Masterclass - Professor John Urry

Presented by The ARC Cultural Research Network Identities and Communities Node

a masterclass with Professor John Urry
Department of Sociology & Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University, UK

Complexities and Mobilities

Two classes

Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta, 10am - 5pm, April 24, 2007


Flinders University, function room, Adelaide, 1pm - 6pm Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Download the application form here [MS Word format 60kb]


Masterclass Theme

The ARC Cultural Research Network Identities and Communities Node is seeking applications from postgraduates and early career researchers who wish to take part in one of 2 Masterclasses with Professor John Urry. Each class will be limited to 20 participants who are engaged in research relating to the theme of ‘Complexities and Mobilities’. Participants will be chosen based on a competitive application process. The Masterclass will include a discussion of the work of Professor Urry and presentations from participants.

This Masterclass will examine recent developments in two areas where Professor John Urry has been seeking to develop some new ideas for 'rethinking' the nature of social life. First, it will consider the possible strengths of the complexity sciences for examining the nature of 'social-and-material’ systems conceived of as complex, adaptive and co-evolving. This develops from Prof. Urry’s 2003 book on Global Complexity which sought to apply such notions to the ‘global’ and from the Theory, Culture and Society special issue on the complexity turn (2005). Second, we will consider one particular set of such systems, that is ‘mobility systems’. This discussion will draw from and develop his writings on specific systems (see the co-edited Automobilities, 2005, with Mike Featherstone and Nigel Thrift), on social networks (see Mobilities, Geographies, Networks, 2006), and on the more general attempt to ‘mobilise’ the social sciences as in the forthcoming Mobilities, 2007.


Cost: The masterclass is free of charge to successful applicants, and includes lunch and morning/afternoon teas. Participants travelling from interstate will be eligible for travel and accommodation subsidies.

How to Apply: Applications are due by Monday 26th March, 2006. Applications must include a completed application form that includes a 250-word summary of your research topic, highlighting links to the Masterclass theme, and a one-page curriculum vitae.

Application forms and further information are available from Greg Noble at

John Urry is Professor, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster. He was educated at Cambridge, with a BA/MA (double first) in Economics and a PhD in Sociology. He has since worked at Lancaster University where he has been Head of Department, Founding Dean of the Social Sciences Faculty and University Dean of Research. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Founding Academician, UK Academy of Social Sciences, Member (1992) and Chair RAE Panels (1996, 2001), and has an Honorary Doctorate from Roskilde University. He has received recent research funding from DTI Foresight Programme, Dept for Transport (twice), EPSRC, ESRC, and the Forestry Commission. He has published c35 books and special issues, c100 refereed articles and c80 chapters in books. His work is translated into 11 languages, and he has lectured in c30 countries. His is currently Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster that has extensive links throughout the world relating to the study of physical movement and its interconnections with the ‘virtual’ and the ‘imaginative’.

Some recent books include Sociology beyond Societies, Routledge (2000), The Tourist Gaze. Second Edition, Sage (2002), Tourism Mobilities. Places to Play, Places in Play, Routledge (2004), Performing Tourist Places, Ashgate (2004), Automobilities (2005), Mobile Technologies of the City, Routledge (2006), Mobilities, Networks, Geographies (2006), Mobilities, Polity (2007).