The following article explores meanings and implications of mobile technologies and embodiment in a globally networked context. Drawing on ethnographic research on global travelers moving through Nepal and India, we focus on the role mobile technologies play in mediating perceptions and performances of place. Facilitated by contemporary media and mobility infrastructures, we suggest that mobile subjects are relationally “interplaced.” By introducing this notion, we aim to illustrate how forms of virtual mobility overlap with and impact actual, corporeal experience. Following Heidegger, we also develop a concept we call “digital Gestell” (enframement). Applying Heidegger’s reflection that technologies of a given historical epoch frame the way subjects approach the world, we can say that many people today are “digitally enframed.” Facing this increasingly technologized Being-in-the-world, we suggest an “ethos of Gelassenheit” for a more responsive and responsible awareness of the powers technologies hold on our perceptions and actions.
Christopher Howard and Wendelin Küpers
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.
After the Second World War, the bicycle was surpassed by the car as the dominant mode of individual transportation in most Western countries. Since the 1970s, however, bicycle use has again gained some support both from the general public and from governments. In the last two decades national governments and cities throughout the Western world, from Norway to Australia and the United States to Germany, as well as the European Union, have launched policy statements and programs aimed at promoting cycling. Policy documents show much optimism about the possibilities to increase the bike’s modal share in transport by means of infrastructural and social engineering. These policy plans have enhanced social scientific and traffic engineering research into bicycle use and its facilitation.
It is striking how much recent scholarship on the mobility history of the United States has come to emphasize moments of relative motionlessness. More concerned with events in the halls of government than on the open road, historians have moved away from the nuts and bolts of transportation systems—the vehicles, the modes, and the infrastructure—to instead investigate how these networks have been shaped by larger political and social forces. Scholars have investigated these influences by highlighting how groups of Americans have codified, contested, or perceived the nation’s transportation system. By centering their studies on actors, rather than the actual systems, mobility scholars have framed their subjects in new ways and linked their subfield to political, legal, and social history.
Claudia Lieb, Donald Weber, Anita Perkins, Monika Domman, Manuel Appert, Liz Millward, Ueli Haefeli, Heloise Finch-Boyer, Natalie Roseau, Charissa Terranova, Massimo Moraglio, Christopher Neumaeier and Clay McShane
Christian Kassung, Die Unordnung der Dinge. Eine Wissens- und Mediengeschichte des Unfalls Claudia Lieb
Matthieu Flonneau and Arnaud Passalacqua, Utilités de l'utilitaire. Aperçu Réaliste des Services Automobiles Donald Weber
Fred Dervin, Analysing the Consequences of Academic Mobility and Migration Anita Perkins
Regine Buschauer, Mobile Räume. Medien- und Diskursgeschichtliche Studien zur Tele-Kommunikation Monika Domman
Sébastien Gardon, Goût de bouchons. Lyon, les villes françaises et l'équation automobile Manuel Appert
Peter Adey, Aerial Life: Spaces, Mobilities, Effects Liz Millward
Rainer Ruppmann, Schrittmacher des Autobahnzeitalters: Frankfurt und das Rhein-Main-Gebiet Ueli Haefeli
Frances Steel, Oceania under Steam: Sea Transport and the Cultures of Colonialism, c. 1870-1914, Studies in Imperialism Heloise Finch-Boyer
Kelly Shannon and Marcel Smets, The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure Natalie Roseau
Andrew Bush, Drive Charissa Terranova
Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind, Moving Minds. Conservatives and Public Transportation Massimo Moraglio
Ann Johnson, Hitting the Brakes. Engineering Design and the Production of Knowledge Christopher Neumaeier
Barron H. Lerner, One for the Road: Drunk Driving Since 1900 Clay McShane
Today and Tomorrow
Cycle rickshaws continue to play an important role in meeting the mobility demands in South Asian cities. Current transport policies, however, do not support their use. Rickshaws are viewed as a cause of congestion and a profession in which rickshaw owners exploit poor people. This article presents data from published studies to argue against those views. Data from Delhi metro users suggests that as cities expand their public transport services, rickshaws will continue as an important feeder mode in the future. Recent studies also suggest that if separate lanes are created for non-motorized vehicles (which can be used by bicycles as well), then rickshaws and motorized vehicles will experience less congestion and non-motorized vehicles will be exposed to lower traffic crash risk. This article advocates the collection of relevant data concerning rickshaw trips and the number of rickshaws in future travel surveys and that appropriate infrastructures should be designed to facilitate their movement.
Yogesh Sharma, ed., Coastal Histories: Society and Ecology in Pre-Modern India Debojyoti Das
Jason Lim, A Slow Ride into the Past: The Chinese Trishaw Industry in Singapore 1942–1983 Margaret Mason
Xiang Biao, Brenda S.A. Yeoh, and Mika Toyota, eds., Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia Gopalan Balachandran
Ajaya Kumar Sahoo and Johannes G. de Kruijf, eds., Indian Transnationalism Online: New Perspectives on Diaspora Anouck Carsignol
Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde, Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora Yuk Wah Chan
Christine B.N. Chin, Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City Lilly Yu and Kimberly Kay Hoang
David Walker and Agnieszka Sobocinska, eds., Australia's Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century Daniel Oakman
Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond, 1869–1914 Vincent Lagendijk
Bieke Cattoor and Bruno De Meulder, Figures Infrastructures: An Atlas of Roads and Railways Maik Hoemke
Klaus Benesch, ed., Culture and Mobility Rudi Volti
The Seventh International Road Congress, Germany 1934
In transnational history of traffic, transport, and mobility, historians have been arguing for studying organizations as “transnational system builders” in the establishment and modification of transnational infrastructure. Emphasis has been placed on examining human actors. Here, I argue that the role of material objects, the nonhuman actors, should also be taken into account by investigating how a particular map matters. The major research issue is, therefore: How can we understand and analyze how the Nazi regime put the map Deutschlandkarte displayed at the exhibition Die Strasse (Munich, 1934) into play? In addition, how did the map figure in transnational system building during and after the seventh International Road Congress arranged by the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses? Insights from transnational history in the fields of traffic, transport, and mobility as well as material cultural studies, critical mapping, and actor-network theory inform this article.
The Challenges of Cycling Policies in Indian Cities
Rutul Joshi and Yogi Joseph
Cycles are fast disappearing from the urban landscape, popular culture, and everyday life in India. The marginalization of cycling is seen in the backdrop of an emerging automobile culture linked with rising incomes, post-liberalization and skewed notions of modernity. The continued dominance of motorized modes seeks to claim a larger share of road space mirroring the social power structure. The majority of urban cyclists in India are low-income workers or school-going children. Despite the emergence of a subculture of recreational cycling among higher-income groups, everyday cycling confronts social bias and neglect in urban policies and public projects. The rhetoric of sustainability and equity in the National Urban Transport Policy 2006 and pro-cycling initiatives in “best practice” transit projects are subverted by not building adequate enabling infrastructure. This article presents an overview of contentious issues related to cycling in Indian cities by examining the politics of inclusion and exclusion in urban policies.
A Perspective from American Exceptionalism
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.