Mapping Old Regimes of Movement
This project examines the historical relationship between sovereignty and human mobility in old-regime societies. Within the complex array of ill-defined, overlapping political entities that characterized the pre-modern world, control over the movement of goods and persons was a permanent object of contention amongst competing authorities, local communities and transient populations. Highlighting how flows of goods and people shaped states more than states could shape these flows themselves, the project also aims to inform the way we understand challenges around the control of human mobility today.
We are currently collecting, processing and visualizing archival and published material, using it to extract, analyze and visualize data in ways that will permit us to understand space not in absolute terms, but rather to take into account the experience of mobile populations and their real potential for using space at different times and under different conditions.