism in Bangkok, from Foucaultian trafc regulation in Belgium to belletristic literature as historical source, from world mobility heritage to âneries over the internet, from women pilots to the design of nineteenth-century railroad timetables, and from the design of horses to terrorism and mobility.
Here, in the Netherlands, we are busy setting up a social programme for whomever you wish to invite as a companion, to join us in celebrating the fth event this association is about to realise. Soon, we will open registration on our website. We will let you know.