Saturday, 11/22, 12 p.m. in Conference Room #5
Thursday, November 6, 1 p.m. EST
Wednesday, December 3, 1 p.m. EST
Monday, December 22, 11 a.m. EST
with outside or sabbatical funding who wish to be in residence at the
Davis Center in 2015–2016 should also apply using the fellowships
application and indicate that they do not require Davis Center funding.
In addition to pursuing their own research, Davis Center Fellows participate in a bi-weekly interdisciplinary seminar series
with sponsoring faculty and advanced graduate students. The seminar for
2015–16 will explore the importance of the various forms, practices,
and implications of human mobility, past and present. We invite
participants to consider the politics of mobility and the ways in which
individuals, communities, and states have derived power from their
ability to influence movement across the regions once dominated by the
tsarist and Soviet regimes. We are equally interested in the meaning of
mobility and in the role it plays in the development of cultures and
economies. We aim to explore the tension between stasis and motion, and
to study the contexts and implications of the circulation of human
beings, objects, ideas, animals, diseases, contaminants, capital, etc.
Mobility has long been a crucial force across Eurasia. Migration, for
example — coerced and voluntary, temporary and permanent, nomadic and
agricultural, domestic and transnational — has shaped the social,
political, economic, and cultural contours of the region. Yet this is
only one of many manifestations of Eurasian mobility. Following the lead
of a growing number of political scientists, geographers, historians,
economists, biologists, literary scholars, archaeologists and others, we
will focus our inquiry around three broad topics:
1. Institutions, infrastructures, and technologies.
These include everything from passport policies and land surveys to
highways, marketing campaigns, pilgrimage routes, GPS systems, pasturing
practices, and social media. Who controls the infrastructures of
mobility? Are they flexible? Do they serve as connective tissues or as
mechanisms for reinforcing boundaries of one kind or another?
2. Manifestation and documentation.
We are interested in scholarship that sheds light on the range of ways
in which inhabitants of rural and urban spaces of Eurasia have
experienced, documented, studied, and imagined the experience of
mobility. How are episodes of displacement expressed through journalism
or commemorative ritual? How is social mobility inscribed in the built
environment or represented in film, literature, and art? How have
scholars used archival or cartographic material to reconstruct the
borders, boundaries, and hierarchies that inform(ed) daily life?
3. Mobility as a multi-scalar phenomenon.
is, among other things, an analytical tool for expressing
relationships. Those relationships can exist within or across scales:
between the individual and the communal, private and public, local and
universal, organic and inorganic. How do attempts to maintain
connections with family members or recreate cultural practices impact
immigrant communities? Is it possible to map both the emotional and the
economic costs of environmental disasters? What can we learn by linking
the study of the particular aesthetics of a place to the study of road
networks and traffic flows that transect and connect it?
In sum, can thinking about movement and mobility help us better
understand the individual states that occupy the Eurasian landmass, as
well as the connections among them, their neighbors, and the global
community? To this end, we invite participants to explore new
methodologies, pose new questions, and develop new modes of presenting
research to the academic world and beyond. Because this theme has a
distinct spatial component, we encourage applications from scholars who
integrate GIS and other forms of spatial analysis into their work, and
anticipate building on the research outcomes of the 2014–2015 Mapping Cultural Space
The application for “Mobility, Boundaries, and the Production of Power in Eurasia”
is available at http://daviscenter.fas.harvard.edu/fellows-program-application-2015-2016-academic-year