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Rail Networks, Mobility, and the Cultures of Cities

Introduction to the Special Section

Steven D. Spalding

Scholars writing about railway mobility have pointed to the rails' impact on the culture of cities, while urban theorists and critics have cited the crucial importance of movement and mobility to how cities are lived. A truly interdisciplinary approach, which balances the priorities of mobility studies and urban studies, and informs itself through compelling cultural artifacts (including visual, literary, or other media) offers insight into the processes of urban cultural production and their close link to the discursive valences of urban rail mobility.

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Introduction

The Return of Transport Coordination

Gustav Sjöblom

The coordination of transport was heavily debated in the interwar period, as mechanized road traffic for the first time posed a serious challenge to the railways as the backbone of the transport system. The main issues of the interwar period bear resemblances with current challenges for transport policy, and historical studies may improve our understanding of contemporary transport coordination. This introduction sets the stage by discussing the concept of transport coordination and its historiography.

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"Traffic"

On the Historical Alignment of Media and Mobility

Dorit Müller and Heike Weber

In a nineteenth century context, traffic could mean both communication and the transportation of goods and people. For instance, the German term “traffic” (Verkehr), referred to “communicating” (verkehren) and to “traffic”/“transportation” (Verkehr). Historically speaking, before the age of telegraphy, any communication over distance required the physical transport of a message or a messenger. Many authors, thus, identified the latter as a fundamental caesura in the relationship between media and mobility, uncoupling media from their previous reliance on physical movement. At the same time, telegraphy and the railway formed a paradigmatic symbiosis that enforced the ongoing duality between media and mobility: traffic depended on and sometimes boosted communication and vice versa. Hence, traffic and media were not disconnected as such, but their connections were rearranged and new ones emerged while others such as the postal services persisted.

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Gijs Mom and Georgine Clarsen

transport. Articles on railways, walking, and bicycling were not represented last year. But what is most important is that we had four articles (nearly a quarter of all published) dealing with “mobility writ large,” articles either not on any specific mode

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Gijs Mom and Georgine Clarsen

,” as our mission states. Looking back at the topic areas in volume 5, we have never dealt with such a variegated palette of mobility modes (cars and roads, shipping, walking, railways, aviation, cycling, animal mobility, children’s mobility, and

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Black October

Comics, Memory, and Cultural Representations of 17 October 1961

Claire Gorrara

. Baetens terms these motifs “etymons,” which he describes as “defining visual figurations through which a work can be read in its entirety.” 51 In the case of Octobre noir , one defining etymon is the railway bridge. Prior to the demonstration, in the

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Memorial

Allan Mitchell, 1933—2016

Volker Berghahn

was rethought; fortifications, railway supply systems, and military hardware were modernized, all in order to try to overcome a condition of inferiority vis-à-vis the eastern neighbor that the French leadership thought was unacceptable. The second

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Judith A. Nicholson and Mimi Sheller

” to the suburbs. 28 In both Canada and the United States, the national railroad was an important site where racial politics and transportation systems intersected. The Pacific Coast portion of the national Railway in Canada was built on appropriated

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The Territorialization of Vietnam's Northern Upland Frontier

Migrant Motivations and Misgivings from World War II until Today

Sarah Turner, Thi-Thanh-Hien Pham, and Ngô Thúy Hạnh

, they were farmers, so when we moved here, my parents continued farming, growing rice and fruit trees; but now for the collective.” A few others migrated to work in state-organized forestry cooperatives or other state positions such as railway work

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Places of Otherness

Comparing Eastleigh, Nairobi, and Xiaobei, Guangzhou, as Sites of South-South Migration

Neil Carrier and Gordon Mathews

smaller. Xiaobei emerged as a settlement site for African and Arab traders because it is near the main Guangzhou Railway Station and also Guangzhou's most prominent mosque, as well as being the site of a remaining “urban village” and thus of relatively