(Im)Mobilities Symposium: Reflections and Resource Sharing

On the 13th of October, our PI Julia Laite took part in a day-long symposium, (Im)Mobilties:  Intimate labour in a transnational world, organized by Victoria Haskins (Purai -Global Indigenous and Diaspora Research Studies Centre; University of Newcastle), Rosie Cox (Geography, Birkbeck) and Julia Laite (History, Birkbeck).

The symposium  aimed to bring together Birkbeck scholars to share insights into the utility of the concept of mobility for transnational themes of race, gender, class and intimate labour (particularly but not exclusively in relation to service and care work).  The conversation was interdisciplinary, but also concerned with the methodologies of doing transnational and global research into intimate and domestic labour.

After a challenging conversation about the utility of the concepts of ‘mobility’ and ‘intimacy’ in our research, we heard short papers from Victoria Haskins (Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities Fellow; History);  Silvia Posocco (Psychosocial Studies); Esther Leslie (English and Humanities); Julia Laite (History, Classics & Archaeology); William Ackah (Geography); Ruth Sheldon (Pyschosocial Studies); Fae Dussart (Geography); and Lynne Segal (Pyschosocial Studies).  Our discussions ranged from the different kinds of transnational intimate labour and labour abuses in the past and present; to the intimate, domestic and gendered experiences of migrants; to the politics of care, gentrification, and intimate migration control.

In the comments section below we’ve encouraged symposium presenters and attendees to share their thoughts, questions, and recommended bibliographic resources to continue this conversation online.

5 Replies to “(Im)Mobilities Symposium: Reflections and Resource Sharing”

  1. Because we spoke a lot about the interdisciplinary use of archives at the symposium, I thought that the following bibliography, forwarded by Rosie Cox, might be interesting to geographers, archive users, and others:

    Ashmore, P., Craggs, R., Neate, H., 2012. Working-with: talking and sorting in personal archives. Journal of Historical Geography 38, 81–89

    Ogborn, M., 2011. Archive, in: Agnew, J.A., Livingstone, D.N. (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Geographical Knowledge. SAGE

    Mills, S., 2013a. Cultural–Historical Geographies of the Archive: Fragments, Objects and Ghosts. Geography Compass 7, 701–713

    McGeachan, C., Forsyth, I., Hasty, W., 2012. Certain Subjects? Working with Biography and Life-Writing in Historical Geography. Historical Geography 40, 169–185

    Flinn, A., Stevens, M., Shepherd, E., 2009. Whose memories, whose archives? Independent community archives, autonomy and the mainstream. Arch Sci 9, 71

    Riley, M., Harvey, D., 2007. Talking geography: on oral history and the practice of geography. Social & Cultural Geography 8, 345–351

    Mills – ‘Archival Fieldwork and Children’s Geographies’: https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-981-4585-89-7_7-1.

    Baker, A. R. H. (2003) Geography and History, Bridging the Divide, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

    Bailey A, Brace C and Harvey D 2009 Three geographers in an archive: positions, predilections and passing comment on transient lives Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 34 254–69

    Clark, G. (2005) ‘Secondary Data’, in Flowerdew, R. and Martin, D. (ed.) Methods in Human Geography: A guide for students doing a research project (2nd edn.) Oxon: Routledge, pp. 57-73

    Mayhew, R. (2003) ‘Researching Historical Geography’ in Rogers, A. and Viles, H. (eds) The Student’s Companion to Geography, (2nd edn.) Oxford: Blackwell

    Robson, C. (2011) Real World Research (3rd edn.) West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons

    Roche, M. (2005) ‘Historical Research and Archival Sources’, in Hay, I. (ed.) Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography (2nd ed) Oxford: Oxford University Press

    Dwyer, C., & Davies, G. (2010). Qualitative methods III: animating archives, artful interventions and online environments. Progress in Human Geography, 34(1), 88 – 97.
    Lorimer, H. (2009). Caught in the nick of time: archives and fieldwork. The handbook of qualitative methods in human geography, 248-273.
    Lorimer, H., & Philo, C. (2009). Disorderly archives and orderly accounts: reflections on the occasion of Glasgow’s geographical centenary. Scottish Geographical Journal, 125(3-4), 227-255.
    Moore, F. P. L. (2010). Tales from the archive: methodological and ethical issues in historical geography research. Area, 3(42), 262-270.
    Rose, G. (2000). Practising photography: an archive, a study, some photographs and a researcher. Journal of historical geography, 26(4), 555-571.
    Withers, C. W. (2002). Constructing ‘the geographical archive’. Area, 34(3), 303-311.

  2. It was a fabulous day. I thought that it highlighted some of the real disciplinary gaps in terms of the way we approach the concept of mobilities – I wasn’t aware of how much it is associated with ideas of personal autonomy and individualism in some of the fields other than history. I look forward to seeing what others can suggest for key readings and I’ll put together a list of some of the ones I think most useful in historical work. I really loved the round table papers and I hope that people will decide to continue developing these ideas! Thanks everyone!

  3. This new article just out might interest people, it comes out of history and is about the connections between modernity and mobility in Australia history as a settler colonial nation:
    Rees A. Reading Australian modernity: Unsettled settlers and cultures of mobility. History Compass. 2017;e12429. https://doi.org/10.1111/hic3.12429

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *