Syllabus for GEOG 595, Spring 2020

Course requirements

Course readings
plus readings on COVID-19 as I come across them

Bonus: Free books from academic publishers

Course schedule

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 (15 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.
  2. Weekly writing (25 percent). This will help you to be fully prepared for class by synthesizing the week’s material and developing questions for discussion. You’ll write a sentence or two summarizing each of the articles (or chapters) for the week, plus another sentence or two tying them all together. Then you’ll pick one article/chapter and analyze it in more detail with the QAQC method, borrowed from Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis of UC Berkeley:
    Quotation: Quote a sentence from the text that you think is central to the author’s argument.
    Argument: In one paragraph, state the author’s argument. Be sure to include both what the author is arguing for and arguing against, as relevant.
    Question: Raise a question you think is not completely answered by the text. The question should not simply be a question of fact.
    Connection: Connect the argument of this text to an argument or point you find in another reading, in previous class discussions, or from outside of class. Present a quote or information from the other source, and explain how the reading’s argument connects with the other source’s argument or point.
    Your weekly writing will be due every Monday at 10 AM and will form the basis for that week’s discussion.
  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 one 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 of what it’s missing. 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.
  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.
  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 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.

II: Systems of mobility
Week 3: Automobility
– 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.
– Patton, Jason W. 2007. “A Pedestrian World: Competing Rationalities and the Calculation of Transportation Change.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 39 (4): 928–44.

– Sheller, Mimi. 2015. “Racialized Mobility Transitions in Philadelphia: Connecting Urban Sustainability and Transport Justice: Racialized Mobility Transitions in Philadelphia.” City & Society 27 (1): 70–91.
– Williams, Matthew, and Non Arkaraprasertkul. 2017. “Mobility in a Global City: Making Sense of Shanghai’s Growing Automobile-Dominated Transport Culture.” Urban Studies 54 (10): 2232–48.
– Tuvikene, Tauri. 2018. “Post-Socialist (Auto)Mobilities: Modernity, Freedom and Citizenship.” Geography Compass 12 (3): e12362.

Week 4: Transit
Special guest by Skype: Kafui Attoh
Attoh, Kafui. 2018. Rights in Transit: Public Transportation and the Right to the City. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Sukaryavichute, Elina, and David L. Prytherch. 2018. “Transit Planning, Access, and Justice: Evolving Visions of Bus Rapid Transit and the Chicago Street.” Journal of Transport Geography 69 (May): 58–72.

Week 5: Logistics
– Cowen, Deborah. 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, Nicky, Mike Crang, and Constantinos N Antonopoulos. 2017. “Holding Together Logistical Worlds: Friction, Seams and Circulation in the Emerging ‘Global Warehouse.’” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 35 (3): 381–98.

– Stenmanns, Julian. 2019. “Logistics from the Margins.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 37 (5): 850–67.
– Biswas, Samata. 2018. “Haldida: Logistics and Its Other(s).” In Neilson, Brett, Ned Rossiter, and Ranabir Samaddar, eds., Logistical Asia: The Labour of Making a World Region, Singapore: Springer Nature, pp. 91-112.
– Jenss, Alke. 2020. “Global Flows and Everyday Violence in Urban Space: The Port-City of Buenaventura, Colombia.” Political Geography 77: 102113.

III: Structures of mobility

Week 6: Large infrastructure
– Cidell, Julie. 2013. “When Runways Move but People Don’t: The O’Hare Modernization Program and the Relative Immobilities of Air Travel.” Mobilities 8 (4): 528–41.
– Harris, Andrew. 2018. “Engineering Formality: Flyover and Skywalk Construction in Mumbai.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 42 (2): 295–314.
– Harvey, Penny, and Hannah Knox. 2012. “The Enchantments of Infrastructure.” Mobilities 7 (4): 521–36.

– Enright, Theresa Erin. 2013. “Mass Transportation in the Neoliberal City: The Mobilizing Myths of the Grand Paris Express.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 45 (4): 797–813.
– Siemiatycki, Matti, Theresa Enright, and Mariana Valverde. 2019. “The Gendered Production of Infrastructure.” Progress in Human Geography, 030913251982845.
– Carse, Ashley, and Joshua A Lewis. 2017. “Toward a Political Ecology of Infrastructure Standards: Or, How to Think about Ships, Waterways, Sediment, and Communities Together.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 49 (1): 9–28.

Week 7: Labor
– Gregson, Nicky. 2017. “Logistics at Work: Trucks, Containers and the Friction of Circulation in the UK.” Mobilities 12 (3): 343–64.
– Gutelius, Beth. 2015. “Disarticulating Distribution: Labor Segmentation and Subcontracting in Global Logistics.” Geoforum 60: 53–61.
– Rekhviashvili, Lela, and Wladimir Sgibnev. 2018. “Placing Transport Workers on the Agenda: The Conflicting Logics of Governing Mobility on Bishkek’s Marshrutkas.” Antipode 50 (5): 1376–95.

– Hua, Julietta, and Kasturi Ray. 2018. “Beyond the Precariat: Race, Gender, and Labor in the Taxi and Uber Economy.” Social Identities 24 (2): 271–89.
– Whitelegg, Drew. 2005. “Places and Spaces I’ve Been: Geographies of Female Flight Attendants in the United States.” Gender, Place & Culture 12 (2): 251–66.

IV: Embodied mobilities

Week 8: Gender/sexuality
– Metro. 2019. Understanding How Women Travel, Chapters 1, 2, and 4.
– Patel, Reena. 2006. “Working the Night Shift: Gender and the Global Economy.” ACME 5 (1): 9–27.

– Lubitow, Amy, Miriam J. Abelson, and Erika Carpenter. 2020. “Transforming Mobility Justice: Gendered Harassment and Violence on Transit.” Journal of Transport Geography 82 (January): 102601.
– Balay, Anne. 2018. Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Chapters 1 and 6.
– Balkmar, Dag. 2018. “Violent Mobilities: Men, Masculinities and Road Conflicts in Sweden.” Mobilities 13 (5): 717–32.

Week 9: Race/ethnicity/indigeneity
– 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).
– The Untokening. 2019. Untokening 1.0: Principles of Mobility Justice.

– Pante, Michael D. 2014. “Racialized Capacities and Transgressive Mobility.” Transfers 4 (3): 49–67.
– Raerino (Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa), K., Alex K. Macmillan, and Rhys G. Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu). 2013. “Indigenous Māori Perspectives on Urban Transport Patterns Linked to Health and Wellbeing.” Health & Place 23 (September): 54–62.
– Suliman, Samid, Carol Farbotko, Hedda Ransan-Cooper, Karen Elizabeth McNamara, Fanny Thornton, Celia McMichael, and Taukiei Kitara. 2019. “Indigenous (Im)Mobilities in the Anthropocene.” Mobilities 14 (3): 298–318.

Week 10: Disability/age
– Gaete-Reyes, Mariela. 2015. “Citizenship and the Embodied Practice of Wheelchair Use.” Geoforum 64 (August): 351–61.
– Goggin, Gerard. 2016. “Disability and Mobilities: Evening up Social Futures.” Mobilities 11 (4): 533–41.
– Kusters, Annelies. 2017. “When Transport Becomes a Destination: Deaf Spaces and Networks on the Mumbai Suburban Trains.” Journal of Cultural Geography 34 (2): 170–93.

– Goodman, Anna, Alasdair Jones, Helen Roberts, Rebecca Steinbach, and Judith Green. 2014. “‘We Can All Just Get on a Bus and Go’: Rethinking Independent Mobility in the Context of the Universal Provision of Free Bus Travel to Young Londoners.” Mobilities 9 (2): 275–93.
– Stjernborg, Vanessa, Anders Wretstrand, and Mekonnen Tesfahuney. 2015. “Everyday Life Mobilities of Older Persons – A Case Study of Ageing in a Suburban Landscape in Sweden.” Mobilities 10 (3): 383–401.
– Smeds, Emilia, Enora Robin, and Jenny McArthur. 2020. “Night-Time Mobilities and (in)Justice in London: Constructing Mobile Subjects and the Politics of Difference in Policy-Making.” Journal of Transport Geography 82: 102569.

Week 11: No class; American Association of Geographers’ meeting

IV. Uneven mobilities

Week 12: Transgression/policing
– Flemsæter, Frode, Gunhild Setten, and Katrina M. Brown. 2015. “Morality, Mobility and Citizenship: Legitimising Mobile Subjectivities in a Contested Outdoors.” Geoforum 64 : 342–50.
– Eidse, Noelani, Sarah Turner, and Natalie Oswin. 2016. “Contesting Street Spaces in a Socialist City: Itinerant Vending-Scapes and the Everyday Politics of Mobility in Hanoi, Vietnam.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106 (2): 340–49.
– Notar, Beth E., Kyaw San Min, and Raju Gautam. 2018. “Echoes of Colonial Logic in Re-Ordering ‘Public’ Streets.” Transfers 8 (3): 55–73.

– Amoore, Louise. 2006. “Biometric Borders: Governing Mobilities in the War on Terror.” Political Geography 25 (3): 336–51.
– Boyce, Geoffrey Alan. 2018. “Appearing ‘out of Place’: Automobility and the Everyday Policing of Threat and Suspicion on the US/Canada Frontier.” Political Geography 64: 1–12.
– Kaufman, Emily. 2016. “Policing Mobilities through Bio-Spatial Profiling in New York City.” Political Geography 55 (November): 72–81.

Week 13: Refugees/borders/climate change
– Maldonado, Marta Maria, Adela C. Licona, and Sarah Hendricks. 2016. “Latin@ Immobilities and Altermobilities Within the U.S. Deportability Regime.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers, January, 1–9.
– Sur, Malini. 2013. “Through Metal Fences: Material Mobility and the Politics of Transnationality at Borders.” Mobilities 8 (1): 70–89.
– Nevins, Joseph. 2018. “The Speed of Life and Death: Migrant Fatalities, Territorial Boundaries, and Energy Consumption.” Mobilities 13 (1): 29–44.

– Knott, Alexandra. 2018. “Guests on the Aegean: Interactions between Migrants and Volunteers at Europe’s Southern Border.” Mobilities 13 (3): 349–66.
– Sheller, Mimi. 2013. “The Islanding Effect: Post-Disaster Mobility Systems and Humanitarian Logistics in Haiti.” Cultural Geographies 20 (2): 185–204.
– Hermann, Elfriede, and Wolfgang Kempf. 2017. “Climate Change and the Imagining of Migration: Emerging Discourses on Kiribati’s Land Purchase in Fiji.” The Contemporary Pacific 29 (2): 231–63.

Week 14: Tourism
– Freire-Medeiros, Bianca, and Leo Name. 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 / Revue Canadienne Des Études Latino-Américaines et Caraïbes 42 (1): 1–16.
– Reeves, Audrey. 2018. “Mobilising Bodies, Narrating Security: Tourist Choreographies at Jerusalem’s Holocaust History Museum.” Mobilities 13 (2): 216–30.
Optional: Edensor, Tim. 2007. “Mundane Mobilities, Performances and Spaces of Tourism.” Social & Cultural Geography 8 (2): 199–215.

– Alderman, Derek H., Kortney Williams, and Ethan Bottone. 2019. “Jim Crow Journey Stories: African American Driving as Emotional Labor.” Tourism Geographies, 1–25.
– Chan, Carol. 2018. “The Politics of Leisure and Labor Mobilities: Discourses of Tourism and Transnational Migration in Central Java, Indonesia.” Mobilities 13 (3): 325–36.

Week 15: Digital/virtual/technology
– Clayton, William, Juliet Jain, Adele Ladkin, and Marina Marouda. 2018. “The ‘Digital Glimpse’ as Imagining Home.” Mobilities 13 (3): 382–96.
– Manderscheid, Katharina. 2018. “From the Auto-Mobile to the Driven Subject?” Transfers 8 (1): 24–43.
Optional: Vukov, Tamara. 2016. “Target Practice.” Transfers 6 (1): 80–97.

– Urry, John. 2002. “Mobility and Proximity.” Sociology 36 (2): 255–74.
– Strengers, Yolande. 2015. “Meeting in the Global Workplace: Air Travel, Telepresence and the Body.” Mobilities 10 (4): 592–608.

Course schedule

Week 1 (Jan. 22): participation self-assessment

Week 2 (Jan. 27/29): QAQC #1 on Sheller and PMJ; sign up for book presentations

Week 3 (Feb. 3/5): QAQC #2 on automobility; sign up for leading discussion

Week 4 (Feb. 10/12): QAQC on transit; 250-word proposal for Term Paper I due (2/12)

Week 5 (Feb. 17/19): QAQC on logistics

Week 6 (Feb. 24/26): QAQC on large infrastructure

Week 7 (Mar. 2/4): QAQC on labor; participation check-in

Week 8 (Mar. 9/11): QAQC on gender/sexuality; Term Paper I due (3/11)


Week 9 (Mar. 23/25): QAQC on race/ethnicity/indigeneity

Week 10 (Mar. 30/Apr. 1): QAQC on disability/age; 250-word proposal for Term Paper II due (4/1)


Week 12 (Apr. 13/15): QAQC on transgression/policing

Week 13 (Apr. 20/22): QAQC on refugees/borders/climate change

Week 14 (Apr. 27/29): QAQC on tourism

Week 15 (May 4/6): QAQC on digital/virtual/technology due; final participation self-assessment;

Term Paper II due by May 15