Special Issue of Transfers, an Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies (July, 2011)

Special Issue on Media and Mobility
Deadline for proposals: 31 July 2011

We invite proposals for an upcoming special issue on “Mobility and Media”. This special issue of Transfers, an Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, aims to provide a forum of discussion with regard to current approaches and perspectives on the history of mobility, focusing on the interaction between transportation and media, technologies and techniques. Thus, it can be seen as a compromise between two aspects: on the one hand “mobilization”, i.e., the process of mobilizing communication and media technologies (such as the emergence of portable media), and, on the other hand, the “mediatization” of transport technologies.

The special issue will cover a wide variety of topics as well as consider different historical constellations of interaction between mobility and media technologies. The goal is to explore how such media-transportation-networks or interconnections have changed over time due to developments in media technology, media competition, modifications in recording practices, or due to innovations in the transportation sector.

In order to investigate the scope of interrelations between technology, mobility, and media, we will concentrate on the following
three fields:

  1. Media technologies have been “employed” to improve or control transportation technologies and to enhance the comfort or safety of travel (e.g., media-based simulation systems to develop new kinds of transportation technologies / engineering or GPS navigation systems in cars and other vehicles). This field is vast and has a long history, with the telegraph-railway-symbiosis being a prominent example. Proposals in this field might include: a) Analyzing the interconnectedness of virtual travel (via media) and physical travel (via transport technologies) within the framework of a broadly defined concept of “mobility”; b) From a spatial perspective, analyzing the spaces created by “moving” and by consuming media.
  2. Mobility technologies and motion techniques are also used as artistic methods in the media and the arts (e.g., tracking shots or so-called phantom rides in motion pictures; flight simulation etc.). Yet, novel transportation technologies are not only used, portrayed, or discussed in different media, as implied in traditional studies on means of transportation (“transportation technology”) as creative motif. Due to their specific modes of perception and specific movement patterns, these technologies also generate new means of (re-)presentation which lead to changes within the media sector (e.g., fragmentation techniques in art, montage in film, interactive and multimedia applications in computer games). Potential proposals could, for instance, focus on structural similarities between processes of locomotion and processes of seeing or recording in motion.
  3. Concepts that try to describe both the interrelation and impact of transport and media technologies: For instance, the mediological approach focuses on the role of technical innovations, symbolic forms and organizations, and their effects on cultural transmissions. Approaches in this field might tackle the question of how a specific culture appropriates new mobility technologies and how experiencing those technologies, subsequently, modifies or co-shapes mentalities, the perception of space, and contemporary mobility concepts.

Contributions from diverse disciplinary backgrounds will be considered. Transfers, the journal publishing the articles as a special issue, is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal specifically devoted to cutting-edge research on the processes, structures and consequences of the movement of people, resources, and commodities (cf. http://journals.berghahnbooks.com/trans/ ). Based on a broad understanding of mobility, Transfers tries to explore the ways in which experiencing mobility has been enabled, shaped and mediated across time and through technological advances.

Proposals should be sent in by July 31st. We will get back to you by mid-August. The later articles should have a length of 7000 words (including endnotes) and must be finalized by December 31st, 2011.

Your proposal should contain:
–       An abstract of about 500 words.
–       a short CV / biographical information, including your position, research areas, and recent publications.

Please send your proposal to the editors of the special issue:
Dorit Müller: dmueller@ifs.tu-darmstadt.de
Heike Weber: Heike.Weber.1@tu-berlin.de


About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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