Moving to a Different Beat? Imitations, Improvisations and Institutions
This talk approaches mobilities as a multi-faceted cultural and political field that is yet to be fully exhausted. Drawing examples from research on aviation outside the ‘West’, the talk moves through a series of framings by which (aero)mobilities studies can be potentially re-enunciated and complicated. By assuming this ‘other’ geographical position, my aim is neither to reprise regional thinking, nor to describe a different set of (im)mobile conditions encountered in these alternative spaces, Rather, it is to reflect on what ‘new’ analytical coalescences these other geographies are able to throw up, and to engage in a moment of knowledge reconfiguration. Three crystallizations from this ‘lens change’ will be highlighted in this talk – namely, imitations, improvisations and institutions. While most of these conceptual anchors will be applied to an aviation context, their remit arguably extends to other branches of mobility studies as well, from global logistics to sustainable transport. Each of these dimensions is intended not just to enrich theorizations in the field, but also to re-mobilize ‘mobility’ as something always in transition, on the move.
Weiqiang Lin is a postdoctoral researcher in cultural and transport geography at the University of Toronto, under National University of Singapore sponsorship. Weiqiang joined the University of Toronto after obtaining his PhD from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research is primarily focused on aviation, mobilities and infrastructures.