Call for Papers

Flows and Undercurrents - Dimensions of (Im)mobility in North America

June 2-4, 2016, John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin


From lived realities to theoretical discourses, issues of mobility are at the core of many contemporary debates both within North America and globally. (Im)mobility transcends disciplinary boundaries and topics, generating disparate perspectives surrounding movements of people, capital and ideas. Migration, in particular, has become the focus of much recent analytical attention. As movements of people continue to gain focus, practices of immobility and exclusion are underscored.

This conference, hosted by the Graduate School of North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, will examine mobility and explore its relevance across numerous disciplines. How is mobility framed in various discourses? How does mobility manifest itself in the context of North America and transnationally? What are the determinants and barriers to mobility in its various iterations? What are the counternarratives to notions of mobility? What kinds of analysis are opened up through the lens of (im)mobility?

We welcome abstracts from graduate (M.A. and Ph.D.) students, post-docs and other scholars of political science, economics, literature, cultural studies, sociology and history as well as related fields. Papers may explore, but are not limited to, the concept of mobility in the following contexts:

  • (Im)mobility as a spatial, historical and conceptual phenomenon
  • Immigration, migration, refugees
  • Transatlantic and transnational movements
  • Globalization
  • Diaspora(s)
  • Travel culture, tourism and travel narratives
  • Transportation and communication infrastructures
  • Illegal movements of goods and people
  • Flows of labor, currency, capital and investments
  • Urban and rural mobility and transformation
  • Race, class, gender mobility
  • Socio-economic mobility
  • Movement of ideas
  • Militarism and prison systems as mobilizing/immobilizing
  • Censorship and hidden forms of cultural mobility
  • Translation and interstitial spaces
  • Manifestations of mobility across various media

Abstracts should be limited to 300 words and be accompanied by the author’s name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, discipline(s) and a short CV. The deadline for submissions is February 7, 2016. A confirmation e-mail will be sent upon receipt of your abstract. Those selected to present will be notified by late February 2016. Please submit all abstracts and questions to:

More information can be found on the conference blog.

The conference will be held in English.                                                     


Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft