‘Autobiography, mobilities and the climate emergency’ - Lancaster Centre of Mobilities Research

On the 7th and 8th July, Peter Adey, Norbert Meyn, and Michael Holden attended a conference—titled ‘Auto/biography, mobilities and the climate emergency’—at the University of Lancaster, which was hosted by Lancaster’s Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) in conjunction with the Academy of Mobility Humanities (AMH) at Konkuk University in the Republic of Korea.

The conference programme included a broad range of urgent, innovative, and inspiring mobilities-focused research papers, from the autoethnographic and familial reflections of keynote speaker Lesley Murray, to Japanese post-Fukushima recovery policy, representations of ‘Zainichi’ Korean migrants in literature, ontological considerations of wild swimming, studies on the food insecurity of young people in the northwest of England, and work on the shifting foreign-travel practices of British retirees.

We, along with Dr. Giada Peterle of the University of Padua, presented a panel that was largely based on our work on internment on the Isle of Man. Peter Adey spoke first, introducing our project and some of its aims, particularly from the perspective of mobilities research; following this, Dr. Peterle spoke on her concept of AutoBioGraphics, and particularly on the melding of graphic (i.e. comics ) autobiographies and emotion, and in this, she discussed her work with the Music, Migration, and Mobility project on the creation of comics that explore the lives of interned musicians. Michael Holden delivered a paper reflecting critically on the use of storymaps as a narrative tool, and this was followed by Norbert Meyn’s paper on the lives of some of the interned musicians, particularly Hans Gál. Finally, we closed the panel with a shared reflection on processes of walking on the Isle of Man, and on various other embodied and technological means of engaging with the spaces of the island.

The conference was a warm, lively, and engaging event, which addressed a variety of significant global issues in a spirit of collaboration and international exchange. It gave an excellent account of the immense potential that is inherent to the ever-growing collaboration between the AMH at Konkuk, and CeMoRe at Lancaster, as well as Royal Holloway, Aberystwyth University, and the Universita di Padova (Italy). The Music, Migration, and Mobility team would like to thank the hosts, CeMoRe and the AMH—and particularly the event organisers, Prof. Lynn Pearce and Dr. Nicola Spurling—for hosting such a fascinating conference.

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