Presentation: Landscape, the body, and the route. The socio-materiality of road stops between erosion and fatigue.

Next month Lars Meier and I will go to Cardiff to participate in this year’s conference of the British Sociological Association. I will be presenting as part of the stream Space, Mobility and Place, which sounds like a good context. Following is the abstract:

In this presentation, I want to use digital video recordings and photographs to analyze the corporeal dimension of what is happening in one of mobility’s borderlands. Based on research that has been done at rest stops of the Norwegian Tourist Route, I will discuss the multiple social and material layers that permeate each other at these sites. Symmetrically analysing material aspects on the one hand and social aspects on the other hand (i.e. material: built structures, erosion, and “natural events” like snowfall; i.e. social: social class, fatigue, and “social events” like experiencing a place as a picturesque landscape)–, I want to demonstrate two things: (1) How the corporeal embeddedness of actors in their material surroundings is an inextricable, temporally constituted part of what is labeled as The Social. Thus the challenge to a restricted understanding of the social – as it has been put forward in Science and Technology Studies or in Non-Representational Theory – is taken up in empirical field work. (2) How disruptions in flows are an essential and productive part of everyday practices, even if they arise as irritations. Thus it will be displayed that mobility, speed, and the non-places of flows have another side, a dark side that is, actually, quite multicolored.

I am really looking forward to visit Cardiff for the first time. Maybe even more exciting will be to compare the British sociology crowd with that of the German sociology conferences, and with the British geographers.

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