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Im|mobile lives in turbulent times: Methods and Practices of Mobilities Research


Northumbria University

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A collaboration between Newcastle Business School, Northumbria NBS Tourism (MOS) with MFRN (Mobilities Research Network), the Social and Cultural Geographies Research Group at Northumbria University and the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) Lancaster University.

To be held:  Northumbria University, Newcastle Business School, City Campus East, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8S.

Thursday July 8th and Friday July 9th 2021. The event is rescheduled from July 2020 due to the Covid-19 Virus. 


In turbulent geo-political, social and technological times attention to the role of im|mobilities is important. This is both true in relation to mobilities as a diverse area of academic enquiry, but also in terms of what it means to do mobilities research. This international inter-disciplinary mobilities symposium provides a meeting ground for the ongoing development of the methods and practices of mobilities research, and is a collaboration between the MOS Department (Tourism), the Social and Cultural Geographies Research Group at Northumbria University and CeMoRe at Lancaster University. Around the publication of the Handbook on Methods and Applications for Mobilities Research, the symposium will explore how the breadth of mobilities enquiry across multiple disciplines offers new methods and practices for developing analytical purchase, applications, creative momentum and impact.

The diversity of mobilities research, from the politics of migration control to corporeal acts of stillness and movement, provide insights that cover sometimes seemingly disparate interests, but also demonstrate crucial relations across multiples sites and scales of life, and across disciplines. The complex contextures of life and social order are made in and through the interconnected im|mobilities of people, goods, resources, particles, viruses, ideas, information and more. Turbulent times demand epistemological agility that connects studies of, for example, the minute mobilities of CO2, soil, and microbes, to research on decarbonising transport to investigations of the effects of interplanetary imaginaries of escape. Making connections through ‘inter-mobilities conversations’ can facilitate opportunities for learning and can knit support for creative resilience.

This symposium is particularly concerned with methods for approaching and researching im|mobile lives across distributed, fleeting, multi-scalar sites. We will explore the (dis)connections between different ways of thinking about and researching im|mobilities and the potentialities of crossover, borrowings and hybridization in methodological approaches. The symposium will provide an opportunity for participants to share perspectives and experiences by those employing a range of methodologies and practices, allowing participants to think through the value of forms of creativity in such practice. We will explore how mobilities research can be applied and the impact it has, but also recognise the challenges of conducting such research. We invite further development of rich methodologies and applications that look to comprehend the trans-local frictions and flows of everyday life.

Abstract Submission - Closed

Participants are invited to deliver a 20 minute paper at the conference

We invite you to submit a 300 word abstract relating to your paper to 

Conference Themes

We will offer a platform through which developments and insights of multi-modal methodologies can be applied to a range of interests, geographical contexts and experiences. We invite contributors from any discipline, including social sciences and the arts, digital design and technology, medicine, psychology, urban planning and business innovation interested in (but not restricted to) some of the following areas, to contribute papers, artworks and interventions that describe how their methodological approaches provide new insight into:

  • Living in turbulence and precarity, including mobilities and urban environmental politics, disaster mobilities
  • Art, creativity and im|mobilities, including art as method, artistic practice, everyday creativity, creative urbanism
  • Material mobilities, from thermalscapes to mobilities design, decarbonising, and non-biological and biological mobilities
  • Urban im|mobilities from everyday practices and social relations, to urban social movementms, smart, liveable, and planetary urbanism, policy im|mobilities
  • Sensuous|visceral im|mobilities, sonic manifesto, emotional geographies of im|mobility, moods and atmospheres
  • Disruptive Innovation, from smart cities to digital motilities, artificial intelligence and automation, new business models, transport, tourism, work and labour
  • Space, time and im|mobilities, including vertical, carceral, planetary im|mobilities
  • Politics, power and im|mobilities, including migration, social movements, conflict, violence, and war

Experiment and Participate - Submissions Closed

(Mobilities Research Temporary Artworks Exhibition) to be held at Newbridge Project Galley Space, Gateshead.

We are also seeking submissions for a pop-up exhibition of creative mobile methods. Show us your methods visually with an A0 poster design. N.B. this not an academic poster session!

We will print selected images in one of 4 fluorescent colours from

Please submit a .pdf file, CMYK, using black graphics and text only, the image/text will not print right up to the edge, so please leave 3mm blank on each edge.

Submit your artworks by Friday February 28th 2020 to

Schedule and Keynote Speakers Announcements to Follow: TBC

  • Professor Sven Kesselring, Nuertingen-Geislingen University.
  • Professor Stephen Graham, Newcastle University, UK.
  • Professor Maggie O’Neil, University College Cork.

Organising Committee 

  • Sharon Wilson and John Clayton Northumbria (Chair)
  • Monika Büscher, Jen Southern, CeMoRe, Lancaster University (Co-Chairs)

Attend Conference 

Registration is now open, fee details below:

  • Full, non-concession fee: £30
  • Students: Free
  • Committee and Symposium Development Delegates: Free

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Event Details

Northumbria University
Newcastle Business School
City Campus East 1
Newcastle upon Tyne


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