Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mobile Again!

New Mobilities has been void of posts recently, over the New Year there were various physical mobilities taking place. Now it's back to posting!

Lets start with some call for papers:

1) RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2007 28th – 31st August 2007, at the Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London.

The political geographies of the Mediterranean: conflicts and boundaries

Historically a source of cultural and economic dynamism, the circulation of people, objects, ideas and ways of life across the Mediterranean has taken a new edge with current global geopolitical and geo-economic processes. In the midst of greater connectivity and fluidity of exchanges and ongoing processes of de- and re-territorialization, the Mediterranean re-emerges as a hotspot for international conflicts. Analysts predict a deterioration of political stability in the region in the coming decades due to, inter alia, acute environmental degradation, scarcity of fossil fuels, and growing structural economic and demographic disjunctures between Europe, the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Political, cultural and environmental conflicts and instabilities often underpin processes of place and region making and yet little is know about the relationship between the conflictive nature of the Mediterranean and emerging socio-spatialities both at the micro and macro levels.
This session explores emerging socio-spatialities within the increasingly transnational, instable and unsustainable nature of social, political, economic and environmental life of the region. We particularly encourage papers that go beyond predominant ways of conceiving social relations as occurring in self-enclosed territories (e.g. nation-state) and are sensitive to the complex and contingent processes of de- and re-territorialization, de- and re-scaling and continual openness and bordering of social, environmental, political and economic life (e.g. the EU, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, Euro-regions such as the Latin Arc).
Topics of interest for this session include though are not restricted to the following: refugee and detention camps, colonised territories, large scale ethnocidal violence, ethnic, religious or political conflicts verging on low intensity warfare, urban riots, conflict in cities, border controls, migration, trade routes, terrorism, water conflicts, environmental refugees, stressed environments, leisure landscapes and social segregation, global and regional inequalities, the EU, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, Euro-regions, networks of cities.
Keywords: Mediterranean, Sustainability, Conflict, Socio-spatialities.
If you would like to present a paper in this session, please send a title and an abstract (of no more than 200 words) to either Ramon Ribera-Fumaz or to Javier Caletrío Garcerá by 26th of January 2007.

2) Mobile Communication: Bringing Us Together or Tearing Us Apart?

International Communications Association Pre-conference Workshop #4

There has been much attention paid to the state of social cohesion during the past decade. Robert Putnam has helped us to focus on social capital and its status. Analysis in Europe and in Asia has looked into the interaction between ICTs (usually the Internet) and the state of socialization, and now McPherson has delivered an analysis on social isolation in the US. While it is possible to comment on the studies, the general message seems to be that we are growing apart rather than closer together. Or are we?

It is interesting to note that several studies focusing on mobile communication point at a different phenomena. Taking a clue from Licoppe’s “connected presence” and Katz & Aakhus’ perpetual contact, there is the sense that the threshold for interaction in the group – or the clique or the gang or the family – has never been lower. Among others, recent studies by Ishii and by Miyata in Japan, Lee in Korea, Reid and Reid in the UK, Banjo et al in the US and Ling et al in the broader European scene indicate that the groups who use mobile communication may indeed be more cohesive.
So what is it? Is it more, or less cohesion? Is the general trend towards individualization while the peer group is becoming more tightly intertwined? This is the theme that we wish to examine. While a portion of the program h as been arranged in advance, we are also seeking proposals from both qualitative and quantitative research projects that examine this question. Proposal abstracts are due by January 29, 2007 to, and the final program will be assembled by February 23, 2007. Final papers are due by May 1. The program will accommodate up to 10 panel sessions, with discussants, depending upon the number and quality of proposals submitted.
The pre-conference is a joint effort by the University of Michigan Department of Communication Studies, Temple University, Microsoft Research and Telenor Research. It will be held at the San Francisco Hilton, the conference hotel, starting with a plenary session on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 23. There will be panels on Wednesday afternoon, followed by a reception. And there will be parallel sessions on Thursday, May 24, before and after a luncheon.

Cost: ICA Members: $40.00 USD
ICA Student members: $20.00 USD
Non-member price: $75.00
(Includes refreshments, lunch and reception)

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