BAA Conference 2012


Thursday, 5 July - Saturday, 7 July 2012

To navigate the immense distances of the American continent - on horseback or railroad, by steamship, car, or airplane - has always been a challenge and need for Americans. Hence, mobility has been crucial for both the personal experience of the individual and the thriving of the nation as a whole.


The conference conjoins cultural geographers, political scientists, historians, literary critics, economists and social scientists to take a closer look at mobility in an American context (and beyond).


As with previous annual meetings of the BAA, speakers will investigate aspects of American mobility from a decidedly transatlantic perspective. In the panel discussion representatives from academia, private industry and urban planning discuss the growing need for mobility and the associated challenges for society.  

No conference fee - please register for participation.


Detailed Conference Program (1.07MB)
Biographical Information and Abstracts (224KB)


Conference Program

Thursday, 5 July 2012

19.00 Conference Opening

  • Welcome by Klaus Benesch, Director Bavarian American Academy
  • Welcome by Christina Sharkey, Foreign Commercial Service Principal Officer, U.S. Consulate General Munich
  • Welcome by Christoph Parchmann, Bavarian Ministry of Sciences, Research, and the Arts
  • Keynote Address by John D. Kasarda, Director Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, USA: The Rise of the Aerotropolis


Friday, 6 July 2012

9.30 Panel I: Logistics and Freight Mobility

Chair: Barbara Hahn, University of Wuerzburg


  • Peter Hall, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, CA
    "Resolving" Spatial and Scalar Mismatches in North American Freight Logistics
  • Barbara Lenz, German Aerospace Center - DLR, Berlin
    Mobility, Information and Travel Behavior

11.00 Coffee Break
11.30 Panel II: The Wings of Democracy - Mobility in Times of Airtravel
Chair: Volker Depkat, University of Regensburg


  • David Courtwright, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, USA
    Airworld: The History, Culture, and Prospects of American Aviation
  • Anke Ortlepp, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
    (Post-)Modern Architectures: American Airports and the Limits of Mobility

13.00 Lunch Break

15.00 Panel III:  Mobility and the Arts
Chair: Klaus Benesch, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich


  • Ted Bishop, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CA
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, CA
  • François Specq, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon
    Thoreau's Geographies of (Im)mobilities


18.00 Panel Discussion in German: Mobilität / Immobilität - Wege in die Zukunft
Venue: at BMW Lenbachplatz
Moderation: Klaus Benesch, LMU Munich

  • Thomas Hamacher, Planung und Design von E-mobility Lösungen, Technical University Munich
  • Armin Nassehi, Kultur- und Wissenschaftssoziologe, LMU Munich
  • Manuel Sattig, BMW Group, Kommunikations-Manager project i



Saturday, 7 July 2012

09.30 Panel IV: Social Mobility

Chair: Stefan Schirm, University of Bochum


  • Magdalena Nowicka, LMU Munich
    Life-Trajectories of Poles in the UK: Deskilling in a Transnational Perspective
  • Ludger Pries, University of Bochum
    Cross-Border Mobility and Transnational Social Spaces - the Example of Mexico-US-Migration

11.00 Coffee Break


11.30 Panel V: Cultural Mobility
Chair: Heike Paul, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg


  • Phillip Vannini, Royal Roads University, Victoria, CA
    Cultures of Mobility on Canada's West Coast
  • Alexandra Ganser, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
    Reading Multiple Mobilities: Chuck Palahniuk's Fugitives and Refugees

13.00 End of Conference   



The following organizations support the conference











TUM - Technical University Munich