DevSem: Nancy Cook & David Butz

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Date(s) - 25/11/2016
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

AP 246


Friday, November 25, 2016

Nancy Cook and David Butz (Sociology & Geography, Brock University)
Gendered Mobilities in the Making: Moving from a Pedestrian to Vehicular Mobility Regime in Shimshal, Pakistan
Development Seminar, 12:00-2:00pm, AP 246, 19 Russell St. Please register below.

This talk focuses on gendered mobilities in Shimshal, Pakistan, which until recently have taken shape in the context of a pedestrian mobility regime. As vehicular mobilities have replaced pedestrian mobilities with the construction of the Shimshal road, the gender and mobility relationship has transformed. We explore this transformation by analysing aspects of socio-spatial context that have shaped gendered pedestrian mobilities, followed by those associated with the new vehicular mobility regime that are modifying gender relations in Shimshal. Shifting gender relations simultaneously reshape corporeal mobility patterns. Road infrastructure has enhanced men’s and youth’s outbound travel as wage earners and students respectively. These mobilities have relationally reshaped women’s capacity to move, constraining their mobility beyond the village. As prosperity becomes contingent on outbound movement, men’s and youths’ social horizons and mobilities are expanding contemporaneously while women’s compromised access to mobility as a social resource produces new mobility hierarchies and gendered exclusions. We assess these social implications of infrastructure development in terms of mobility justice.

David Butz is professor in the Department of Geography and interdisciplinary graduateprograms in Social Justice and Equity Studies and Popular Culture at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. He serves as Editor-in-chief of Studies in Social Justice, and sits on the Faculty Steering Committee of the Social Justice Research Institute. David has been conducting ethnographic research in mountainous Northern Pakistan since 1988.

Nancy Cook is associate professor in Brock University’s Department of Sociology and MA program in Social Justice and Equity Studies, and an affiliate of the Social Justice Research Institute. Her ethnographic research in Northern Pakistan has focused on transcultural interactions between development workers from the global North and local populations.

They are currently collaborating on two mobility-related research projects in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Northern Pakistan. The first is an analysis of the differential mobility implications of a recently constructed jeep road linking Shimshal village to the Karakoram Highway, the region’s arterial roadway. The second focuses on experiences of demobilisation in the aftermath of a massive 2010 landslide that destroyed over 20 kilometres of the Karakoram Highway, leaving 20,000 people in several dozen villages without vehicular access to market towns or lowland areas. These projects have prompted them to think about the social implications of infrastructure development and failure in terms of mobility justice.


Bookings are closed for this event.