Graduate Conference 2022 CFP | Shiv Nadar University
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Graduate Conference 2022 CFP

Graduate Conference 2022
Approaches to Mobility: Thinking through Space and Time
Organized by Graduate Students, Department of History, Shiv Nadar University Delhi NCR

Event Date: 
Friday, February 4, 2022 - 09:00Sunday, February 6, 2022 - 17:45

We often describe our lives today as ‘fast-paced’; we dread stagnation yet seek stability. We evaluate our identities and livelihoods against our location on the social ladder. Certainly, at a micro level we are constantly trying to control the terms and means of our mobility, as much as we are entangled with the channels of global circulations. The question of mobility is pivotal to the contemporary debates around emigration, diasporas, trading and transportation, technological transfers, borderlands, crises, and displacement. Mobility also connotes a dynamism in the spatial and temporal realm, and therefore, it has increasingly drawn the interests of historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, economists, and scholars in general. We seek to explore the relevance of studying mobility through this conference by foregrounding it as a conceptual category.

Scholars have increasingly come to question the duality of mobility and fixity when mapping geographies of mobilities (Cresswell and Merriman 2011). When thinking of space and time, we encourage participants to consider mobilities alongside ‘moorings’ (Hannam et al. 2006; Crang 2002). ‘Space’ may also include spatial practices (Lefebvre 1991). Significant mobile practices include walking, running, dancing, driving, and flying. A concerted study of such practices can contribute to understanding some important themes that lie at the heart of historical geography: embodiment, experience, place and landscape, technology, and materiality (Lorimer 2011).

Further, we can think through aspects of spatial (re)configurations, identity formations, community ties, and networks of cooperation and control; we can conversely interrogate memory, violence and trauma, and other phenomenological aspects of mobility. In the past decade, intellectual histories have also engaged with the concept by looking closely at the history of ideas through transfers of technology, knowledge production, and training in expertise. Another approach is to trace the materiality of mobility and material entanglements which mediate processes of identity formations.

Drawing upon related studies in migration, we can think of approaches for analysing spacemaking processes along with the entangled movement of people, resources, objects and ideas. Investigating such movements becomes pertinent as mobility patterns are imbued with various histories of socialization, including cooperation, disciplining, control, and coercion. The last decade has witnessed renewed interests in histories of oceans, rivers and marshlands to talk about the mobile histories of land/water-scape itself. Besides space, there is a greater need to think through mobilities of temporality. Social scientists agree that time has been lived, experienced and conceived differently across regions, cultural locations and social classes. Disparate temporal experiences may co-exist, often in the same geographical space asking us to write polyvocal histories. Archaeological and art historical research carry the potential to
uncover such histories, as objects and spaces accrue meanings differentially over time. Such methods pose a challenge to the scheme of conventional periodization often adopted in scholarly writings.

Knitting together the aforementioned propositions, we encourage thoughts over the relevance of studying mobility in its interplay with fixity where both are simultaneously involved in coproducing space and time. The contemporary moment has presented us with conditions that compel us to revisit these concepts. Technological breakthroughs have expanded the ambit of ‘mobility’ by rendering practices like space tourism commonplace. Further, we have been witnessing perhaps unprecedented engineering of mobility in these times of the pandemic and the migrants’ crises in South Asia. Moreover, ecological crises and natural disasters in the age of the Anthropocene have impelled us as scholars in social science to think of tools to examine mobility vis a vis the same landmass which has been overwhelmingly conceived as stable in modern narratives.

In order to build upon the existing scholarship, in light of certain contemporary issues of concern, the conference seeks to invite doctoral students early career research scholars to think of creative approaches for studying mobility as a conceptual category. The papers may engage with the sub-themes including but not limited to:
• Practices of mobilities
• Mobility (and migration) in entanglement with social identity, emotional socialization, and memory
• Mobility of the landscape; oceans, rivers and marshlands
• Infrastructure, development, urban processes, transport and communication
• Migration and diaspora; belongingness, conflict and displacement
• Global transmission of ideas, capital and technologies, commodities
• Mobility through material culture, objects and archaeological traces
• Mobility in age of the Anthropocene; ecological crises, natural disasters, and contagion
• Narratives of travel and transit
• Temporal mobility; conceptualizing historical time
Important Dates:
Submission of Abstract (500 words) and Bio-note (150 words): 7th November, 2021
Selection of Abstracts: 21st November, 2021
Submission of Full Papers (4500-5000 words): 21st January, 2022
Conference (Online Mode): 4th to 6th February 2022 (Tentatively)
Please send your entries and queries to

Friday 04, Feb 2022 - Sunday 06, Feb 2022
09:00 AM - 05:45 PM

Yet to confirm. We might follow a hybrid model with participants joining online as well in person at the university venue.