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Bicycle Politics

Review Essay

Jennifer Bonham

J. Harry Wray, Pedal Power: The Quiet Rise of the Bicycle in American Public Life (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2008)

Jeff Mapes, Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2009)

Zack Furness, One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010)

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Motorcycling in 1980s Athens

Popularization, Representational Politics, and Social Identities

Panagiotis Zestanakis

usually the drivers—but also to girls riding the bikes as pillion passengers. My second point sets these developments in the historical context of 1980s Greece. After decades of political turmoil Greece experienced a period of stability after the

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Displaying Roads

Engineers as Cultural Actors—Introduction

Massimo Moraglio and Bruce Seely

We argue that road engineers—in the cases presented in the articles in this special section—were acting as cultural actors, playing a greater role than experts and especially policy makers. Even as they utilized technical information in cultural debates, road representation had huge symbolic value in driving the social and political discussions. However, once road experts used and accepted such political tools, they could not disconnect themselves from the political process, which determined success and failure in these projects.

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“Four Guys and a Hole in the Floor”

Racial Politics of Mobility and Excretion among BC-Based Long Haul Truckers

Amie McLean

dynamics and normative power arrangements in the British Columbia (BC)-based trucking industry. I argue that differential mobilities therein are profoundly shaped by racial mobility politics. To provide a detailed analysis of how these narratives shape

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Judith A. Nicholson and Mimi Sheller

contributors to rethink how unequal relations of power inherent in both mobility and race shape a racialized mobility politics. The articles that follow examine what Cotten Seiler has called the “racialization of mobility,” 2 meaning the ways in which “the

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Mathieu Flonneau

Adding to discussion started by Gijs Mom and Peter Merriman in Yearbook 6, this text is a plea for scholars to claim a role in the politicization of mobility. Globalization is profoundly upsetting previous mobility practices and raising important questions about democratic, equitable access to mobility. This essay argues that a historic understanding of mobility can shed light onto how representations of different users and modes of transportation affect current political debates. Historical readings remind citizens to be wary of seductive, novel, and high-tech mobility solutions—concepts that have persisted, in a variety of forms, for centuries. Today's “smart mobility” and sustainable development, for all their promise, must be compared to historic trends and weighed against today's low-tech modes of travel that persist in the face of modernity.

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Valeria Gruschetsky

Argentina is characterized by its large territory and diverse geography. In a book that has defined Argentinian historiography, Halperin Donghi analyzes the national geography in detail and investigates the first ten tumultuous years after the May Revolution of 1810, which defined the political, economic, and social centrality of the Pampas and Littoral regions. Halperin Donghi intertwines geography with politics and economics, providing a vivid image of Argentina’s physical space. Such description challenges readers’ assumptions

about the historical problems arising from mobility, the development of modern transportation systems and their corresponding infrastructure. These topics have been covered in Argentinian historiography but from very different approaches. The historiography of mobility in Argentina reveals diverse analytical perspectives, including economic, cultural, and urban history.

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Vanessa Stjernborg, Mekonnen Tesfahuney, and Anders Wretstrand

This study focuses on Seved, a segregated and socioeconomically “poor” neighborhood in the city of Malmö in Sweden. It has attracted wide media coverage, a possible consequence of which is its increased stigmatization. The wide disparity between perceived or imagined fear and the actual incidence of, or exposure to, violence attests to the important role of the media in shaping mental maps and place images. Critical discourse analysis of daily newspaper articles shows that Seved is predominantly construed as unruly and a place of lawlessness. Mobility comprises an important aspect of the stigmatization of places, the politics of fear, and discourses of the “other.” In turn, place stigmatization, discourses of the other, and the politics of fear directly and indirectly affect mobility strategies of individuals and groups.

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When Roads Cannot Be Used

The Use of Trained Elephants for Emergency Logistics, Off-Road Conveyance, and Political Revolt in South and Southeast Asia

Jacob Shell

This article is about the use of trained Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) for transportation, in particular across muddy or flooded terrain, clandestine off-road transportation, and during guerrilla operations or political revolts. In a sense, these are all in fact the same transport task: the terrestrial conveyance of people and supplies when, due to weather or politics or both, roads cannot be used. While much recent work from fields such as anthropology, geography, history, and conservation biology discusses the unique relationship between humans and trained elephants, the unique human mobilities opened up by elephant-based transportation has been for the most part overlooked as a research topic. Looking at both historical and recent (post–World War II) examples of elephant-based transportation throughout South and Southeast Asia, I suggest here that this mode of transportation has been especially associated with epistemologically less visible processes occurring outside of state-recognized, formal institutions.

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Louise Nelson Dyble

David Pimentel and Marcia Pimentel, Food, Energy and Society, 3rd ed. (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2008), xix + 380 pp.

James E. McWilliams, Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We can Truly Eat Responsibly (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009), 258 pp., Pb US$14.99.

C. Claire Hinrichs and Thomas A. Lyson, eds., Remaking the North American Food System: Strategies for Sustainability (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2008), 384 pp., Hb US$45.00, Pb US$29.95.

David Burch and Geoffrey Lawrence, eds., Supermarkets and Agri-food Supply Chains (Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2007), xiv + 330 pp.