Anthropologies of Media and Mobility: Theorizing movement and circulations across entangled fields
Anthropology and Mobility Network (Anthromob) and the Anthropology of Media Network held a joint meeting at the University of Cologne, 14-16 September; the aim of the workshop was to bring together scholars working on the theoretical underpinnings of media and mobility studies in anthropology, with an emphasis on early and mid-career academics.
At the EASA Milan conference in 2016, the ANTHROMOB network had its most active year ever in terms of conference panels and paper presentations. All convenors together participated in a rigorous vetting, editing and peer reviewing process of mobility-themed panel proposals during the conference. This resulted in 13 submitted panels and laboratories, 9 of which were finally accepted by the scientific committee to take place in Milan (in Tallinn, ANTHROMOB had 6 official panels running). The Milan panels comprised the following:
Mobile Work-Life Arrangements: Exploring Conceptual and Methodological Challenges
ANTHROMOB co-organised a 10-day doctoral student summer school in concert with the research group Cultures of Mobility in Europe (COME), led by Dr. Anna Lipphardt. Earmarked for October, 2015 (during the Indian summer) in Freiburg, Germany and titled Mobile Work-Life Arrangements: Exploring Conceptual and Methodological Challenges, this engaging, multidisciplinary event will broughttogether junior scholars carrying out research on mobile or multi-local work-life arrangements. The ten days encouraged participants to ponder contexts in which mobile practices are an integral part of the quotidian negotiation between different forms of work/subsistence and other spheres of life, such as family life and social networks, housing, political involvement, religion, or leisure. It gave the opportunity for postgraduate students to learn from junior and senior scholars who work across both the social sciences and the humanities. View the programme here: www.come.uni-freiburg.de/summer-school
Grounding (im)mobility: Embodiment, ephemera, ecologies
Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal , Thursday 10 – Friday 11 September, 2015
The Workshop Co-organisers: Jamie Coates, Waseda University (Japan), Simone Frangella, ICS, University of Lisbon (Portugal), José Mapril, CRIA (Portugal), Roger Norum, University of Leeds (UK), Valerio Simoni, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (Switzerland), Francesco Vacchiano, ICS, University of Lisbon (Portugal), Lauren Wagner, Maastricht University (The Netherlands)
The ANTHROMOB convenors Jamie Coates, Roger Norum, Valerio Simoni, and Lauren Wagner and the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS), with Lisbon-based scholars Simone Frangella, José Mapril, and Francesco Vacchiano, collaborated last month to organize the ANTHROMOB 2015 workshop, Grounding (im)mobility. With nearly 50 abstracts submitted, the workshop finally included 17 strong papers in 6 themed sessions covering subjects of embodiment, belonging, morality, media, borders and infrastructure among others, as well as 2 parallel sessions on Mobile Participatory Methods and on Visual Collaboration. The presenters included a mix of EASA members and non-members, ranging from full professor to MA candidates, to practitioners outside academia. Filmmaker and curator Daniela Swarovsky screened her most recently completed second film in the Messages from Paradise trilogy (www.zimweb.nl/mfp2/?l=en), on perceptions about life and migration outcomes between Morocco and the Netherlands. Finally, Samuli Schielke served as 'grand discussant' in the final roundtable session, in which all workshop participants were invited to consider future directions for theoretical and methodological work on mobilities.
The event reached about 45 participants in total, including presenters, volunteers, and attendees. In addition to the 25 presenters, representing 18 different institutions in Europe and the US, the workshop was attended by several researchers from institutions in Lisbon and elsewhere in Portugal. The infrastructural participation of the ICS was key for the success of the workshop, while the workshop contributed to boosting the presence of Anthropology in this dedicated research institute for social sciences.
The final programme, with the full list of presenters and abstracts, can be found here: 1drv.ms/1VBiX66.
As a bonus, the recording of Samuli Schielke's discussant summary is available here: 1drv.ms/1j2EMip
Network meeting at EASA2014
During the 2014 EASA conference in Tallinn, we also held a network meeting where we nominated and elected a new convenors group. Jamie Coates stepped down as convenor, as he is moving to Japan for a research fellowship, while Roger Norum stayed on as convenor, alongside Valerio Simoni and Lauren Wagner. View the structure here.
Fielding Challenges, Challenging the Field: The methodologies of mobility
27-28 Sept, 2013, University of Oxford
The EASA Anthropology and Mobility Network (ANTHROMOB) held the international, cross-disciplinary workshop, Fielding Challenges, Challenging the Field: The methodologies of mobility. In response to the methodological challenges that had been expressed by many of colleagues, the network’s co-convenors Jamie Coates and Roger Norum developed a workshop focusing on how mobility informs and challenges contemporary ethnographic research and writing. The event was hosted by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, with EASA funding set aside to cover accommodation and travel costs for EASA members. Cultural Mobilities Research (CuMoRe) in Leuven also provided support with Alice Elliot and Noel Salazar joining the workshop coordination team. Even Berghahn Books showed up, providing some funding and support for (and many books at) the event.
In total, the event saw the participation of 85 delegates from all around the world including leading universities in Europe, the USA, Australia and China, with 32 paper presentations and keynote speeches by Noel Salazar and Hans Lucht. The research interests of attendees also spanned mobility within and between all the continents of the globe (yes, even Antarctica), showing a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches to the question of mobility. Considering the range of nationalities, research topics and disciplines present at the workshop, it was perhaps, as one participant commented, the “most mobile conference on mobility” held in the region to date.
In addition to fostering widespread interest in EASA’s biennial conference in Tallinn, with several possible network-linked panels proposed, the workshop also generated discussion surrounding several joint publications. The network and workshop co-convenors are currently putting in a proposal for a compiled volume/journal special issue of papers from the event.
The ANTHROMOB convenors are extremely grateful for the very generous funding which EASA awarded to the workshop, which allowed for the participation of many students and other early-career scholars who would otherwise not have been able to attend. We hope that the network will continue to inspire cross-disciplinary collaboration and innovative engagement among scholars working on mobility. Suggestions are currently being accepted for possible topics for the next ANTHROMOB workshop/conference, to be held in 2015.