Call for Papers: Mobility and Infrastructures: Transitions and Transformations, 2024 annual conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M), 23.-25.09.2024, Leipzig, Deadline: 01.04.2024

The 2024 annual conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M), will focus on transitions and transformations of mobilities and infrastructures.

Venue: Leipzig, Germany
Dates: 23 – 25.09.2024

Modern societies are experiencing striking technological, ecological, socio-economic and cultural as well as political challenges – with mobility questions at the forefront of these contentions. Actors and institutions across the globe increasingly recognize the need for systemic changes in the ways goods, people, ideas, policies and capital are set in motion – usually framed in the terms of “mobility transitions”. Green deal policies are drafted and “just transition” funds are set up, acknowledging that transition to carbon-free futures will require substantial resources to succeed, but also to avoid uneven and unfair socio-spatial effects on nations, regions, cities, and rural places. Existing research has already criticized mobility transition policies for their narrow normative assumptions, their reliance on large-scale infrastructures and technological innovations, and elaborated on the concepts of mobility justice and commoning mobility as a way of devising collective and collaborative means of shaping mobility transitions (Cresswell et. al 2021; Sheller 2018). It is therefore time to interrogate how and in which ways have “mobility transitions” been framed in different places at different times in their multifaceted histories.

Understanding mobility, traffic and transport infrastructure, “ground-breaking” technologies and their everyday usages and routines from a transformation perspective also means considering the practical feasibility of its implementation and associated conflicts: Under what social conditions will the transformation of the mobility system and transport infrastructure be politically possible and accepted? And conversely: Do current and historical social change processes support the transformation of the transport systems of their own accord? And if so, will this transformation actually lead to ecological sustainability?

The conference aims to understand the notions of transition and transformation of mobility and infrastructures, emphasizing the need to understand current changes in the light of the historical transformations of mobilities, but also other fundamental social and economic-technical change processes, e.g., in the course of industrial revolutions, through colonial modernization, or after the fall of state socialism. Furthermore, the conference aims to highlight diverse and pluriverse visions on the departure points as well as desired and envisioned futures of mobility transformations, particularly welcoming subaltern voices, often overlooked because of gender, class, race, and otherness.

With this in mind, we invite specialists from the arts, social sciences and humanities, as well as engineering and technology, and wholeheartedly welcome contributions from any other disciplinary background. Alongside practitioners, artists and activists, we want to discuss the changing and conflicting interrelations between mobilities, infrastructures, technology, ecology, urbanism, across times and places, for a better understanding of past, current and future infrastructure and mobility transformations. We are looking for proposals for papers and sessions on one or more of the following topics / areas of study, although all contributions are welcome:


  • Contestations around mobility and infrastructures
  • Longue durée perspectives on green transitions
  • Mobility and infrastructures in front of climate emergency
  • Time, temporalities, transitions
  • Mobility technologies: technical fix, technological pessimism, shock of the old, and resistances to it
  • Global and regional approaches, including e.g. post-Soviet or Sub-Saharan perspectives
  • Global politics and geopolitics of mobility and infrastructures
  • Mobility transition versus mobility transformations
  • Imperial, trans-imperial and (post)colonial infrastructures
  • Metaphors of mobility – highway, railroad, route and network.
  • Mobility in culture: literary, musical, artistic perspectives
  • Arts and creativity towards transformation
  • Activism around mobility and infrastructures
  • Mobilities on the margins and mobility justice: Race, gender, ethnicity, disability and othering

Proposals may cover individual papers, panels, artworks, posters, and other creative formats. We welcome relevant contributions from any academic perspective or discipline, from professionals, policymakers and practitioners in the transport, traffic, and mobility field, as well as artists and creative professionals, designers, engineers, and educationalists in the art and humanities. […]

More information about the conference and sessions can be found here.

Deadline for Submissions: 01.04.2024