This thought piece reflects on the workings of modern migration through the prism of metabolism. It contends that the metabolic idiom productively underscores how migration as a process is enabled and evoked by particular flows of materials and energy and how the movement of migrants engenders social and environmental transformations.
The Language of Paris Railways, 1870–1914
By tracking railway language through periodicals and poetry, this article examines the words and images used to make sense of Paris's new subway and streetcars between 1870 and 1914. It proposes a new threefold approach to understanding the appropriation of technology, which reworks its agents, sites, and chronologies. It maintains that appropriation takes both material and symbolic forms, and that appropriation processes transform both appropriated objects and their cultural contexts. Language anchors appropriation as it operates through circulating texts. For Paris, railways were both transportation technologies and versatile tools for making meaning. Railways set spaces, customs, identities, and images adrift, which traditionalists found threatening, progressives found promising, and avant-gardists found inspiring. Fitting Paris with railways required both reimagining and rebuilding the city, and reshaping what railways could be. The article concludes that appropriation is neither linear nor complete, but rather an ongoing and unfinished negotiation of the meaning of technologies.
The Cultural Diffusion of Asian Innovations in Transport Mobilities
In this brief commentary on the articles in this special section, I would like to relate them to more contemporary mobilities issues as well as the wider mobilities theoretical literature. In so doing, I seek to highlight and interrogate a key theme, namely Asian innovation in mobilities and processes of cultural diffusion. As the editors of the special section suggest, historically the introduction of new transportation technologies and their ensuing mobilities practices became symbols of modernity for much of South and Southeast Asia under colonialism. They also emphasize that such innovations were highly contested and thus they suggest that the mobility of mobilities is seldom a smooth process, but, rather, laden with negotiations and struggles over power. Furthermore, the editors highlight that Asia should not be represented as an imitator of Western mobility and modernity but rather seek to place innovation agency in Asian hands. The articles prompt me to ask a further question about the role of non-human actors in these processes: Is it more a question of placing innovation in the vehicles of mobility themselves?
Eirini Kasioumi, Anna Plyushteva, Talya Zemach-Bersin, Kathleen F. Oswald, Molly Sauter, Alexandra Ganser, Mustafa Ahmed Khan, Natasha Raheja, Harry Oosterhuis, and Benjamin Fraser
.95 (hardback), $54.95 (ebook) Suggesting that the current internal combustion engine (ICE) model of auto-mobility is unsustainable, Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder argues that new transportation technologies must be persuasive in order to be successful. He develops
Kathleen Frazer Oswald
electronic communication technology, and have we been smart since the telegraph? When is a change in degree a change in kind? We need to ask ourselves what we mean when we use smart in discussing the relationship between communication and transportation
The Portuguese Narrow-Gauge Railway System (1870s–2010s)
Hugo Silveira Pereira
article permitted the long-term analysis of an important transportation technology, from the 1870s to present-day Portugal. It also provided a framework for a more comprehensive study that includes new data that might confirm or support new interpretations
Beth Gutelius, Janet Gibson, Dhan Zunino Singh, Steven J. Gold, Alexandra Portmann, Peter Cox, Rudi Volti, Adrian Drummond-Cole, and Steven D. Spalding
now observe how the policies of the current administration will affect the trajectory of the transportation technologies that were outlined in the second half of the book. Choppy Waters Uneven Geographies, Illicit Passages, and Oil
A Degendered or Resegregated Future System of Automobility?
Dag Balkmar and Ulf Mellström
-driving cars are imagined as the next major transportation technology revolution in the twenty-first century. 15 Much future optimism is invested in this technology, not least in the assumption that it will solve problems associated with the current
“Savagery” and “Civilization” in the Australian Interwar Imaginary
compared to Polynesia, meant that Melanesia was generally regarded as a region of unknown possibilities, and “an openly imagined reality.” 45 Even with improved transportation technology by the 1920s, steamship services to the New Hebrides and Solomon