GEOG 595 S22 Syllabus

Course requirements

Skip ahead to see what you’ll be required to do in this course. External websites you’ll need include (access code CIDELL-998J7) and (The Miro orientation board is here and the class activity board is here.)

Course readings and schedule

Skip ahead to see what the readings are and when they are due. Readings are available through Perusall or the library.


My regular office hours are Tuesday and Friday 10-11, or you can make an appointment here. I’m in NHB 2068.

Course requirements

There are six main components to this course, intended to integrate different aspects of the material, to give you a chance to pursue your own interests, and to build a community of mobility justice scholars. They are as follows:

  1. Participation (20 percent). This is a discussion-based course, so it relies on your input. However, there is more than one way to participate in a course. You’ll fill out a participation rubric early in the semester, set goals for yourself, and evaluate yourself over the course of the semester. (If you’re unable to attend class in person, you can still participate in the discussion on Miro.)
  2. Preparing for discussion (20 percent). This will help you to be fully prepared for class by annotating the week’s material on (access code CIDELL-998J7). You’ll leave comments, ask questions, and end with a summary sentence or two that encapsulates the main points(s) of the article. Don’t forget to draw connections/make comparisons across the readings for the week, and to previous readings when relevant. Your annotations will be due every Monday at 9 AM and will help discussion leaders formulate topics and questions. (Of the 13 possible weeks, you can miss 3.)
  3. Presenting others’ work (5 percent). I’m focusing on articles rather than books to keep costs down and to discuss a wider variety of material, but it’s also valuable to see how an author engages in depth with a single topic. You will choose a book on mobility justice (some possibilities are here) and give the class a 10-minute presentation on the book. This should not just be a bullet-pointed summary of the book, nor simply a critique. What did it set out to do, and to what extent did it do it? What does it contribute to the literature? How do the different chapters fit together into a single argument? How might it be a model for your own work? Who should read it and why? Sign up for a date to present here and label yourself as a Presenter.
  4. Lead discussion (5 percent). You and another student will lead discussion for a class period at some point during the semester. This means coming up with questions ahead of time, making sure the most important points of the readings come through, soliciting a variety of viewpoints, and provoking us to think about the authors’ work. Sign up for a date to co-lead here and label yourself as a Leader.
  5. Term paper I (25 percent). This course is not just about academic treatments of mobility justice, but how activists envisioned it first and have been working towards it for years. For this short paper (2500-3000 words), you will present a case study of an activist organization or a local case of mobility (in)justice. How does the organization follow the principles of mobility justice, or how does the case demonstrate concepts from class? What can scholars learn from the group? What can they learn from us? What kind of intervention might help solve the local problem? This paper will be due before spring break.
  6. Term paper II (25 percent). This is more like a conventional seminar paper, where you will choose a very specific topic and do a review-and-agenda paper (also 2500-3000 words). What’s the current state-of-the-art work on this topic? Which previous authors and disciplinary approaches is that work based on? Where is this topic going, or what are the open questions, and how might you contribute? This paper will be due at the end of the term.

Course readings

I: Mobility Justice

Week 1: Introduction
Sheller, Mimi. 2019. Mobility Justice. London: Verso. Chapter 1.

Week 2: What is mobility justice?
– Sheller, Mimi. 2019. Mobility Justice. London: Verso.
– People for Mobility Justice.
– The Untokening.

II: Systems and structures of mobility

Week 3: Automobility
Class 3a:
– Urry, John. (2004). The ‘System’ of Automobility. Theory, Culture & Society 21 (4–5): 25–39.
– Culver, Gregg. (2018). Death and the Car: On (Auto)Mobility, Violence, and Injustice. ACME 17(1): 144–70.

Class 3b:
– Sheller, M. (2015). Racialized Mobility Transitions in Philadelphia: Connecting Urban Sustainability and Transport Justice. City and Society 27(1): 70-91.
Jigsaw (pick one):
– Collin-Lange, V. (2013). Socialities in motion: Automobility and car cruising in Iceland. Mobilities 8(3): 406-423
– Hind, S. (2019). Digital navigation and the driving-machine: supervision, calculation, optimization, and recognition. Mobilities 14(4): 401-417.
– Kurnicki, K. (2021). What do cars do when they are parked? Material objects and infrastructuring in social practices. Mobilities

Week 4: Transit
Class 4a:
– Siemiatycki, M. (2006). Message in a Metro: Building Urban Rail Infrastructure and Image in Delhi, India. IJURR 30(2): 277-292.
Jigsaw (pick one):
– Beier, R. (2020). The world-class city comes by tramway: Reframing Casablanca’s urban peripheries through public transport. Urban Studies 57(9): 1827-1844.
– Enright, T. (2013). Mass transportation in the neoliberal city: the mobilizing myths of the Grand Paris Express. Environment and Planning A 45: 797-813.
– Olesen, K. (2020). Infrastructure imaginaries: The politics of light rail projects in the age of neoliberalism. Urban Studies 57(9): 1811-1826.

Class 4b:
– Enright, T. (2019). Transit justice as spatial justice: learning from activists. Mobilities 14(5): 665-680.
– Sukaryavichute, E. and Prytherch, D. (2018). Transit planning, access, and justice: Evolving visions of bus rapid transit and the Chicago street. Journal of Transport Geography 69: 58-72.
– Freire-Medeiros, B. and Name, L. (2017). Does the future of the favela fit in an aerial cable car? Examining tourism mobilities and urban inequalities through a decolonial lens. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 42(1): 1-16.

Week 5: Logistics
Class 5a:
– Cowen, D. (2010). ‘A Geography of Logistics: Market Authority and the Security of Supply Chains. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100(3): 600-620.
– Gregson, N., Crang, M., and Antonopoulos, C. (2017). Holding together logistical worlds: Friction, seams and circulation in the emerging ‘global warehouse.’ Environment and Planning D 35(3): 381-398.
– Danyluk, M. (2021). Supply-Chain Urbanism: Constructing and Contesting the Logistics City. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 111(7): 2149-2164.

Class 5b:
– Stenmanns, J. (2019) Logistics from the margins. Environment and Planning D 37(5): 850-867.
– Jenss, A. (2020). Global flows and everyday violence in urban space: The port-city of Buenaventura, Colombia. Political Geography 77: 102113.

Week 6-7: Large infrastructure
Class 6a:
– Cowen, D. (2020). Following the infrastructures of empire: notes on cities, settler colonialism, and method. Urban Geography 41(4): 469-486.
– Carse, A. and Lewis, J. (2017). Toward a political ecology of infrastructure standards: Or, how to think about ships, waterways, sediment, and communities together. Environment and Planning A 49(1): 9-28.

Class 6b:
– Siemiatycki, M., Enright, T., and Valverde, M. (2019). The gendered production of infrastructure. Progress in Human Geography 44(2): 297-314.
Jigsaw (pick one):
– Maharawal, M. (2021). Infrastructural Activism: Google Bus Blockades, Affective Politics, and Environmental Gentrification in San Francisco. Antipode DOI: 10.1111/anti.12744.
– Goodfellow, T. and Huang, Z. (2021). Contingent infrastructure and the dilution of ‘Chineseness’: Reframing roads and rail in Kampala and Addis Ababa. Environment and Planning A 53(4): 655-674.
– Henderson, J. (2020). EVs Are Not the Answer: A Mobility Justice Critique of Electric Vehicle Transitions. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 110(6): 1993-2010.

Class 7a: NO CLASS

Class 7b:
– Dodge, M. and Kitchin, R. (2004). Flying through code/space: the real virtuality of air travel. Environment and Planning D 36: 195-211.
– Lin, W. (2021). Automated infrastructure: COVID-19 and the shifting geographies of supply chain capitalism. Progress in Human Geography DOI: 10.1177/03091325211038718.
– Pollozek, S. (2020). Turbulences of speeding up data circulation. Frontex and its crooked temporalities of ‘real-time’ border control. Mobilities 15(5): 677-693.

Week 8: Small infrastructure
Class 8a:
– Harris, A. (2018). Engineering formality: flyover and skywalk construction in Mumbai. IJURR 42(2): 295-314.
– Prytherch, D. (2021): Reimagining the physical/social infrastructure of the American street: policy and design. Urban Geography DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2021.1960690.

Class 8b:
– Chowdhury, R. (2021). The social life of transport infrastructures: Masculinities and everyday mobilities in Kolkata. Urban Studies 58(1): 73-89.
– Mahmoudi, D., Lubitow, A., and Christensen, M. (2020). Reproducing spatial inequality? The sustainability fix and barriers to urban mobility in Portland, Oregon. Urban Geography 41(6): 801-822.


III: (Im)mobile bodies

Week 9: Mobile methods
Class 9a:
– Büscher, M. and Urry, J. (2004.) Mobile methods and the empirical. European Journal of Social Theory 12(1): 99-116.
– Merriman, P. (2014). Rethinking mobile methods. Mobilities 9(2): 167-187.

Class 9b:
– Bell, S. and Bush, T. (2021). ‘Never mind the bullocks’: animating the go-along
interview through creative nonfiction. Mobilities 16(3): 306-321.
Jigsaw (pick one):
– Breines, M.R., Menet, J., and Schapendonk, J. (2021). Disentangling following: implications and practicalities of mobile methods. Mobilities 16(6): 921-934.
– Butz, D. and Cook, N. (2017). The Epistemological and Ethical Value of Autophotography for Mobilities Research in Transcultural Contexts. Studies in Social Justice 11(2): 238-274.
– Spinney, J. (2011). A chance to catch a breath: using mobile video ethnography in cycling research. Mobilities6(2): 161-182.
– Warren, S. (2017). Pluralising the walking interview: researching (im)mobilities with Muslim women. Social and Cultural Geography 18(6): 786-807.

Week 10: Labor
Class 10a:
– Rekhviashvili, L. and Sgibnev, W. (2018). Placing Transport Workers on the Agenda: The Conflicting Logics of Governing Mobility on Bishkek’s Marshrutkas. Antipode 50(5): 1376-1395.
– Grossman-Thompson, B. (2020). ‘In This Profession We Eat Dust’: Informal and Formal Solidarity among Women Urban Transportation Workers in Nepal. Development and Change 51(3): 874-894.
– Gregson, N. (2017). Logistics at Work: Trucks, Containers and the Friction of Circulation in the UK. Mobilities 12(3): 343-364.

Class 10b:
– Ferguson, H. (2009). Driven to Care: The Car, Automobility and Social Work. Mobilities 4(2): 275-293.
– Zendel, A. (2021). “There are no days off, just days without shows”: precarious mobilities in the touring music industry. Applied Mobilities 6(2): 184-201.

Week 11: Gender and sexuality
Class 11a:
– Metro. (2019). Understanding How Women Travel, Chapters 1, 2, and 4
– Waitt, G., Harada, T., and Duffy, M. (2017). ‘Let’s Have Some Music’: Sound, Gender and Car Mobility. Mobilities 12(3): 324-342.
– Balkmar, Dag. (2018). “Violent Mobilities: Men, Masculinities and Road Conflicts in Sweden.” Mobilities 13 (5): 717–32.

Class 11b:
– Gorman-Murray, A. and Nash, C. (2014). Mobile places, relational spaces: conceptualizing change in Sydney’s LGBTQ neighborhoods. Environment and Planning D 32: 622-641.
– Balay, A. (2020). Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers. UNC Press. Chapter 1, “Whoop ‘n Ride.”
– Lubitow, A., Abelson, M., and Carpenter, E. (2020). Transforming mobility justice: Gendered harassment and violence on transit. Journal of Transport Geography 82: 102601.

Week 12: Race, ethnicity, and indigeneity
Class 12a:
– Parks, Virginia. (2016). “Rosa Parks Redux: Racial Mobility Projects on the Journey to Work.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers, January, 1–8.
– Carpio. Genevieve. (2019). Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Chapter 4 (part).
– Hopkins, E. and Sanchez, M. (2022). Chicago’s “Race-Neutral” Traffic Cameras Ticket Black and Latino Drivers the Most. ProPublica,

Class 12b:
– Whyte, K., Talley, J., and Gibson, J. (2019). Indigenous mobility traditions, colonialism, and the anthropocene. Mobilities 14(3): 319-335.
Jigsaw (pick one):
– Barrena, J., Harambour, A., Lamers, M., and Bush, S. (2021). Contested mobilities in the maritory: Implications of boundary formation in a nomadic space. Environment and Planning C DOI: 10.1177/23996544211016866.
– Cidro, J., Bach, R., and Frohlick, S. (2020). Canada’s forced birth travel: towards feminist indigenous reproductive mobilities. Mobilities 15(2): 173-187.
– Prout, S. (2009). Security and Belonging: Reconceptualising Aboriginal Spatial Mobilities in Yamatji Country, Western Australia. Mobilities 4(2): 177-202.

Week 13: Transgression/policing
Class 13a:
– Egan, R. (2021). ‘Provoking responsibility’: The struggle for recognition as an everyday cyclist in Dublin City. Geoforum 127: 23-32.
– Turner, S. (2020). Informal motorbike taxi drivers and mobility injustice on Hanoi’s streets. Negotiating the curve of a new narrative. Journal of Transport Geography 85: 102728.
– Boyce, G. (2018). Appearing ‘out of place’: Automobility and the everyday policing of threat and suspicion on the US/Canada frontier. Political Geography 64(1): 1-12.

Class 13b:
– Bloch, S. (2021). Policing car space and the legal liminality of the automobile. Progress in Human Geography 45(1): 136-155.
– Chowdhury, R. (2020). Homosocial trust in urban policing: Masculinities and traffic law enforcement in the gendered city. City 24(3-4): 493-511.

Week 14: Climate change
Class 14a:
– Paterson, M. (2014). Governing mobilities, mobilising carbon. Mobilities 9(4): 570-584.
– Cass, N. and Faulconbridge, J. (2017). Satisfying everyday mobility. Mobilities 12(1): 97-115.

Class 14b:
– Baldwin, A., Fröhlich, C., and Rothe, D. (2019). From climate migration to anthropocene mobilities: shifting the debate. Mobilities 14(3): 289-297.
– Parsons, L. (2019). Structuring the emotional landscape of climate change migration: Towards climate mobilities in geography. Progress in Human Geography 43(4): 670-690.
– Sheller, M. (2018). Caribbean futures in the offshore Anthropocene: Debt, disaster, and duration. Environment and Planning D 36(6): 971-986.

Week 15: Future mobilities
Class 15a:
– Cresswell, T. (2010). Towards a politics of mobility. Environment and Planning D 2010: 17-31.
– Shelley-Egan, C. (2020). Testing the Obligations of Presence in Academia in the COVID-19 Era. Sustainability 12: 6350.
– Wigley, E. and Rose, G. (2020). Who’s behind the wheel? Visioning the future users and urban contexts of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. Geografiska Annaler Series B, Human Geography 102(2): 155-171.

Class 15b:
– Nikolaeva, A., Adey, P., Cresswell, T., Lee, J.Y., Nóvoa, A., and Temenos, C. (2019). Commoning mobility: towards a new politics of mobility transitions. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 44: 346-360.
– Verlinghieri, E. and Schwanen, T. (2020). Transport and mobility justice: evolving discussions. Journal of Transport Geography 87: 102798.