IUAES2019 CFP – Hitchhiking: affect, spaces and stories

Panel title

Hitchhiking: affect, spaces and stories


Patrick LAVIOLETTE – UCL / Tallinn Univ. 
Jacqueline HOLLER – UNBC
Michael O’REGAN – Bournemouth Univ. 

Short panel abstractFor generations, despite being a global form of transport solidarity, hitchhiking has not been directly explored in anthropology. Even more broadly within the social sciences and humanities, there is a dearth in understanding this form of mobility. This panel provides a response to such an oversight

Long panel abstract

Long panel abstract A billion operating cars worldwide, with people on the road around 1.1 hours a day, have spawned an emergent, complex system of roads and motorways no longer designed for people. The private, self-driving, autonomous – or driverless car – promises to create a system of freedom and liberation. Instead, for many commentators, it is creating car-dependent cultures with banal infrastructural spaces of car parks, filling stations and repair garages to service motorways that structure and produce unsustainable automobilities, reflecting a deeper social malaise of loneliness, melancholy and even anger. In this context, hitchhikers are an increasingly rare species. The geographical range of hitchhiking is extending east as its western frontier dwindles, its vaunted imminent extinction driven by discourses of danger, individualism and marginality.

Paradoxically, however, such an era is witnessing an autostop/hitchhiking revival through race competitions, art events, hitch gatherings and even pop-culture publications. Producing its own geographies, practices and emotions, hitchhiking contests and possibly subverts the apparent consensus of neoliberalised transportation. This panel, based on our respective varied interests in certain facets of hitchhiking (such as gender, tourism mobility, counter-culture and thrill seeking) will explore some of the spaces, narratives, eccentricities and affective responses of this practice to challenge current thinking about the organisation of movement, friction and (auto)mobile materialities. We seek papers that address such hitchhiking related themes in order to put together the first comprehensive scholarly overview on this practice to occur within the social sciences.

Keywords:hitchhiking/autostop, transport solidarity, alternative mobilities, shared economy

Paper submission
General information: https://www.iuaes2019.org/paper-guidelines/
Submission form: https://iuaes2019.syskonf.pl/abstracts
Deadline: 15 February 2019
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any question you may have.
Patrick Laviolette <patrickl@tlu.ee>
Jacqueline Holler <jacqueline.holler@unbc.ca>Michael O’Regan <moregan@bournemouth.a.uk​>