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Jean-Baptiste FRETIGNY

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5, cours des Humanités, 93322 Aubervilliers Cedex
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Jean-Baptiste Frétigny is Associate Professor in Human Geography at Cergy Paris Université, researcher at the MRTE laboratory and associate member of the UMR Géographie-cités research unit.

My PhD deals with Mobilities to the Test of Airports: from Public Spaces to Networked Territorialities. It draws on the cases of Paris Charles-De-Gaulle, Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurtam Main and Dubai International airports.

It has been prepared at the Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University and at the UMR Géographie-cités research unit, where it has been supervised by Nadine Cattan, and defended in December 2013.

I am more generally interested in mobilities in a double way, as a practice as well as a category.

As a practice first, I explore the practices of mobility across spatial scales, from the body and public spaces to encompassing scales including all places experienced in motion, notably in the framework of globalization and metropolisation processes. My work aims at understanding their contribution to original spatial, social and cultural assemblages, conceived as networked territorialities, at different spatial as well as social scales (individual or collective ones). These mobilities in situation are thus understood through the prism of spaces, material cultures and performances but also of power relationships between social actors they engage.

As a category also, I interrogate the spatial knowledges,the figures and the normativity of mobility categories used by actors in the social world, especially at stake in public policy and regarding the experience of metropolitan spaces of transit. I focus on the way diverse stakeholders build, popularise and put into practice these situated and contrasting categories. They reveal know-how, reduce the complexity of the world but also take part in inequalities and in territorial segregation through and in motion. Analysing this connexion between power and knowledge helps us also to question in return the categorisations coined in the scientific world on mobilities and metropolitan spaces and places.

This double investigation is focused on a large set of mobility practices, beyond segmented approaches by types of mobilities and implicit territorial frameworks such as everyday mobility and out-of-everday mobility. It involves a methodological reflection regarding suitable tools and operative modes to grasp these practices and their heterogeneity, notably by mix methodologies connecting qualitative and quantitative methods.


2013 - PhD (Geography) – Mobilities to the Test in Airports: From Public Spaces to Networked Territorialities. Highest honours.
2009 - M. Sc. (Geography) CARTHAGÉO – Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University. Highest honours (master 2: 2nd year).
2009 - École Normale Supérieure Diploma (Social Sciences) (ENS-Paris).
2007 - Highest qualification in Geography for high schools and specific undergraduate classes (preparatory classes for grandes écoles) after passing civil-service competitive examination (agrégation), usually undertaken in France by students aspiring to become academics. National rank: 1st.


from 2014 - Associate Professor of Human Geography at Cergy Paris Université
2012-2014 - SHORT-TERM LECTURER – Paris Sorbonne University.
2009-2012 PHD RESEARCH CONTRACT – Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne University. Grant from the Île-de-France Regional Council.
TEACHING-RELATED ACTIVITIES at the Department of Geography, ENS-Paris.
2009-2011 - MEMBER OF AND SCIENTIFIC REPORTER TO THE RESEARCH GROUP “France’s Gateways in Territorial Systems of Flows” of the French Government’s Body for Territorial Planning and Regional Development (DATAR) – Prospective Programme Territories 2040.
2008-2009 - TEACHING ASSISTANT (GEOGRAPHY) for undergraduate students – Évry Val d’Essonne University – Department of Social Sciences.
2007-2008 - FOREIGN LANGUAGE ASSISTANT, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh.


2014 1st PhD price - geographical section (23) of the National Council of Universities - French National Committee of Geography

2009 PhD selected for funding by:

  • The Paris Doctoral School of Geography (grant from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research);
  • The Île-de-France -Regional Council: first of the three projects selected for funding under the theme “Population and migration: The Île-de-France Region’s insertion into Globalization”.


2018-Present - DécaFmob (Decarbonizing Mobilities in France) - principal investigator - MRTE - in relationship with the Mobile Lives Forum

2018-Present - PaMiMex (Migrants in Transit Producing the City: Confronting Paris, Milan and Mexico City - principal investigators: N. Cattan, L. Faret, J-B. Frétigny - LabEx DynamiTe, SarDyn Project

2018-Present - Firminfra (Firms of Transport Infrastructures and Real Estate Operations) - co-investigator - LabEx DynamiTe, SarDyn Project

2015-Present - Inhabiting near airports: residential strategies for households - co-investigator - MRTE - in relationship with the French National Autority for Airport Noise (ACNUSA)

2013-Present - WHIG (What is governed in Paris and London?) - Sciences PoParis-CEE, Paris III New Sorbonne University, Paris-Diderot University - UMR Géographie-cités - participant

2009 - Merev (Recurring Mobilities between European Metropolis Reshaping the Individual and Collective Living Spaces) – UMR Géographie-cités, UMR Migrinter - research engineer


Updated on : 13 August 2020


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