Volume 6, 2015
T2M Yearbook 2015:
Kyle Shelton, Gijs Mom, Dhan Zunino Singh, Christiane Katz (eds.):
Mobility in History Vol. 6.
With this volume a new editorial team has taken over with plans to carry on the strong tradition created by the preceding teams led by Gijs Mom and Peter Norton. Yearbook Six once again offers a collection of articles reviewing the cutting edge of mobility scholarship across several disciplines and highlighting exciting new directions toward which this vibrant field can move. In addition, this yearbook features two articles that represent the first iterations of what are intended to become annual features in future volumes.
2014, 172 p.
The Crisis of Transport History: A Critique, and a Vista
Using Peter Merriman’s recent book as a trigger, this review-cum-polemic argues that mobility history is facing a scholarly crisis in the midst of other mobility-related fields that are blossoming. The core of the diagnosis is a lack of debate on a central question that is painfully missing. The article suggests as a remedy the opening up of the field along the paths of transmodality, transdisciplinarity, and especially transnationality. The national bias of much historical scholarship is a hindrance to its future blooming.
Mobilities, Crises, and Turns: Some Comments on Dissensus, Comparative Studies, and Spatial Histories
Mao or Merriman? On Pitjantjatjara and Other Mobilities — A Response
In this article Merriman responds to Gijs Mom’s suggestion that mobility historians should develop a common research agenda, formulate big questions, and adopt a transnational and comparative approach. In reply, Merriman suggests that dissensus and multiple approaches have their advantages, and highlights the ongoing importance of the national as a frame of understanding, as well as the importance of spatially sensitive approaches that pose clear challenges to comparative methodologies.
New Perspectives in Aviation History: Flight Experiences of German Military Pilots
A closer look at military pilots promises new insights into processes of automation, changing man-machine relations, and the cultural and political meaning of these experiences. The review of recent scholarship is combined with concrete historical examples. By drawing from the German case between the two world wars, the author discusses how the material and cultural experience of flight can be investigated and which new directions such an approach makes possible.
Where Are We Going? A Discussion of Mobility History in Latin America
Dhan Zunino Singh
The article outlines a possible course for mobility in Latin American history based on the diagnosis made by previous reviews on the field. It claims that although the emergence of new studies have signified a critical approach to transport technologies and greater emphasis on cultural and social practices of mobility, the term needs to be discussed more in theoretical terms to shape a common language among scholars from different perspectives. Moreover, mobility discussions should lead scholars to reconsider Latin America as a subject of analysis by critically revisiting the matter of periphery.
Feeling Motion: Revisiting Mobility History through Affect and Emotion
The article relates the study of mobility history to the fields of history of emotion and affect theory in the promotion of a cross-disciplinary research agenda. Taking as its point of departure a workshop in Copenhagen on feeling and space, the text draws lines and points of potential interface between historical mobility studies and the two related fields.
Indelible Lines: Revisiting Borders and Partitions in Modern South Asia
In this review article, Sur reads across disciplines to join studies of partitions, borders, and mobility. Sur shows how two important partitions of the twentieth century that historically shaped South Asia’s modern cartography continue to exert a shadow on everyday life and state violence at its longest boundary, the India-Bangladesh border.
Mobile Phones, Mobility Practices, and Transport Organization in Sub-Saharan Africa
Drawing on published material, gray literature, and personal research, this article explores the implications of growth in mobile phone usage across Africa for patterns of physical mobility, organization of transport services, and the potential for improved transport planning. Emerging intersections between virtual and physical mobility—and broader interactions with wider social, economic, and political contexts—offer fascinating new foci for research in the continent. Social equity issues, including those associated with gender- and age-related mobility, will require careful monitoring and further explication over time, as patterns of phone ownership develop and change.
ICT Mobility Research in Finland: From Immaterial Consumption to Material Sustainability?
This article reviews the recent studies on ICT mobilities in Finland. Based on the reviewed literature, the article makes three arguments. First, literature presents a distorted view that the ways of using ICTs have become increasingly universal. Second, researchers have not paid sufficient attention to the materiality of ICTs. Third, the most concrete consequences of ICT mobilities have largely remained unstudied.
Brazil: Modernity and Mobility
The study of mobility in Brazil remains a diverse field of inquiry, with (as yet) no unified research agenda. This article reviews recent scholarship, principally by Portuguese-speaking Brazilian academics, between 2010 and 2013. A broad range of topics exists, from urban planning, infrastructure, bicycling, walking, migration, and tourism (including for sex, for cosmetic surgery, and for slum visits). The article suggests that the range and work of current academics publishing in English-language journals is encouraging; however, steps still need to be taken to break down remaining language barriers between Portuguese and English scholarship.
Portuguese Railway History: Still a Field of Opportunities?
Hugo Silveira Pereira
This article aims to describe the evolution of Portuguese railway historiography and to speculate on which research trends could be further developed in the future. The author lists and performs a short critical appraisal of some works that illustrate the major lines of research thus far. He then pinpoints areas that could benefit from further research and that could become investigation trends in a near future, despite the budget cuts that universities and research as a whole are currently undergoing.
Technology, Modernity, and the State: Approaches to the History of Transit in Istanbul
This article reviews recent works of the urban history of Istanbul and considers new frameworks for the history of public transit in that city. It suggests that through new understandings of the transformation of public space, we can reconceptualize transit history as urban history writ small.
Railways in Colonial South Asia
Focusing on the wide-ranging scholarship on how railway technology, travel, and infrastructure has affected South Asia, this article highlights recent interventions and shifts. It discusses how questions about land, labor, capital, and markets are being increasingly integrated with questions about how railways affected society, culture, and politics. It also stresses the increasing interest in comparative work, both in terms of locating railways within wider structures of transport and mobility as well as analyzing how South Asia’s engagement relates to the global impact of this technology.
Writing Bicycles: The Historiography of Cycling in the United States
This article examines the historiography of cycling in the United States, highlighting notable works produced within the last couple of years. The author also considers several themes that are not well represented in the current literature. In particular, he suggests that scholars might focus on issues related to planning and policy, the environment, and youth studies.
Making Mass Transit Serve the Public: Social Dimensions of Urban Mobility in Historical Perspective
This article considers recent scholarship on the social dimensions of mass transit in the United States. It focuses on historical struggles to make urban conveyances serve the public and demonstrates that access to mass transit has been continually contested through legal challenges, economic boycotts, and everyday practice.
TOURISM AND MOBILITY
Mobility History and Caribbean Tourism
Mobility is not just a theme running throughout Caribbean history, but describes a conceptual approach and theoretical framework for better understanding the region. This review seeks to situate the history of Caribbean tourism in relation to a wider field of mobility studies in the region and highlights recent research in this area.
Boundaries and Crossings: Mobility, Travel, and Society in China, 1500–1954 — A Survey of the Field
This survey of the field traces the recent efforts within and across humanities and social science disciplines to delineate the history of Chinese travel culture. Focusing on recent scholarship on the Qing era (1644–1911) and the republican period (1912–1949)—without excluding relevant studies on the late Ming era—this article provides a brief chronological guide to recent scholarship that illuminates the historical progression of Chinese discourses and representations of travel and cultural encounters. Underscoring the ongoing nature of the field, it also makes an effort to point out major areas of contention and to suggest new directions in the study of Chinese travel culture and tourism.
Tourism and Mobility in Uruguay: A Historical Approach
The article reviews the main literature on tourism and transport history in Uruguay, showing the recent progress on studies of mobility in the shaping of the national territory as well as new themes and periods that need to be studied. The article points out that the trilogy of tourism, mobility, and territory is relevant to understanding the image of Uruguay as a tourist country. Along with the importance given to road infrastructure, modes of transport, travelers, destinations, communication, and so on, the article highlights mobility processes such as internal migration provoked by tourism as phenomena that require more attention.
Transport and Tourism in Brazil: An Ongoing Movement
Joana Carolina Schossler
The article analyzes how Brazilian scholars have interpreted the relationship between transport and tourism in Brazil. It addresses the subject through the historical evolution of modes of transport, noting the gaps in literature and suggesting new approaches for future studies, such as traveler experiences, a holistic view of the nation’s transport system, and greater disciplinary exchange.