Over the past decade, a new approach to the study of mobilities has emerged involving research on the combined movement of peoples, animals, objects, ideas, and information. This can be viewed through the lens of complex networks, relational dynamics, and the redistribution or reification of power generated by movement.  But despite the emphasis on movement, this “mobility turn” must be viewed in the light of the relationships between mobilities and associated immobilities:  borders as well as border crossings, isolation as well as connectivity, disability as well as ability. It thus encompasses both the embodied practice of movement and the representations, ideologies, and meanings attached to the mobile and immobile. Should we embrace mobility as the constitutive condition of culture and not its disruption? How does mobility influence and even constitute our everyday life or the lives of past cultures? What exactly does it mean to be “socially mobile”? How might mobility affect our work? Do our “mobile” devices liberate us? What are the relations, if any, between the social mobility afforded by systems of connection such as the internet and the confined actual space in which it takes place?


All lectures begin at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted, and are held in the Daniel Family Commons, which is located in the Usdan University Center.

Ecological Poetics, or, Wallace Stevens’ Birds


CARY WOLFE • Professor of English, Rice University


Beyond Synthesis: The Return of Micro History in Global Contexts and the “Relationing” of History


ANGELIKA EPPLE • Professor of History, Bielefeld University, Germany


The Roma Question in France and the Return of Race


ÉRIC FASSIN • Professor of Sociology, École Normale Supérieure, Paris


Celluloid Classicism: Intertwined Histories of the South Indian Dance Revival and Early South Indian Cinema


HARI KRISHNAN • Wesleyan University


Illicit Sexuality and the Politics of Movement: Dance and the Kalavantulu Community in South India


DAVESH SONEJI • Associate Professor of South Asian Religions, McGill University


What Do Mobile Phones Mobilize? On Space, Place, and Personhood Through Technological Designs in Post-Unification Berlin


JORDAN KRAEMER • Wesleyan University


Translation, Concept of “Rights” and the First Opium War


SINKWAN CHENG • Wesleyan University


In debt and immobile


BASAK KUS • Wesleyan University


Traveling to the Future: Networks of Acceleration and the End of the Middle Ages


GARY SHAW • Wesleyan University


On the Living Death of Statelessness: From Euripides to Hannah Arendt


DEBRA BERGOFFEN • Bishop Hamilton Lecturer in Philosophy, American University; Emerita Professor of Philosophy, George Mason University