Theme: im/mobilities

In 2024-2025 CIDRAL’s activities will be focused on im/mobilities.

To be mobile is often seen in positive terms, a trait associated with the physical translocations embodied by wanderlust, flânerie, travel, transnationalisms, cosmopolitanisms, and the right to roam.

Being mobile is also metaphorically positive – moving up in the world, moving across social and class boundaries, mediating between different cultures and languages. But to be mobile can also be an experience of suffering, whether via the trauma of displacement, forced migration, or homelessness, among other violent translocations. And certain kinds of mobility, otherwise seen as a means of broadening horizons, are increasingly unsustainable in environmental terms.

Being immobile, on the other hand, often implies being stuck and unable to move (on), or can be the result of physical impairment or disability. But it too can be a positive trait, a mode of resistance to speed and the flow of capitalist productivity, evident in the politics of slowness and rootedness to be found in everything from squatting, slacker movies, sit-down protests, and being embedded in the land.

In 2024-2025 CIDRAL wants to engage with these and other forms of im/mobilities by asking:

  • How do arts, languages, and cultures represent, express, embody, and critique different forms of mobility and immobility?
  • Can practices and discourses shaped around these fields serve to mobilise the immobile (e.g. a mobility of thought that combats the immobility of physical impairment), or immobilise the mobile (e.g. practices of slow creativity that arrest the ephemeralities of the digital era)?
  • What do narrative and non-narrative accounts of im/mobilities, fictional and otherwise, tell us about how we move in and through the world?
  • In what ways has our understanding of mobilities and immobilities changed over time?
  • How do interdisciplinary practices and modes of thought, themselves forms of boundary crossing, help us understand historical and contemporary politics of im/mobility?
  • And how might our research practices and methodologies inform not just our understanding of im/mobilities but also the way we engage with those who endure enforced stasis and/or enforced movement?

Researchers from across the School will be leading on several CIDRAL-sponsored, im/mobilities-related events. For more details please visit the events page.

CIDRAL’s Visiting Fellow for 2024-2025 will also be related to the theme of im/mobilities.

And CIDRAL will again be hosting a reading group for researchers in SALC on this year’s theme.

CIDRAL’s Visiting Fellow for 2024-2025 will also be related to the theme of im/mobilities.