Northwestern Events Calendar


Social Equity & Racial Justice Seminar: Mimi Sheller

When: Thursday, February 25, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Online
Webcast Link

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Tierney Acott   (847) 491-3257

Group: McCormick - Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Mobility Justice as a Means of Pandemic Recovery and Sustainable Mobilities 


COVID-19 has drastically affected public transportation, driving down ridership by 90% in some cities and threatening its financial viability. At the same time, inequitable transport infrastructure and “transport racism” in the United States has driven racially uneven exposure to the coronavirus as well as sparking the Black Lives Matter protest movements. Unequal mobility regimes are the basis of racial and class-based inequities, health disparities, and segregation -- and has become a life-and-death issue. How can we recover from the pandemic mobility disruption in an equitable way that does not simply entrench these inequities more deeply? This talk will focus on the concept of “Mobility Justice” for challenging the forms of power and inequality that are embedded in the governance and control of all forms of movement. Control over mobility is a form of power that has deep historical roots in colonial racial capitalism. In the United States, both pandemic recovery and sustainable mobility transitions will only succeed if we can overcome the existing system of mobility inequities by designing, promoting, and funding more just mobilities.



Mimi Sheller, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology, Head of the Sociology Department, and founding Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is founding co-editor of the journal Mobilities and past President of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility. As co-editor with John Urry of Tourism Mobilities (2004) and Mobile Technologies of the City (2006) and author of numerous highly cited articles, she helped establish the “new mobilities paradigm.” She is considered to be a key theorist in critical mobilities research and in Caribbean studies.

Sheller is author or co-editor of twelve books, including Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2020); Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in an Age of Extremes (Verso, 2018); Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity  (MIT Press, 2014); Citizenship from Below: Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom (Duke University Press, 2012); Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies (Routledge, 2003); and Democracy After Slavery: Black Publics and Peasant Radicalism in Haiti and Jamaica (Macmillan Caribbean, 2000).  

She was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa from Roskilde University, Denmark (2015). She has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Macarthur Foundation, the Mobile Lives Forum, and the Graham Foundation in Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. 

She has held Visiting Fellowships at the University of Miami (2019); the Annenberg School of Communication at University of Pennsylvania (2016); the Penn Humanities Forum (2010); the Center for Mobility and Urban Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark (2009); Media@McGill, Canada (2009); the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University (2008); and Swarthmore College (2006-2009)

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