Making the City Mobile: Urban History and the Mobilities Turn - Simon Gunn
20Years_The AISU Lectures organized by Associazione Italiana di Storia Urbana (AISU)
What difference does mobility make to our understanding of modern cities? We are familiar with the idea of the city as a "space of flows" but often think of the urban in static terms related to the built environment and social "structures".
This talk challenges the idea of the city as a fixed space by drawing on insights from the ‘mobilities turn’ in the social sciences. It brings together the study of migration, personal mobility and transport to reflect on the ‘high-speed mobile society’ emerging in Western cities in the mid-twentieth century.
The lecturer will use Britain as his principal case-study but extend arguments out to the rest of Western Europe and North America where appropriate. Integrating an awareness of movement into contemporary urban history, the lecturer argues, has the potential to throw new light on the categories of class, race and gender and debates about "affluence" and inequality which have characterised recent historiography.
Simon Gunn is Professor and Director of the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester and co-editor of Urban History journal (Cambridge University Press). He has published widely on city planning and automobility since 1945. Simon’s most recent book, co-authored with Susan Townsend, is Automobility and the City in Twentieth Century Britain and Japan (Bloomsbury, 2019). With Otto Saumarez Smith (Warwick) and Peter Mandler (Cambridge), he is currently preparing a multi-authored volume about the modern British city, modelled on the pioneering two-volume study of the Victorian city edited by H.J. Dyos and Michael Wolff. Simon has also acted as a consultant to the British government on past and futures trends in transport and mobility. His most recent article, ‘Spatial Mobility in Later Twentieth Century Britain’, was published in Contemporary British History in January 2021.
The event will be held on Zoom platform.
Link for registration