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Target Practice

The Algorithmics and Biopolitics of Race in Emerging Smart Border Practices and Technologies

Tamara Vukov

Abstract

Taking the Canada–U.S. border as a starting point to reflect on emergent smart border practices, this essay analyzes the differential yet central place that race continues to hold in the regulation of mobilities through the technopolitical mechanism of the border. Against claims that smart borders offer a more scientific and “postracial” mode of border control, the essay offers a situated conceptual reflection on how race is currently being (re)shaped by the complex intersection of biopolitical and algorithmic forms of governmentality as they converge in border technologies. The essay proposes to think through four different sets of smart border technologies that enact and track race as a biopolitical assemblage in particular ways, analyzing the associated perceptual codes each puts into play (biometric, movement sensing, drone, and databased). It closes by reflecting on how these algorithmic technologies inflect the biopolitical targeting of race and mobility in ways that serve to insulate smart border practices from democratic accoun tability.

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Beyond Blank Spaces

Five Tracks to Late Nineteenth-Century Beltana

Samia Khatun

From the 1860s, the colonial settlement of Beltana in the northern deserts of South Australia emerged as a transportation hub atop an existing, cosmopolitan center of Aboriginal trade. Viewing a colonial settlement on Kuyani land through a mobilities paradigm, this article examines intersecting settler and Aboriginal trajectories of movement through Beltana, illuminating their complex entanglements. Challenging the imperial myth of emptiness that shaped how Europeans saw the lands they invaded, this article renders visible the multiple imaginative geographies that existed at every colonial settlement. Examining mobility along Kuyani and Wangkangurru tracks alongside British mobilities, this article makes a methodological argument for writing multiaxial histories of settler colonialism.

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Book Reviews

John Lennon, Boxcar Politics: The Hobo in U.S. Culture and Literature, 1869–1956 Jennifer Hagen Forsberg

Grégoire Chamayou, A Theory of the Drone Adam Rothstein

Bridget T. Chalk, Modernism and Mobility: The Passport and Cosmopolitan Experience Alicia Rix

Ana Cardoso de Matos and Magda Pinheiro, eds., História Património e Infraestruturas do Caminho de Ferro: Visões do Passado e Perspetivas do Futuro Hugo Silveira Pereira

Nigel Thrift, Adam Tickell, Steve Woolgar, and William F. Rupp, eds., Globalization in Practice Regine Buschauer

Marlis Schweitzer, Transatlantic Broadway: The Infrastructural Politics of Global Performance Sunny Stalter-Pace

Michel Serres, Thumbelina: The Culture and Technology of Millennials Steven D. Spalding

NOVEL REVIEW Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go Lindsey Zanchettin

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Commentary

Breathing Fresh Air into Mobility Studies from Down Under

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

As Georgine Clarsen summarizes this special section on Australian and settler colonial Pacific, these four articles add to the “rereading [of] settler-colonial formations through practices and representations of movement [and] circulation.” But that is only half the truth. They also constitute counterrepresentations. They deal not only with the stasis that follows European settling as a process but also with counter- and antimobilities that Indigenous peoples mount: against inward movement, against disruptive settling and forceful displacement of the Indigenous from their lands, and against emplacement and settlement upon it. The scholars in this special section present an example for studies of mobility in the colonial setting in two ways. First, they decenter technology and center the human factor, for which they get full marks. Second they allow mobilities to emanate from the subjects and context of study, rather than letting conceptions of Western-centric, technocentric history of transport and mobility studies guide them.

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Contingency and Constraint

African-American Migration as Seen through Jacob Lawrence's “Migration” Series

Deborah Breen

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019 http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2015/onewayticket/ Admission: USD 25/18/14 “I pick up my life, / And take it with me, / And I put it down in Chicago, Detroit, / Buff alo, Scranton, / Any place that is / North and East, / And not Dixie.” Th ese are the opening lines from “One-Way Ticket,” by African-American poet, Langston Hughes (1902–1967). Th e poem provides the emotional and historical core of the “Migration” paintings by Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000), a series that depicts the extraordinary internal migration of African Americans in the twentieth century. Not coincidentally, the poem also provides the title of the current exhibition of the sixty paintings in Lawrence’s series, on display at MoMA, New York, from 3 April to 7 September 2015.1 Shown together for the first time in over twenty years, the paintings are surrounded by works that provide context for the “great migration”: additional paintings by Lawrence, as well as paintings, drawings, photographs, texts, and musical recordings by other African-American artists, writers, and performers of the early to mid-twentieth century.

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Culture Constraints of High-Speed Rail in the United States

A Perspective from American Exceptionalism

Zhenhua Chen

The development of high-speed rail (HSR) infrastructure in the United States faces a great challenge given concerns of economic viability and political complexity. However, an in-depth investigation reveals that some of these challenges and complexities regarding high-speed rail mobility can be elucidated by historical and cultural characteristics that affect daily behavior, lifestyle, and public attitudes in U.S. society. This essay discusses the debate on the U.S. high-speed rail development policy from the perspective of American exceptionalism. Through an exploration of the four traits of American exceptionalism, the essay argues that the stagnation of U.S. federal high-speed rail initiatives can be explained by U.S. cultural constraints: individualism, antistatism, populism, and egalitarianism. Unless more solid evidence is provided to convince the public about the benefits of HSR mobility, the HSR debate is likely to continue in the United States.

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Editorial

Deborah Breen and Gijs Mom

“Mobility crisis”: These are the words used by Anumita Roychoudhury, the executive director of Delhi’s Centre for Science and Environment, to describe the growing pollution in India, especially in large cities like Delhi, as a result of the dramatic increase in the use of motorized vehicles in the past two decades. Although the population of Delhi and its surrounding cities more than doubled (to twenty-two million) between 1991 and 2011, she points out that registered cars and motorbikes increased fivefold, to eight million.1 Th is growth, along with increased but poorly regulated construction, underinvestment in public transport, and local and national policies that privilege automobiles at the expense of other forms of transport, has resulted in pollution rates that are now, according to a World Health Organization report, the worst in the world.2

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Indigenous Mobility and Settler State Transfer

The Exiles in Historical Context

Ho'esta Mo'e'hahne and Alex Trimble Young

The Exiles, United States, 1961, Kent Mackenzie (producer, director, and writer), starring Yvonne Williams, Homer Nish, Tommy Reynolds, Rico Rodriguez, Clifford Ray Sam, Clydean Parker, and Mary Donahue. 2008 DVD release by Milestone Films.

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Innovation through Collaboration

Celebrating the Work of El Hadji Sy and Laboratoire AGIT'ART

Carol Dixon

The true meaning of collaborative contemporary arts practice is personified by El Hadji Sy (El Sy), the internationally renowned painter, curator and live performance installationist who – along with fellow Senegalese intellectual and activist Issa Samb and theatre director Yussufa John – founded the influential Dakar-based collective Laboratoire AGIT’ART.

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Introduction

Georgine Clarsen

Transfers seeks to broaden the geographical, empirical, and theoretical reach of mobilities scholarship. Our editorial team especially aims to foster innovative research from new locales that moves our field beyond the social sciences where the “new mobilities paradigm” was first articulated. Th is journal is part of a growing intellectual project that brings together theoretical developments and research agendas in the humanities and the social sciences. Our ambition is to bring critical mobilities frameworks into closer conversation with the humanities by encouraging empirical collaborations and conceptual transfers across diverse disciplinary fields. Th e articles presented in this special section forward those aims in several ways.