[URBANTH-L]CFP: AAA Meetings Theorizing Mid-level Mobility in Society

ADMChoby at aol.com ADMChoby at aol.com
Thu Mar 23 15:22:13 EST 2006

Theorizing Mid-level Mobility in Society: Routinized  Flows, Modes of 
Transit, Passages. 
Theories of modernity have attended to the ways that configurations of  space 
localize and refract power to produce subjectivities.  Simultaneously, 
anthropologists have  detailed transformations of social forms and values produced 
by “global”  mobility, with ensuing debates over standardization of (liberal) 
values and  practices, or the emergence of particular, local transformations 
and  configurations.  Less attention,  however, has been paid to the ways that 
local bureaucracies and politics  configure space to enable, block, or shape 
the possibility for more mundane,  routine and local forms of mobility 
facilitated by automobiles, busses,  bicycles, trains, or public-transit--or how the 
possibilities for routine, local  mobility shapes social worlds.   Mid-level 
moments of transit  have historically been “invisible” as fruitful objects of 
anthropological  investigation. This panel invites submissions related to the 
synergism between  social, political and bureaucratic, and technical dimensions 
of middle-level  mobility.  
Submissions might attend to questions such as: how are notions of risk  and 
danger linked not only to different modes of transit, but also to different,  
potentially mobile, populations?  What are the various histories of 
technologies of middle-level  mobility?  How have they been  integrated into different 
landscapes?  What are the political, social, infrastructural, and technical 
processes  and agreements necessary to support various forms of mid-level 
mobility?  How does middle-level mobility construct  social worlds, and produce 
subjectivities and value(s)?  What can an analysis of various forms of  mobility in 
terms of its typical users tell us about the social and political  commitments 
of particular societies?  How have governments conceptualized and planned for 
the middle-level  mobility of its populations?  Who is  entitled to mobility, 
and in what forms?   
I am a doctoral candidate in the joint Medical Anthropology program at  UCSF 
and UC Berkeley.  My own work  examines the interstices of automobility and 
the production of diagnostic  knowledge for patients with suspected seizure 
disorders in the contemporary  U.S.  I examine how doctors use their  
State-mandated roles to participate in regulation of automobility for these  patients to 
mitigate various forms of clinically based, diagnostic  uncertainty.  Priority 
will be given  to papers that examine specific, concrete ethnographic cases 
where middle-level  mobility is at stake over papers that attempt to theorize 
mobility more  generally.  Please submit an  abstract that conforms to American 
Anthropological Association specifications to  Alex Choby at 
_ADMChoby at aol.com_ (mailto:ADMChoby at aol.com)  asap.  The  panel must be submitted by March 31 
deadline, and will convene at the 2006  Meetings of the AAA in San  Jose, 

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