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 Exploring Conceptual and
Methodological Challenges

 A Late-Summer-School 09.10.2015 - 18.10.2015


Interdisciplinary Summer School convened by:


JProf Dr Anna Liphardt (Freiburg)/ Dr Roger Norum (Leeds/UCL)/ Dr Jamie Coates (Waseda/Sheffield)

 Funded by Volkswagen Foundation

We invite members of Freiburg University as well as the public to our Keynote Lectures and the Film Screening. All events will be held at Liefmannhaus, Goethestraße 33, Freiburg.

We have also a limited number of places for external guests wishing to attend our Late Summer-School. If you are interested, please contact us: worklifemob@eu-ethno.uni-freiburg.de

Opening Keynote 09.10.15 19:00-21:00 h
PD Dr. Katharina MANDERSCHEID, Luzern:
Unequal Mobilities or Mobile Inequalities? Conceptual and Methodological Reflections on Power Structurations

Keynote Lecture 11.10.15 19:00-21:00 h

Prof. Dr. Huub VAN BAAR, Amsterdam, Gießen:
Contained Mobility and the Racialization of Poverty in Europe. The Roma at the Development-Security Nexus

Keynote Lecture 12.10.15 09:00-10:30 h
Prof. Dr. Michaela BENSON, London:
Relocating for Lifestyle: The Consumption (and Production) of a Better Way of Life through Migration

Keynote Lecture 13.10.15 19:00-21:00 h
Prof. Dr. Noel SALAZAR, Leuven:
'We've always been mobile': Mobility as Discourse vs. Embodied Experience

Film Screening 14.10.15 19:-21:00 h
“Mobile Home Road Movie” and director's talk with Justin TIME (independent filmmaker), Berlin

Please check out our blog with more information

about the Late-Summer School and Freiburg. 





The interdisciplinary field of mobility studies has produced a broad spectrum of theoretical works and structural analyses, driven by research focusing on recent innovation in transport and communication. Within that field, economic and work-related aspects of mobility, are often treated as distinct from other life practices. This late-summer school aims to contribute to the field of mobility studies with respect to two key issues: First, it will turn attention to the interplay between work and non-work (e.g. leisure, family life, well-being) spheres of life linked to mobility. Second, it focuses on the complexities of mobile work-life arrangements as they play out in the everyday lives of an ever-growing number of people worldwide, across the economic spectrum and across diverse professional and socio-cultural fields.
The late-summer school explicitly aims to bring together people studying a range of empirical cases including (but not limited to) research across the following subjects:
- peripatetic and pastoralist groups
- transport-sector professionals
- artists, creatives and travelling entertainers
- seasonal and project-based labourers
- academics
- lifestyle migrants.


The late-summer school has two core objectives:
1. Providing a forum for discussing qualitative methodological approaches to mobility, including multi-sited, mobile or trajectory ethnography; life-course and life-world analyses; and newly-emerging ICT-based methods;
2. Exploring the differing forms of knowledge production concomitant with mobile work-life arrangements, it will encourage a critical reflection of the theoretical frameworks, empirical operationalisations and political discourses that implicitly or explicitly inform much research on mobile groups. Our intention is to bring together different epistemic communities, thus fostering a comparative perspective.

Key questions which the late-summer school will address are:
- How do we develop a critical analytical position in light of the complex entanglements between the political and economic discourses on certain mobile groups, the conceptual approaches of our respective research disciplines, and the emic perspectives of the people we study?
- What are the advantages, challenges, and limitations of differing analytical models such as multi-sited ethnography, qualitative case study, life-course analysis, or phenomenology in exploring mobile work-life arrangements?
- How can we compare or generalise insights gained from qualitative studies on specific mobile fields? And how can we employ empirical research to advance theoretical stances on mobility, both within a given research area and across disciplinary divides?



The programme includes keynote lectures and advanced seminars by Noel Salazar (University of Leuven), Michaela Benson (Goldsmiths University) and Huub van Baar (University of Amsterdam/Giessen University). It also comprises presentations by doctoral students, workshops on mobile methods and representational strategies, informal discussions on practical issues of mobile/multi-sited fieldwork, career and professional development sessions, a film screening, and recreational activities. The working language is English.

You can find more information about the working formats and the preliminary programme here.


The programme is aimed at doctoral students working on projects situated in qualitative social research focusing on issues related to mobile work-life arrangements. The common ground for all participants is their interest in the labour/economic aspects of the mobile empirical fields they study, their footing in qualitative social research, and a shared interest in the epistemology of Mobility Studies. Participants are based in disciplines such as cultural and social anthropology, sociology, political science, social work, education, geography, and relevant interdisciplinary research fields including mobility, communication, environmental, transport and labour studies. Doctoral students at any stage of their research - including beginners - will present work in progress and discuss central research issues with which they are currently concerned. To ensure an open and collaborative learning environment, the number of participants will be limited to a maximum of 24.

The list of participants can be found here.


All meals and accommodation will be covered, as will reimbursement for the following travel expenses: up to 150 Euro for participants from Germany; up to 300 Euro for those from other European countries; and up to 800 Euro for students who come from overseas. Participants from developing countries and from countries affected by current economic crises are eligible to apply for full travel funding.

For more information, please see here.


Katharina Gerhardt
Research Group Cultures of Mobility in Europe (COME)
Institut für Volkskunde | Universität Freiburg
Maximilianstraße 15
D-79100 Freiburg
Phone: +49 (0) 761-203-9 76 98+49 (0) 761-203-9 76 98
Fax: +49 (0) 761-203-6 73 64
Email: worklifemob@eu-ethno.uni-freiburg.de






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