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Call For Papers For 18th Annual T²M Conference


Belts and Roads:

Governmental Visions for Transport and Mobility.

Strategic Transport Infrastructures and the State

The International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T²M) calls for papers to be presented at its 18th annual conference, which will take place in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, on 22 – 24 October 2020.

The Local Organising Committee of T²M invites all academic researchers and practitioners working on history, sociology, politics and planning of transport, traffic and mobility to participate in the Conference, a scientific meeting dedicated to the study of strategic transport infrastructures and the state.

The Conference will take place at Tongji University in Shanghai. The city provides an ideal setting for discussing the role of the state for big transport infrastructure planning. The conference will include an opportunity to visit China and its Belt and Road initiative.

The T²M Annual Conference is open to papers and sessions on any field or topic of historical and social science mobility studies. However, we especially invite the submission of single papers or full sessions (three papers) on any topic related to “strategic transport infrastructures and the state”.

The conference title focuses on the history and future of governmental transport infrastructures in vision, planning, and implementation. Sessions should analyse these governmental programs and their economic, political and military implications.We encourage submissions for the analysis of strategic governmental planning from urban to intercontinental transport.

Governmental visions and plans were absolutely crucial for the erection of transport infrastructures throughout history, but the actual motivation for the selection of this year’s specific theme is the official Chinese vision and policy for transcontinental economic exchange and infrastructures,  which in 2013 was named „One Belt, One Road“ (OBOR)  (Yīdài Yīlù, 一带一路). The name recenty changed to Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)to avoid the focus on one connection alone, as the policy includes many transport connections via land and sea. Sometimes, the initiative is called the new economic Silk Road (Xīn Sīchóuzhīlù,新丝绸之路). The term „new silk road“ refers to the economic connections between China and Europe since the second century BC and throughout medieval and early modern history. However, the term „silk road“ was coined by the geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen not before the 1870s.

Tongji University, which is one of the leading research universities in China and in planning sciences often cited as number one in the country, has strong international relations. The University has created colleges with European Universities since many years, e.g. CDHK (Chinesisch-Deutsches Hochschulkolleg) and IFCIM (Institut Franco-Chinois d’Ingénierie et de Management). The T2M conference will take place in the premises of CHDK. IFCIM will invite to a second event on “Transport with a High Level of Service” (THNS2020) at the same time. The organizing committee does  comprise members  from Tongji University, CDHK, Center for Global  History of Shanghai University, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) and Nanjing University.

In order to advance collaboration between universities and policy makers, both academic researchers and practitioners working on transport and border issues are most welcome to attend.

It is a T²M tradition that paper and session proposals are not limited to the general topic. We ask for paper and session proposals for all themes in the field of transport, traffic and mobility. By this, the annual conference will give, in a broad way, an up-to-date overview on the field of historical transport and mobility studies.                         

The Conference language is English.


The final deadline for proposals is April 15, 2020. The proposal must include a short abstract, the title of the presentation, the name of the presenter(s), CV, e-mail address of the author(s), contact number and information on audiovisual needs. This must be sent to . We will notify participants of acceptance on May 15t, 2013 at the latest.

The deadline for the full paper (6-8 pages) is August 15, 2020 as we will distribute all papers beforehand in an online version. Presenters at the Conference may assume that their paper has been read and they should prepare a fifteen-minute summary to allow for debate and discussion within the session.


Submission of a fully completed poster form is mandatory for all speakers, for T2M wants to invest more energy into communication. Deadline of final posters is August 15, 2020 to . The poster format should be a pdf. It will be published in A2; therefore pictures should be in fine resolution and letters in appropriate size.

Posters will be judged. The best posters will receive a prize.


Ph.D. students and scholars from emerging countries are encouraged to apply for travel grants at T²M. Please send in your application together with the proposal at:. (Please download a travel grant form at Travel Grant Form.


The participants may need to obtain a visa. The organisers of T²M are prepared to assist delegates with obtaining a visa by sending official invitation letters upon request. This letter however does not involve any commitments by the Conference organisers to cover fees, accommodation, travel expenses or other costs connected with participation in the Conference.

To obtain an invitation to T2M, delegates must first complete the registration form and settle all conference and related fees. Delegates are encouraged to make their invitation requests at their earliest convenience.

Please note that delegates are responsible for their own travel arrangements, including determining the visa requirements for travel to Shanghai for the Conference. If you are considering participating in any post-conference tours, please make sure that you make the necessary visa arrangements

The T²M organisers will not be held responsible for a visa not granted. Failure to obtain a visa will not be accepted as grounds for refund of any fees or any other costs paid to the Conference.


Organizing Committee

Siegfried Zhiqiang Wu, Vice President Tongji UniversityPan Haixiao, Tongji UniversityKeping Li, Tongji University

Sigrun Abels, China Center, TU Berlin

Hans-Liudger Dienel, TU Berlin

Jean-Francois Janin,

Etienne Faugier, Ecole des Mines ParisTech ISIGE, T2M Association

Program Committee

Keping Li, Tongji UniversityPan Haixiao, Tongji University

Iris Borowy, Center for Global History, Shanghai University

Hans-Liudger Dienel, Berlin University of TechnologyGijs Mom, Eindhoven University of TechnologyMathieu Flonneau, Paris 1 University, President T2MInes von Racknitz, Nanjing UniversityRong Xinchun, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, BeijingZhang Xiuli, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

Questions concerning the Annual Conference to our T2M Executive SecretaryEtienne FaugierThe T²M website: www.t2m.org

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/T2Minternational/

Zusatzinformationen / Extras


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