Mimi Sheller

Mimi Sheller

Professor of Sociology
Director, Center for Mobilities Research and Policy

Drexel Unviersity, Philadelphia

"Caribbean Futures and the Coloniality of Climate Change"

Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 7:00pm

Kislak Center
Otto G. Richter Library, 1300 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, Florida 33146

Free & Open to the Public‌  |  Registration Required


The Caribbean region faces extreme risks and existential threats in the 21st century. Political challenges, economic instabilities, and environmental collapse abound, each with roots in the colonial histories and ongoing neocolonial entanglements of the region. The Caribbean has also been identified as one of the global climate change “hot spots”, being particularly sensitive to the effects of drought, ocean warming, biodiversity loss, and intensified hurricanes. Today, the Caribbean faces many sudden “natural” disasters as well as slower economic disasters (including the high cost of life, problems of overtourism, and the impacts of debt and austerity policies), each grounded in deep histories of social inequality and racial capitalism. Now, nearly a decade since the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, it is time to reflect on what has happened since then and what the future holds for the whole Caribbean region. This talk will build on Sheller's experience working in post-earthquake Haiti, and on wider issues of Caribbean climate change and reconstruction, to reflect on Caribbean futures.

"Sheller is one of the leading scholars of mobilities research, a branch of thinking she defines as not only focused on movement, but 'the power of discourses, practices and infrastructure mobility in creating the effects of both movement and stasis.'  ...Sheller establishes how border narratives always suggest a need of protecting or securing, when, in fact, borders are locales for point-source violence that is the result of elite mobilities looking to suppress the mobilities of others." - Scott Golden, in his review of Mobility Justice

Mimi Sheller, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology and founding Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is founding co-editor of the journal, Mobilities, and past President of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility. She is author or co-editor of ten books, including Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2020); Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in an Age of Extremes (Verso, 2018); Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity (MIT Press, 2014); Citizenship from Below: Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom (Duke University Press, 2012); Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies (Routledge, 2003); and Democracy After Slavery: Black Publics and Peasant Radicalism in Haiti and Jamaica (Macmillan Caribbean, 2000).

Sheller is widely cited and considered a "key theorist in mobilities studies" and specializes in the post-colonial context of the Caribbean. As co-editor with John Urry of Tourism Mobilities (2004) and Mobile Technologies of the City (2006) and author of numerous highly cited articles, she helped to establish the new interdisciplinary field of mobilities research. She was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa from Roskilde University, Denmark (2015) and has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Macarthur Foundation, the Mobile Lives Forum, and the Graham Foundation in Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. She has held Visiting Fellowships at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (2016); the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University (2008); Media@McGill, Canada (2009); the Center for Mobility and Urban Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark (2009); and the Penn Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania (2010).


Please note: Per the University’s new parking policy, hourly parking rates will apply to all visitors from 8am to 11pm. Visitors will need to follow posted instructions to pay-by-phone or pay via the pay stations located throughout campus. For more information, please contact Parking and Transportation at 305-284-3096, option 2.

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