The Simon Fraser University Department of Sociology and Anthropology, in Burnaby and Vancouver, Canada, is pleased to host TWO EVENTS, March 28th and 29th, with Mimi Sheller, Director, Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Professor of Sociology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania __________________________________________

COLLOQUIUM: “Island Futures and Caribbean Survival”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017   1 – 2:20 pm, SFU Burnaby Campus, AQ 5067 (Ellen Gee Room)

What geographical imagery and imagination is necessary to describe the contemporary Caribbean? And related to this, what forms of citizenship and agency remain for its people in the face of ongoing forms of coloniality?

This seminar will examine the region’s growing insertion into deepening forms of planetary urbanism, including the expansion of the Panama Canal and the growth in Chinese direct investment in infrastructure projects and industrial zones. These have different impacts across the region. Independent countries face hard choices. For example, Jamaica struggles with the decision to re-open bauxite mining in its interior, build a highly polluting coal-fired power station, and turn a protected island into a logistics hub in order to attract Chinese investment. Cuba is opening its economy to a new wave of visitors and foreign investors, but exacerbating social inequality; while Haiti remains “occupied” by U.N. peacekeeping forces and still struggles to form a government and rebuild its economy ever since the aftermath of the devastating 2011 earthquake, the spread of deadly cholera, and the second blow of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

This consideration of Caribbean futures will join the long tradition of Caribbean studies of mobility (theorized in terms of diaspora, archipelagos, relationality, rhizome, tidalectics, etc.) with insights from the new mobilities paradigm . This new transdisciplinary approach can help us generate alternative ways of thinking about globalization, territoriality, im/mobilities, and planetary geo-ecological systems.

Sheller, M. ‘Uneven Mobility Futures: A Foucauldian Approach,’ Mobilities, (doi: 10.1080/17450101.2015.1097038).

Sheller, M. ‘Connected Mobility in a Disconnected World: Contested Infrastructure in Post-Disaster Contexts’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, SI on Geographies of Mobility, ed. Mei-Po Kwan (DOI:10.1080/00045608.2015.1113114).


PUBLIC LECTURE “Mobility Justice”

Wednesday,  March 29, 2017   7 – 9 pm, SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver, Room 1400

Co-hosted by the SFU Urban Studies Program

Mobility justice is one of the crucial political and ethical issues of our day, when the entire world faces the urgent question of how to make the transition to more environmentally sustainable and socially just mobilities. All around the planet urban, regional, and international governing bodies are grappling with a series of crises related to how we move: an urban crisis of pollution and congestion, a global refugee crisis of borders and humanitarianism, and a climate crisis of global warming and decarbonisation. This talk will seek to think across these crises showing how each is part of a wider disturbance in prevailing institutions concerned with the management of mobilities and immobilities. Mobility justice offers a new way to think across the micro and macro scale of transitioning toward more just mobilities.

Nicholson, J. and Sheller, M. ‘Introduction: Race and the Politics of Mobility’, Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, 6: 1 DOI:

Mimi Sheller Biography<>

Professor Sheller’s visit is supported by the FASS Dean’s Speakers’ Fund

All events free and open the public.  Light refreshments served.