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Call for Papers: Transport diversions – Diversity in Transport and Mobility History

Submission deadline: October 15, 2017

Topic areas


7 December 2017, National Railway Museum, York

Transport and mobility history has experienced a broadening of approaches across a wide range of disciplines.  Exciting new avenues of research have been opened in cultural, social and practical aspects of transport history, but there is scope for much more. Held at the National Railway Museum on 7 December, the “Transport Diversions” Workshop, the second annual gathering of the York Transport Historians Group, hopes to bring together scholars in various fields working on transport and mobility history in an open and inclusive environment. The workshop will celebrate the richness and diversity of the field, but also promote a multidisciplinary approach to research, where the sharing of ideas, information, methodologies and collaborative working is the norm.

The opportunities for multidisciplinary work are many, their outputs are valuable. For instance, how can the experiences of the leisure traveller be illuminated by historical geographers and literary scholars coming together to understand how fictional representations of journeys reflected the geography through which travellers passed? Can recent scholarship on business decisions be combined with advances in cultural studies to provide a more rounded picture of the passenger experience? Is understanding the life, experiences and perhaps plight of the lowly transport worker benefitted by social historians and economic historians collaborating to providing new insights? What benefits are to be had by museum professionals and those working on the material culture sharing ideas on the historical importance of objects in museum collections? What can scholars working on, or practitioners working in transport and mobility today learn from history, and how can this inform their thinking in terms of policy and practice? Through papers, break-out sessions and round-tables, the ‘Transport Diversions’ Workshop will create a dynamic, collegial and sometimes challenging environment that demonstrates that there are many opportunities from such interactions and collaborations, and that their outputs can be informative and enlightening. 

Please submit abstracts for 20 minute papers of no longer than 300-500 words to by 15 October. Proposals for papers on transport and mobility in history, especially papers taking a multidisciplinary approach or from outside the field, are accepted on the following subjects, although any relevant papers will be considered:

•                     Changing cultural perceptions of transport provision

•                     Marketing transport then and now

•                     Mobility of goods, people or ideas

•                     Accessibility and disability

•                     Sensing and understanding mobility

•                     Transport and the military, politics or ceremony

•                     Speed, time, and travel.

•                     Building, destroying, and rebuilding networks

•                     Growing up with the railways

•                     Women and transport.

•                     International transport and mobility

•                     The managing and organisation of transport systems

•                     The policy and politics of transport and mobility

•                     Describing or depicting transport

•                     Transport and mobility and the environment

•                     Mobility, transport and museums

•                     Working on transport 

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