Rethinking Mobile Geographies: Cross-regional Networks of Knowledge and Governance

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Marshall South, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Sujin Eom
Chairs: Sujin Eom

Call for Submissions

If interested in participating, please send a 250-word abstract to Sujin Eom ( by October 17, 2018.


From bungalow and university campus to highway and dam, a popular conception is that architecture and urban forms are material entities fixed in a particular place. In fact, however, they have always been the product of ideas, actors, and practices on the move (King 1984; Cairns 2004; Sneddon 2015; Eom 2017). The “mobility turn” (Urry 2000) in social sciences calls into question place as a discrete, self-contained entity while informing the interdependence and interconnection among cities (Healey and Upton 2010; McCann and Ward 2011; Roy and Ong 2011; Peck 2015). This session brings together papers that examine the mobility of urban forms as a power-laden process whereby techniques of governing cities circulate across time and space.

The movement of urban forms is not necessarily a contemporary phenomenon; instead, it has long been a tool of governance to impose order and meaning in urban space (Nightingale 2012). More importantly, techniques to govern cities have often crossed geographic boundaries, circulating ideas, people, things, and affects and reshaping geographies of social control. Colonial governments often resorted to past experiences of governance or imported ideas and forms from other empires in order to manage space and population more effectively in newly acquired territories (Cooper and Stoler 1997). International institutions, from the Ford Foundation to the World Bank, in the post-WWII period also played an important role in the global circulation of ideas and knowledges (Roy 2010). What is it that makes urban form move across regions? How does a particular urban form acquire different meaning as it travels? What does the presence of mobile geographies inform us about networks of power and knowledge that shape our understanding of contemporary cities? By interrogating cross-regional networks of knowledge and governance, this paper session seeks to shed new light on the transcontinental circulation of urban forms and ideas from a historical perspective.

Cited Work

Cairns, Stephen, ed. 2004. Drifting: Architecture and Migrancy. London: Routledge.
Cooper, Frederick, and Ann Laura Stoler, eds. 1997. Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Eom, Sujin. 2017. “Traveling Chinatowns: Mobility of Urban Forms and Asia in Circulation.” positions: asia critique 25 (4): 693-716.
Healey, Patsy, and Robert Upton, eds. 2010. Crossing Borders: International Exchange and Planning Practices. London: Routledge.
King, Anthony D. 1984. The Bungalow: The Production of a Global Culture. London: Rout- ledge and Kegan Paul.
McCann, Eugene, and Kevin Ward, eds. 2011. Mobile Urbanism: Cities and Policymaking in the Global Age. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Nightingale, Carl H. 2012. Segregation: A global history of divided cities. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Sneddon, Christopher. 2015. Concrete Revolution: Large dams, Cold War geopolitics, and the US Bureau of Reclamation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Roy, Ananya. 2010. Poverty capital: microfinance and the making of development. New York: Routledge.
Roy, Ananya, and Aihwa Ong, eds. 2011. Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Urry, John. 2000. Sociology Beyond Societies: Mobilities for the Twenty-First Century. London: Routledge.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Ipek Tureli*, McGill University, American Schools and the ‘Spatial Imagination’ of the Missionary Encounter 20 9:55 AM
Presenter Jinwon Kim*, Hamilton College, Transclave: authenticity and ethnicity in the marketplace 20 10:15 AM
Presenter Venetsiya Dimitrova*, , Midlevel professionals as “knowledge actors”: impacts on knowledge mobility and the transnational urban development 20 10:35 AM
Presenter Joanna Ondrusek-Roy*, McGill University, Borrowed Skylines: Tracing the origins of Tanzania's new master-planned cities through urban policy mobilities 20 10:55 AM
Presenter Sujin Eom*, , Infrastructures of Displacement: The Transpacific Travel of Urban Renewal during the Cold War 20 11:15 AM

To access contact information login