I am not born to commit murders. 1 I have never driven a 1,000 cc motorcycle when I am stoned. My whole life is not tied to my bike’s seat. I don’t wait around for ambulances at 03:10 a.m. (In this case, it would be wiser to wait for a
Popularization, Representational Politics, and Social Identities
A History of the Bicycle in China
Edward J.M. Rhoads
Introduced into China in the late nineteenth century, the bicycle had to compete with a variety of alternative modes of personal transportation that for a number of years limited its appeal and utility. Thus, during the 1920s and 1930s it took a back seat to the hand-pulled rickshaw and during the 1940s to the pedicab (cycle rickshaw). It was only in the 1950s that the bicycle became the primary means of transportation for most urban Chinese. For the next four decades, as its use spread from the city to the countryside, China was the iconic “bicycle kingdom.“ Since the 1990s, however, the pedal-powered bicycle has been overtaken by the automobile (and motorcycle). Nevertheless, with the recent appearance and growing popularity of the e-bike, the bicycle may yet play an important role in China's transport modal mix. This overview history of the bicycle in China is based on a wide range of textual sources in English and Chinese as well as pictorial images.
A Harrowing True Mysterious Pilgrimage Travel Adventure on the Road Less Travelled (by Bike/Camel/Motorcycle/Ultralight) into the Heart of a Dark Lost Island as Told by the Sole Survivor of a Zen Odyssey among Jaguars, Serpents, and Savages
Travel as Western Cultural Practice Revealed by the Titles of Travel Books
Travel as a Western cultural practice is nowhere more clearly revealed than in the titles of travel books. Promising both danger and safety (the reader sets off into the unknown accompanied by a knowledgeable authority), travel book titles walk a delicate line between authenticity and caricature. How far away must we go to have crossed into the danger zone? (What exactly does it mean to say that we are going ‘nowhere’, as in Greater Nowheres, Miles from Nowhere, Forty Miles from Nowhere, and A Thousand Miles from Nowhere? If we go nowhere, doesn’t this mean that we’ve stayed home, as in ‘Where did you go?’/’Nowhere’, meaning ‘To the fridge, the bathroom, and Wal Mart’)? How do we get there? (What is the most authentic method of travelling to Nowhere – by camel, truck, motorcycle, ultralight, horse, yak, on foot?)
Technology, Gender, and Orientalism in German Interwar Motorized Adventure Literature
Following Germany's resounding defeat in the First World War, the loss of its status as a colonial power, and the series of severe political and economic upheavals during the interwar years, travel abroad by motor vehicle was one way that Germans sought to renegotiate their place in the world. One important question critical studies of mobility should ask is if technologies of mobility contributed to the construction of cultural inequality, and if so in which ways? Although Germans were not alone in using technology to shore up notions of cultural superiority, the adventure narratives of interwar German motorists, both male and female, expressed aspirations for renewed German power on the global stage, based, in part, on the claimed superiority of German motor vehicle technology.
Regulations, ‘Mistakes’ and Personhood amongst Kigali’s Motari
André Crashes a Motorbike André is a wily and experienced motorcycle taxi driver who has spent fifteen years driving without a license because he can neither read nor write. One night in 2015, at a bar in Kigali, Rwanda, he told me about an
Reconceptualizing Power and Resistance in Rwanda
to account adequately for what happens in social life. I make this case based on ethnographic material I gathered during research on motorcycle taxi drivers in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. Motorcyclists are called motards (in French) or abamotari (in
Automobility in the United Kingdom in the period before the First World War moved from irrelevance and ridicule to a normalized leisure activity. With particular reference to the magazines Punch and Motor, this article argues that this process was hastened by middle- and lower-middle-class consumers' receptivity to the automobile and motorcycle, particularly in the period after 1905 when a tolerable mechanical reliability had been achieved. By buying second-hand, and taking short trips and camping weekends, the self-driving, car-owning “modest motorist“ undermined the formal, club-based network of elite motorists and created their own distinct cultural model.
Punk Aesthetic as Gender De(con)struction in the Trilogy Film Series "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
This article investigates contemporary representations of androgyny and the strategic possibilities of punk-androgyny within a postfeminist imaginary. In looking at the characters Lisbeth in the Swedish film trilogy The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo and Kino in the Japanese anime series Kino's Journey, I am interested in connecting the metonymy of punk dress to representations of transgressions of gender norms. My investigation looks at the concept that gender is “unread” through androgyny which manifests as visual signifiers that make up the punk metonymy. The subjects (characters Lisbeth and Kino) erase the signifier of gender, through punk-androgyny, in order to reclaim power and identity within a (masculinized) subculture and mainstream society. Androgyny is not the desire to be the opposite sex as in a transgender subjectivity. Instead, androgyny is a strategy of aesthetics that transgresses the normative structure of language and signifiers that refer girls and women as less than or as Other through the normative codes of feminizing. In addition to arguing that punk metonymy erases explicit or readable/normative gender signs, I analyze how the motorcycle is situated as an extension of the body. The use of motorcycling propels the literal and figurative androgynous bodies through space in overt transgressive actions against the establishment; it provides agency, motility and ultimately new subject positions for the female protagonists. Through a critical analysis drawing from cultural and post-feminist theory and through the examination of specific scenes, this article aims to investigate punk aesthetic as a post-feminist strategy.
Cyclist Appropriations of Automobile Infrastructures in Vietnam
After declining in status and mode share sharply with the popularization of the motorcycle, cycling in Vietnam is on the rise. Urban elites who pursue sport and leisure cycling are the most visible of Vietnam’s new cyclists, and they bring their sense of social mastery out onto the road with them by appropriating the nation’s new, automobile-focused infrastructures as places for play and display. While motivated by self-interest, their informal activism around securing bicycle access to new bridges and highways potentially benefits all and contributes to making livable cities. These socially elite cyclists transcend the status associated with their means of mobility as they enact their mastery over automobile infrastructures meant to usher in a new Vietnamese automobility.
Robert C. Post, Urban Mass Transit: The Life Story of a Technology Zachary M. Schrag
Joel Wolfe, Autos and Progress: The Brazilian Search for Modernity J. Brian Freeman
Georgine Clarsen, Eat My Dust: Early Women Motorists Liz Millward
Virginia Scharff and Carolyn Brucken, Home Lands: How Women Made the West Margaret Walsh
Jeffrey W. Alexander, Japan’s Motorcycle Wars: An Industry History Steven L. Thompson
Lewis H. Siegelbaum, Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile Valentina Fava
Per Lundin, Bilsamhället: Ideologi, expertis och regelskapande i efterkrigstidens Sverige Bård Toldnes
Ruud Filarski and Gijs Mom, Van transport naar mobiliteit: De Transportrevolutie, 1800–1900 and Van transport naar mobiliteit: De Mobiliteitsexplosie, 1895–2005 Donald Weber
William J. Mitchell, Christoper E. Borroni-Bird, and Lawrence D. Burns, Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century Joe Schultz
Randal O’Toole, Gridlock: Why We’re Stuck in Traffic and What to Do About It Bob Post
Edna Bonacich and Jake B. Wilson, Getting the Goods: Ports, Labor, and the Logistics Revolution Vaclav Smil
Ian Carter, British Railway Enthusiasm Stephen Cutcliffe