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Anru Lee

Mobility is a key word for understanding gender and class formation. In a recent review of feminism, gender, and mobility, historian Georgine Clarsen reminds us that movement never occurs through neutral physical space; it involves gendered bodies through gendered spaces, by means of transport technologies that are often deeply gendered. Furthermore, gendered meanings, practices, and experiences change greatly over time and location. For all these reasons, mobility is—and has to be—contextualized. This article takes inspiration from Clarsen and investigates recent literature on the issue of gender and everyday mobility in urban Asia across a number of academic disciplines.

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Dhan Zunino Singh

The article outlines a possible course for mobility in Latin American history based on the diagnosis made by previous reviews on the field. It claims that although the emergence of new studies have signified a critical approach to transport technologies and greater emphasis on cultural and social practices of mobility, the term needs to be discussed more in theoretical terms to shape a common language among scholars from different perspectives. Moreover, mobility discussions should lead scholars to reconsider Latin America as a subject of analysis by critically revisiting the matter of periphery.

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Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel

The world is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate, and its cities are transformed by technology and distributed computing. With every photograph, Twitter post, public transit ride, and credit card swipe, we leave digital traces in physical space. The enormous quantity of information, or Urban Big Data, that humanity generates each day is beginning to off er new possibilities for research, design, and systems optimization on the city scale, but the first step toward our urban future is finding new ways of understanding and visualizing Big Data—revealing invisible dimensions of the city.

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The "Moving" Image

Empathy and Projection in the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool

Silke Arnold-de Simine

The moving image has become ubiquitous in museums that deal with traumatic, violent, and difficult histories and could be described as "memorial museums." This article investigates exhibition practices in the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, in which large-scale video installations provide evocative recreations of traumatic experiences that are designed to unsettle and disturb visitors, providing them with a visceral and vicarious experience that calls for witnessing and "empathic unsettlement." It also queries the assumption that the capacity for empathy forms the basis for responsible moral agency, and whether museums aiming to encourage social responsibility should rely on such technologies.

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Florian Triebel

The motorcar changed the modern world. While German inventors inaugurated the automotive era in the late 1880s, industrial production was scaled up first in France, followed shortly by the United Kingdom and the United States. Before World War II, the German automotive industry remained small, despite its central role in pioneering the technology. While around 3.8 million cars left U.S. plants in 1928, German manufacturers produced only 108,143 automobiles. The bulk of these vehicles were sold domestically, and as another indication of low German production, American companies built nearly a quarter of the German total in assembly plants they set up across Germany.

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The Mule Caravans of Western Yunnan

An Oral History of the Muleteers of Zhaozhou

Ma Jianxiong and Ma Cunzhao

Mule caravans established a network across physical, political, and ethnic boundaries that integrated Southwest China, Southeast Asia, and Tibet. This article is a first exploration of this little-known mobile network. Based mainly on oral history, it focuses on the mule caravans based in Zhaozhou in western Yunnan from the late Qing to the 1940s, when the first motor roads were constructed. The investigation assembles horse and mule technologies and trade organization in detail in order to reconstruct the role and standing of transporters and their networks in local society, in the regional setting, in a volatile political environment, and in the face of challenging natural conditions.

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Luminita Gatejel

This review article gives an overview of the relevant literature about automobile culture inside the former Eastern Bloc. First, researchers have used the history of automobiles to deepen our understanding of socialist consumption practices and the history of everyday life in Eastern Europe. Second, the existing literature on automobilty behind the Iron Curtain focuses on the role that Western automotive knowledge and technology played in socialist car production and usage. Finally, the case of the automobile also offers useful insight into socialist city planning and road building, but these remain understudied aspects.

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Throwing the Genes

A Renewed Biological Imaginary of 'Race', Place and Identification

Zimitri Erasmus

In the United States of America, use of DNA samples in criminal investigation and of genetic ancestry tests in 'personalised medicine', 'pharmacogenetics' and for personal consumption has grown exponentially. Moreover, use of such technologies is visible in the public sphere. In South Africa, DNA sampling for ancestry testing is the most publicly visible application of these technologies. This work has shifted constructions of 'KhoiSan' communities from yesterday's 'missing evolutionary link' to today's 'Edenic origin of humankind'. I question human biogenetics as a home for meanings of history, humanity and belonging. To this end, I read selected genetic genealogical studies of communities considered 'KhoiSan', 'Coloured' and 'Lemba' in South Africa against concerns raised in recent literature about the use of such studies in the United States of America. I ask why bio-centric conceptions of 'race', identity and 'the human' remain so resilient. To grapple with this question, I draw on Sylvia Wynter's (2001; 2003) adaptation of Frantz Fanon's (1986) concept of 'sociogeny' into 'the sociogenic principle'. I close by suggesting the code for what it means to be human is best located in the 'word' rather than the human genome.

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Phillip Vannini, Nanny Kim, Lisa Cooke, Giovanna Mascheroni, Jad Baaklini, Ekaterina Fen, Elisabeth Betz, Federico Helfgott, Giuseppina Pellegrino, Reiner Ruppmann, and Alfred C. Mierzejewski

Tim Ingold, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description; Tim Ingold (ed.), Redrawing Anthropology: Materials, Movements, Lines; Tim Ingold and Jo Lee Vergunst (eds.), Ways of Walking: Ethnography and Practice on Foot Phillip Vannini

Tom Standage, A History of the World in 6 Glasses Nanny Kim

Simone Fullagar, Kevin W. Markwell, and Erica Wilson (eds.), Slow Tourism: Experiences and Mobilities Lisa Cooke

Jennie Germann Molz, Travel Connections: Tourism, Technology and Togetherness in a Mobile World Giovanna Mascheroni

Hazel Andrews and Les Roberts (eds.), Liminal Landscapes: Travel, Experience and Spaces In-between Jad Baaklini

Les Roberts, Film, Mobility and Urban Space: A Cinematic Geography of Liverpool Ekaterina Fen

Helen Lee and Steve Tupai Francis (eds.), Migration and Transnationalism: Pacific Perspectives Elisabeth Betz

David Pedersen, American Value: Migrants, Money and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States Federico Helfgott

Leopoldina Fortunati, Raul Pertierra and Jane Vincent (eds.), Migration, Diaspora, and Information Technology in Global Societies Giuseppina Pellegrino

Daniel Flückinger, Strassen für alle: Infrastrukturpolitik im Kanton Bern 1790-1850 Reiner Ruppmann

Richard Vahrenkamp, The Logistic Revolution: The Rise of Logistics in the Mass Consumption Society Alfred C. Mierzejewski

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Gijs Mom, Georgine Clarsen, and Cotten Seiler

At Eindhoven University of Technology, which has a modest reputation for collecting contemporary art, an exhibition of large machines and poetic video clips by father and son Van Bakel invites passersby to reflect on mobility. Gerrit van Bakel, who died more than a quarter century ago, became known for his Tarim Machine, a vehicle that moves at such a low speed that it almost does not matter whether it moves or not. The propulsion principle—for those who love technology—rests on the dilatation energy of oil in tubes propelling (if propelling is the right word …) the contraption a couple of centimeters over a hundred years or so, as long as there is change in temperature to trigger the dilatation. Emphasizing his father’s insights, Michiel van Bakel, exhibits a video clip of a horse and rider galloping over a square in Rotterdam, where the position and camera work are operated so that the horse seems to turn around its axis while the environment rotates at a different tempo. Mobility, these Dutch artists convey, is often not what it seems to be.