What’s Happening

Exciting news. We have a funded Ph.d for a post-grad to do research on Taxi drivers, placemaking and tourism mobilities. Do check the link and spread the word!

SEE Below


It’s here welcome to our conference 8/9 July 2021…Im-mobile Lives in Turbulent Times!!!

Given the turbulent geo-political, social and technological times in which we live, continued attention to the role of im/mobilities seems never more important. As a collaboration between the Mobilities Futures Research Network (MFRN) and the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, this 1st international inter-disciplinary mobilities research conference provides a meeting ground for the ongoing development of the forms, theories and practices in mobilities research. 

From a starting point that recognises, and values, the breadth of mobilities research, this conference will explore the possibility of intersections across this evolving body of work. Mobilities research encompasses a range of foci from those interested in the exclusions generated by the (in)ability of bodies to move across and within national borders, the movement (and restriction) of information in an unevenly networked society, through to accounts which emphasise the centrality of emotions, materiality and the sensuous-ness of (im)mobility in various aspects of everyday life. Mobilities research is therefore approached by those with varying interests, philosophical orientations and political positions. We hope that this conference will provide a constructive forum for conversations across what might otherwise operate as discrete and dis-connected fields of inquiry.

As a route to both valuing this diversity and igniting ‘inter-mobilities conversations’, the conference is particularly concerned with ways of approaching and researching im/mobile lives. We therefore look to explore the (dis)connections between different ways of thinking about and researching im/mobilities and the potentialities of cross-over, borrowings and hybridization.

We already have an exciting programme planned which includes: a conference introduction from Sven Kesselring (Nürtingen-Geislingen University), a keynote from Maggie O’Neill (University College Cork), a Brazilian Mobilities Panel, the launch of the Handbook of Research Methods and Applications for Mobilities, an Arts and Mobilities Exhibition, a Mobilising (for) Climate Change Roundtable and a closing speech from Stephen Graham (Newcastle University).

Following our successful open call for papers, we also have 85 papers across the two days organised around the following themes:

  • Theorising (im)material mobilities
  • Im/mobility, migration and borders
  • Tourism mobilities
  • Sensing im/mobilities
  • Health and well-being
  • Doing mobilities research in turbulent times
  • Creativity and Arts
  • Policy mobilities
  • Mobilising interdisciplinary practices
  • Politics of everyday im/mobilities
  • Infrastructures
  • Mobile methods
  • Transport and design
  • Caring and sharing
  • Technology and autonomy

Experiment and Participate – Online Exhibition

We are seeking submissions for an online exhibition.

We invite submissions of existing work from any artist or researcher working with the conference themes.

  • The exhibition will be in a virtual space online, with three options for submissions:
  • Banner Image on the ‘wall’ of the virtual space = 1MB and 435x300px.
  • Video as part of a showreel within the virtual space = 1920 x 1080px, no longer than 5 minutes. Link for YouTube, Vimeo or Twitch.
  • A link to an external webpage or an online document.

Submit your artworks and a 300-500 word text for the catalogue by Friday May 14th 2021 to j.a.southern@lancaster.ac.uk & k.barry@griffith.edu.au  

Schedule and Keynote Speakers Announcements to Follow: TBC

  • Professor Sven Kesselring, Nuertingen-Geislingen University.
  • Professor Stephen Graham, Newcastle University, UK.
  • Professor Maggie O’Neil, University College Cork.

Organising Committee 

  • Sharon Wilson and John Clayton Northumbria (Chair)
  • Monika Büscher, Jen Southern, CeMoRe, Lancaster University (Co-Chairs)

Arts and Mobilities Network

Check out their exhibition at the conference.


August 2019 Update (EXCITING NEWS)

Conference logos

Call for Papers

We invite you to be part of the conference

Im|mobile lives in turbulent times: Methods and Practices of Mobilities Research.

Thursday July 9th and Friday July 10th 2020

At Northumbria University, Newcastle Business School, City Campus East, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8S  

This is an interdisciplinary, creative and experimental collaboration between Newcastle Business School, Northumbria NBS Tourism (MOS)

with MFRN (Mobilities Research Network), the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Northumbria University

and the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) Lancaster University.

Our aim is to offer a platform through which developments and insights of multi-modal methodologies can be applied to a range of interests,

geographical contexts and experiences. We invite contributors from any discipline, including social sciences and the arts,

digital design and technology, medicine, psychology, urban planning and business innovation.

Information about themes and registration please check out the link below.


Please, submit your abstract of maximum 300 words for consideration either via the website or send to Sharon3.wilson@northumbria.ac.uk by December 18th 2019. Acceptance confirmation January 14th 2020.

We are really looking forward to seeing you all!

Sharon Wilson

May 2019 Update

So we are at the beginning of a journey to take forward the unique qualities of our mobilities symposium forward. Jen Southern (Lancaster University)  visited Newcastle to our Business School at Northumbria on  Friday, this was an excellent opportunity for us to  think about Art and Mobility and how creativity from contemporary arts theory and practice can potentially shape mobile methodological practices more widely.  We wish to continue conversations towards this  as some delightful conversations were had and lots of  potential ideas discussed for the Mobilities  Symposium next year.

We also visited Newbridge Gallery and Studios in Gateshead to scope use of their venue  as part of the symposium workshop activities. Co-creation and collaboration at Newbridge would be great…watch this space.

Thanks also to all who have contributed to the social and academic development of the project so far. (NU David Brown, John Clayton, Tom Mordue) including lovely artist Dominic Smith.

About Us


We would just like mention Jen’s network at Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts on a Mobilities and Art research focus.


Previous POSTS

So there are lots of things happening behind the scenes (See pic of me  deskbound in the early stages of planning for our Mobilities Symposium 2020 here in the Business School at Northumbria University. We are just drawing together the organising committee to include our very own Northumbria Human Geographers (Thanks to Mark Clayton for joining up in the mission) and one other very cool and influential collaboration…..not telling yet…..so do watch this space as some updates and announcements will be soon.


Previous Posts ////////

This week a big push for the new Mobilities and Complexities book.

Check out this leaflet and it you like, buy the book for your University library and personal pleasure and intellectual joy!

sven book

This Book is out now!

Mobilities and Complexities: Ole B. Jensen, Sven Kesselring, Mimi Sheller (2018)

The new ‘mobilities turn’ (Sheller, Urry 2006) has become a powerful perspective in social theory. John Urry’s oeuvre has been very influential in the emergence of this new field and has had lasting impacts on many scholars. This collection presents originally commissioned essays from leading scholars in the field who reflect on how Urry’s writing influenced the course of their research and theorizing.

This volume gathers contributions in relation to John Urry’s path-breaking work. The new ‘mobilities turn’ made a strong imprint in European social theory and is beginning to make an impact in the Americas as well. It challenges mainstream theoretical and empirical approaches that were grounded in a sedentary and bounded view of states. It propels innovative thinking about social and media ecologies, complex systems, and social change. It bridges many disciplines and methodologies, leading to new approaches to existing problems while also resonating with questions about both history and the future. Mobilities research marks the rise of academic and intellectual cooperation and collaboration “beyond societies,” as nations around the world face the ecological limits of contemporary mobility and energy systems.

POST-CONFERENCE – SHARING (Sharon Wilson/ Northumbria University)

Having just arrived back from the C-MUS (Em)Powering mobilities conference at Aalborg University, Denmark a number of excellent connections were made and possible mobilities projects afoot. Some excellent research projects ongoing including Steve Graham (Newcastle University) his work on Vertical Mobilities and Martin Trandberg Jenson (Aalborg University) on public interventions and engagements with counter-terrorism and urban planning. Lots of thinking around new mobile methods and how technology (including VR and augmented realities fit in to this.

sharon conf aal

Sharon Wilson ( Presentation – destination Branding through the Narratives of  Taxi Drivers in Istanbul) Working Paper. (With contributors James Johnson & Serkan Uzunogullari)

There was also a ‘walk -along’ session and set of workshops that explored the social, political and place-making qualities of a driver-less bus project about to be tested in the local area. Some interesting debates about the practical uses of the bus as well as how this could shape different social-mobilities and border crossings. To find out more get in touch with C-MUS Director Claus Lassen as no doubt more work will be done in this area.


Workshop (1) Understanding Space and place (Driverless Bus)

walk along 2

Building Roads (2) Driver-less public transport bus in the highway discussion session.

We invite other insights and contributions from the conference from other mobilities researchers.