Archive: 2023 GMHC
Global Mobility Humanities Conference &
Annual Conference of
the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility
Mobilities, Aesthetics and Ethics
25th~28th October 2023
Aesthetics (aesthesis) is increasingly being paid attention to by mobilities scholars studying not only artistic but also everyday practices. It is also being considered by those interested in mobility histories, technologies, infrastructures, and (urban) designs, who explore senses, emotions, and affects emerging, circulating, and dispersing between, among, and throughout bodies and others. Taking note of “movement enacted, felt, perceived, expressed, metered, choreographed, appreciated and desired” (Pearce and Merriman 2017, 498), for example, aesthetics means grappling with “queries concerning worldly encounters with site, the body and the senses, and around materiality and practices” (Hawkins and Straughan 2015, 2). Aesthetics may mean (an)aesthetics too (Bissell 2022; Sieverts 2007): to consider in what ways our capacities to feel and sense may be not only enlivened but lessened or deadened—desensitised—when on the move, both presently and in history.
As “movement is made of time and space,” so are “moving people and objects […] agents in the production of time and space,” that practise, experience, and embody mobility (Cresswell 2006, 3-4). Mobilities can configure a time and space of gathering and/or scattering, communing (Nikolaeva et al., 2019) and/or monopolising, or in abundance and/or extinction from local to planetary. As both formative and (kin)aesthetical, they encourage us to ponder, judge, and perform what is good, valuable, and acceptable, calling attention to our responsibilities for others, the environment, and the globe. Which quality of time and space do we, with objects, commit to, are we producing, and should we be part of, via mobilities?
Mobilities are both aesthetic and coloured with ethical values. Many mobilities researchers have taken mainly sustainability and/or climate change as their starting point to address and accept the ethics of mobilities (Freudendal-Pedersen 2014, 143), while recognising how aesthetic is a crucial element of transport imaginaries (and marketing). We, in addition, can explore ethics in everyday mobilities, as well as mobility histories, infrastructures, technologies, and policies, recognising bodily mobilities, e.g., such as dancing, bicycling, migrating, and touring, as both aesthetic and ethical. The conference seeks to enquire into the aesthetics and ethics of mobilities not (only) separately but (also) connectedly.
This conference invites proposals from different disciplines within mobility studies, including, but not limited to: literary, cultural, art and design studies, philosophy, history, anthropology, geography, media and communication, architecture, urban planning, technology, tourism, transportation, education, Black and Indigenous studies, gender and sexuality studies, and others. It will present an opportunity for scholars to share their ideas and inquiries at the intersection of mobilities studies and humanities, transcending the conventional divide between the social sciences and humanities and the arts.
Photos from 2023 GMHC-T2M Conference
2023 GMHC Keynote Speakers
Gijs Mom Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
"New Mobility Studies: Niche to Mainstream"
Sireesha Telugu University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India
"The Aesthetics and Ethics of Displacement: Refugees and Repatriates"