Invitation to a CoMoDe Guest Talk with Chris Schimkowsky

On Wednesday the 22nd, the CoMoDe team will gladly welcome Chris Schimkowsky, a post-doctoral research fellow based in Tokio who will share some insights on his intriguing research with a presentation based on his chapter contributing to the soon-to-be-published PUTSPACE book.

The contribution goes by the title:

“Contestation and ‘control’ of problematic passenger behaviour on public transport: the case of didactic initiatives on Tokyo’s urban railway network”

Sharing vehicle and station space with others is a defining characteristic of public transport usage (Mattioli 2014; Tuvikene et al. 2021). In the context of this inherently public environment, passenger behaviour can easily emerge as problematic: inconsiderate or inappropriate behaviour such as occupying multiple seats or blocking carriage doors can negatively impact the transit experience of other public transport users and upset transport operations. But what exactly counts as passenger misconduct and how do public transport authorities engage with it? This presentation addresses these questions by examining media-driven educational initiatives promoting ‘good’ passenger behaviour. Taking transit etiquette poster campaigns by Japanese urban railway companies as a case study, the presentation argues that ideas of contestation and customer service allow for a more nuanced understanding of didactic interventions in passenger conduct than the notion of social control.

Christoph Schimkowsky is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo. He was awarded a PhD in Sociological Studies from the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2022 for his work on poster campaigns employed by Japanese railway companies to inscribe behavioural expectations into public transport environments. Building on this, his current postdoctoral project explores the development of codes of transit etiquette on Tokyo’s urban railway network since 1945. Christoph was previously a Visiting Research Fellow on the HERA-funded PUTSPACE (Public Transport as a Public Space) project and holds degrees from SOAS (University of London), Waseda University, and the University of Göttingen. His research has appeared in Mobilities, Transfers, and Visual Communication, among others.

Hereby we warmly invite you to join us for this talk at IfL.

11:00, Wednesday, 22nd of February 2023
Room 317 – Leibniz Institut für Länderkunde,
Schongauerstraße 9, 04328 Leipzig, Deutschland

The presentation will be held in english.

We are happy to see you there!