Material Mobilities

Materiality, even in the so-called information age, remains key to our understandings of the world. Clothes, mobile phones, food, iPads, housing and shelter (or their absence), our bodies, and the earthly elements that constitute our planet help to define who we are and shape our experiences of the world.  Within the cluster we are interested in how objects connect us to different places; how embodied experiences change as we move and travel; how the fabric of places is transformed through mobility; and how different physical infrastructures enable oceans, land and borders to be navigated and negotiated. Recent research which contributes to this theme includes:

  • The geo-physical materiality of seas and oceans, the governance of shipping logistics, and the material spaces of ships (Peters, Davies, Turner)
  • Elemental and chemical materialities and their mobilities (Peters)
  • The materiality and mobility of political activity - from the circulation of campaigning literature to the creation of alternative forms of currency (Davies, North)
  • Migrants' mobilities and transnational lives - neoliberal labour schemes and how migrant farm workers' stay connected to home (Gahman); migration journeys and practices of sending things 'back' (Burrell); informal mobilities of asylum seekers in the European Union (Isakjee)
  • Using domestic, neighbourhood and international mobilities to understand how a sense of place is negotiated (Whittaker, Burrell)
  • The materiality of our bodies in mobile spaces - in relation to embodied experiences of flying whilst fat (Evans) and urban walking practices (Rose)
  • The materiality of prison architecture and the (im)mobilities of carceral space (Turner)
  • Everyday material objects and personal belongings - questions of home, place-making and identity (Riley, Burrell, Rose, Whittaker); thinking about 'curiosities' and wellbeing (Evans); the connections gun culture and use have with masculinity in the American Heartland (Gahman)