Volume 5(1), Spring 2015
Heike Weber and Gijs Mom
A World Event (On Circumnavigation, 1519–1522): Excerpt from Guillermo Giucci’s Tierra del Fuego: La creación del fin del mundo
The idea of the world as a sphere was an old theoretical presupposition. Only with both the crossing of the Strait of Magellan and circumnavigation were the geographical areas unknown to the Europeans opened to global trade. Therefore, this world event would be inscribed in the annals of history as a marker of the beginning of modernity, the era of maritime colonization that forever altered the notion of radical isolation.
The Politics of Fear, Mobility, and Media Discourses: A Case Study of Malmö
Vanessa Stjernborg, Mekonnen Tesfahuney, and Anders Wretstrand
This study focuses on Seved, a segregated and socioeconomically “poor” neighborhood in the city of Malmö in Sweden. It has attracted wide media coverage, a possible consequence of which is its increased stigmatization. The wide disparity between perceived or imagined fear and the actual incidence of, or exposure to, violence attests to the important role of the media in shaping mental maps and place images. Critical discourse analysis of daily newspaper articles shows that Seved is predominantly construed as unruly and a place of lawlessness. Mobility comprises an important aspect of the stigmatization of places, the politics of fear, and discourses of the “other.” In turn, place stigmatization, discourses of the other, and the politics of fear directly and indirectly affect mobility strategies of individuals and groups.
Rethinking Children’s Independent Mobility: Revealing Cultures of Children’s Agentic and Imaginative Mobilities through Emil and the Detectives
The concept of “children’s independent mobility,” which originates in a study carried out between 1971 and 1990, underpins much of the research on children’s mobilities. The study used particular criteria, based on parental determination of children’s abilities and freedoms, to construct a notion of independence. This article contributes to previous work challenging the assumptions underlying this conceptualization of independence and suggests a rethinking of children’s mobilities to more firmly incorporate children’s agency and imagination. It does so first by critically reviewing existing scholarship and second by engaging with an example of a fictional story, Emil and the Detectives, which itself sets out to privilege both of these key aspects of children’s mobilities.
SPECIAL SECTION ON ROAD REPRESENTATION
Displaying Roads: Engineers as Cultural Actors—Introduction
Massimo Moraglio and Bruce Seely
We argue that road engineers—in the cases presented in the articles in this special section—were acting as cultural actors, playing a greater role than experts and especially policy makers. Even as they utilized technical information in cultural debates, road representation had huge symbolic value in driving the social and political discussions. However, once road experts used and accepted such political tools, they could not disconnect themselves from the political process, which determined success and failure in these projects.
Making Place for the Modern Road: The Road Exhibitions in Brussels (1910) and Liège (1930)
This article describes how two temporary road exhibitions before World War II functioned as tools to frame the Belgian road project as a rich cultural venture. In the absence of a comprehensive policy and any diverse cultural engagement by the government, a particular relationship between culture, technology, and society crystallized in the museological arrangement of these exhibitions. The article argues that, while these exhibitions relate the road project to a broad cultural field, they simultaneously instill a rigid way of reasoning about the modern road.
The Map and the Territory: The Seventh International Road Congress, Germany 1934
In transnational history of traffic, transport, and mobility, historians have been arguing for studying organizations as “transnational system builders” in the establishment and modification of transnational infrastructure. Emphasis has been placed on examining human actors. Here, I argue that the role of material objects, the nonhuman actors, should also be taken into account by investigating how a particular map matters. The major research issue is, therefore: How can we understand and analyze how the Nazi regime put the mapDeutschlandkarte displayed at the exhibition Die Strasse (Munich, 1934) into play? In addition, how did the map figure in transnational system building during and after the seventh International Road Congress arranged by the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses? Insights from transnational history in the fields of traffic, transport, and mobility as well as material cultural studies, critical mapping, and actor-network theory inform this article.
Radical Mobilities on Display: The Motorway Aesthetics of Postwar Oslo
Even Smith Wergeland
This article explores the 1965 Transport Analysis for Greater Oslo, a municipal planning document in which the routing of a large urban motorway through Oslo is richly illustrated in a series of drawings and prints. The images on display in the Transport Analysis were widely circulated in the mid- to late 1960s, thereby creating a mobile exhibition that reached a wide audience and connected with a number of other images. Through this circulation, the Transport Analysis became entangled in an intricate visual discourse that aestheticized urban motorways and linked up with radical currents in European postwar architecture. While the Transport Analysis has previously been interpreted quite narrowly, merely as the product of a pragmatic engineering mind-set, this article posits that one must move beyond the technocratic level to unravel its wider meanings.
Road Works: Some Observations on Representing Roads
Roads may be represented in many different media and cultural forms, from planning documents and maps to postage stamps, children’s books, and postcards. While there has been a tendency among some scholars to study representations for what they can tell us about the history of particular road schemes, this article argues that roads are constructed and consumed as much through paper plans, financial calculations, popular representations, and public imaginations as through concrete and steel on the ground. Representations of roads “matter,” and the article suggests that scholars should study the broad array of representations through which the meanings of roads are produced, circulated, and consumed.
IDEAS IN MOTION
Frontiers of Mobilities Studies
Since its inception, this journal has been at the leading edge of publishing research that rethinks mobilities from a humanities perspective. We learned much in the process. A plenary panel held at the T2M conference in Drexel University in September 2014 reflected on the experiences of our editorial team and announced our plans to organize our future work through a number of broad portfolios. Each invites/dares our contributors to take our thinking into new territory.
MOBILITY AND ART
The Exterritory Project
Ruti Stela and Maayan Amir
New Mobile Methods: The Skateboarder as Contemporary Flâneur
“Everything Happens Fast”: Tracking Automotive Speed, Economic Acceleration, and the Roots of European Road Movies in Il sorpasso
Delwar Hussain, Boundaries Undermined: The Ruin of Progress on the Bangladesh-India Border
Ting Chang, Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris
Felicity Barnes, New Zealand’s London: A Colony and its Metropolis
Gauitra Bahadur, The Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture
Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman, Networked: The New Social Operating System
Melina Piglia, Autos, rutas y turismo: El Automóvil Club Argentino y el estado
Lorenz J. Finison, Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880–1900: A Story of Race, Sport, and Society
Roland Wenzlhuemer, Connecting the Nineteenth-Century World: The Telegraph and Globalization;
Christian Holtorf, Der erste Draht zur Neuen Welt: Die Verlegung des transatlantischen Telegrafenkabels
Colin Pooley, Tim Jones, Miles Tight, Dave Horton, Griet Scheldeman, Caroline Mullen, Ann Jopson and Emanuele Strano, Promoting Walking and Cycling: New Perspectives on Sustainable Travel
Melody L. Hoffmann
Jon Shaw and Iain Docherty, The Transport Debate
Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers: A Novel