Heidi Kaspar, Audrey Bochaton et al. “Therapeutic Mobilities”, Mobilities, Fev. 2019


This Special Issue expands mobilities research through the idea of therapeutic mobilities, which consist of multiple movements of health-related things and beings, including, though not limited to, nurses, doctors, patients, narratives, information, gifts and pharmaceuticals. The therapeutic emerges from the encounters of mobile human and non-human, animate and inanimate subjects with places and environments and the individual components they are made of. We argue that an interaction of mobilities and health research offers essential benefits: First, it contributes to knowledge production in a field of tremendous social relevance, i.e. transnational health care. Second, it encourages researchers to think about and through functionally limited, ill, injured, mentally disturbed, unwell and hurting bodies. Third, it engages with the transformative character of mobilities at various scales. And fourth, it brings together different kinds of mobilities. The papers in this Special Issue contribute to three themes key for the therapeutic in mobilities: a) transformations (and stabilizations) of selves, bodies and positionalities, b) uneven im/mobilities and therapeutic inequalities and c) multiple and contingent im/mobilities. Therapeutic mobilities comprise practices and processes that are multi-layered and mutable; sometimes bizarre, sometimes ironic, often drastically uneven; sometimes brutal, sometimes beautiful – and sometimes all of this at the same time.