- Time: 12-4pm
CRITICAL MOBILITIES THEORY SERIES
SYMPOSIUM: John Urry’s Living Legacy (15 October 2021, 12:00-16:00)
One of the most recognised contemporary sociologists and prolific academics, John Urry (1946-2016) influenced new generations of interdisciplinary thinkers across the world. His introduction of the ‘new mobilities’ paradigm at the turn of the century incorporated advanced critical thought regarding complex systems of social, cultural, economic and political movement, with particular reference to more than one processes and phenomena. His work on tourism, climate change, capitalism, digital technologies, futures and more has generated productive critical dialogues with international colleagues and close collaborators.
This event brings centre-stage key dialogues between Urry and three accomplished academics and former collaborators with their own contribution to the new mobilities paradigm: Professor Mimi Sheller (Inaugural Dean of The Global School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, USA), Professor Michael Haldrup (Professor, Department of Communication and Arts, Visual Culture and Performance Design, Centre for Tourism Research, University of Roskilde, Denmark) and Professor Jennie Germann Molz (Professor of Sociology, Sociology & Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts, USA). The symposium also features as discussants: two of John Urry’s collaborators and friends, Ole Jensen (Professor of Urban Theory, Aalborg University, Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Denmark), known for his work on mobilities design, and Jonas Larsen (Professor in Mobility and Urban Studies, Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University), known for his work on photography and tourism; and James Faulconbridge (Professor, Management School, Lancaster University, (LUMS), United Kingdom), currently acting as Associate Director of CEMORE, one of John Urry’s institutional legacy on mobilities theory.
Adrian Favell, Professor of Social Theory and Director of Bauman Institute, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK (email@example.com).
Rodanthi Tzanelli, Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology and Director of Mobilities Research Area, Bauman Institute, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK (firstname.lastname@example.org)
List of Speakers
Jonas Larsen, Professor in Mobility and Urban Studies, Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University. Email: email@example.com
James Faulconbridge, Professor, Management School (LUMS), Associate Director Centre for Mobilities Research (CE.MO.RE.), United Kingdom. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Critical Interdisciplinary Mobilities Research: Now More Than Ever
Reflecting on John Urry’s contributions to critical approaches to mobilities, tourism, climate change, capitalism, digital technologies, and futures, this talk will point toward the ways in which his body of work is prescient, timely, and needed now more than ever. At each turn in my own work, I have found that his thinking opens new avenues of inquiry, new interdisciplinary conversations, and new possibilities for both critical theory and applied practice. I suggest that the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ is as much a style of thought and practice as it is a field of inquiry, and that this matters at a time when universities, higher education, and intellectual inquiry are under immense pressure to be cost effective, relevant, innovative, and ‘agile’ (the latest buzzword). Now more than ever we need to turn those demands for agility into an insistence on time for creativity and longing, wandering wayward pathways, and breathing beyond boundaries. Not in a Romantic sense, but in a vegetal, tidal, and atmospheric patterning of complexity that feeds into how we think and teach, what we think with, and why we do this work.
What Futures? Futurity, Planetarianism and Co-Existence
Reflecting on John Urry’s engagement in setting a new agenda for ‘reclaiming the future’ for the social sciences, this talk will discuss the themes of global complexities and mobilities, that were central strands in his thinking, as a still relevant resource for understanding ‘the planet’ as an emergent category and ‘planetarianism’ as a transdisciplinary call for action and thought. In the encounter with ‘the planetary’ the issues of global complexity and mobility provides a pathway to transdisciplinary ways of thinking not just within the social sciences but across art, academia and activism in addressing the key question: how will (and can) we live together (on this planet).’
Jennie Germann Molz
‘This Question of Moving’: Mobilizing the Sociological Imagination
‘This question of moving’ is a phrase borrowed from a quote by Charles Baudelaire that appears in the epigraph to John Urry’s book Sociology Beyond Societies (2000). For Baudelaire, moving was a question to be discussed with one’s soul, but Urry posed it as a question for society. Or, to be more precise, as a question both for our souls and for society. For two decades, this question has animated the ongoing conversations, collaborations, and scholarship that make up the richly interdisciplinary field of mobilities studies. Interdisciplinarity is one of the fields’ hallmarks, to be sure, but Sociology Beyond Societies, as the title suggests, was meant as a manifesto to bring the discipline of sociology into the twenty-first century. In this talk, I want to consider the way John Urry mobilized a sociological imagination in his theories and reflect on how my own work has been inspired by his ability to connect the big stories of our time – globalization, capitalism, climate change, citizenship, tourism, and technology – with the intimate stories of our mobile selves and lives.
Organised in co-operation with CEMORE, University of Lancaster. See details of their Annual John Urry Lecture, this year by Diane Coyne (University of Cambridge), which is taking place on 28 Oct 2021, 4-6pm : https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/cemore/event/annual-john-urry-lecture-2021-taking-ideas-seriously-what-does-it-mean-to-have-a-knowledge-economy/