‘Mobilities’: the humanities and social sciences take on Eyjafjallajökull 11 January 2011Posted by admin in Eyjafjöll, Iceland, volcano culture.
The current issue of the academic journal Mobilities, published by Taylor & Francis, is devoted to the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, under the title ‘Stranded: An Eruption of Disruption’.* The Eyjafjallajökull eruption has already been notable in the scholarly attention it has attracted from beyond the physical sciences – perhaps we are seeing the birth of an academic sub-discipline of ‘Eyjafjallajökull Studies’ in the humanities and social sciences. To quote from the abstract for the introductory essay by Thomas Birtchnell and Monika Büscher:
A spontaneously organized workshop and open call for papers gathered together analyses from different perspectives – systems theory, impromptu surveys, personal reflection, literary and philosophical probing. This introduction explores some of the connecting themes and highlights the strange, surprising and potently revealing nature of strandedness in a world of mobile lives.
Among the contents: ‘Anticipation, Materiality, Event: The Icelandic Ash Cloud Disruption and the Security of Mobility’, ‘A Fiasco of Volcanic Proportions? Eyjafjallajökull and the Closure of European Airspace’, ‘Inspired by Eruptions? Eyjafjallajökull and Icelandic Tourism’, and ‘Fire as a Metaphor of (Im)Mobility’. The full list of contents, with links to abstracts, can be found on the issue’s webpage. The contributors include scholars in geography, transport studies, business and management, tourism studies and sociology.
I’d like to tell you more about this, but sadly my university library subscribes to Mobilities via EBSCOhost (ugh – the clunkiest and least customer-responsive of the online journal collections) which has a 1-year moving wall for this title, so I can’t yet read any of this mouth-watering collection without paying up to do so. I am not opposed to paying on principle, I just can’t afford it.
* When it comes to exploring the significances of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption and its consequences, the name ‘Stranded’ has of course already been used.