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Who cares about the cargo?

Container economies in a European transshipment port

Hege Høyer Leivestad

witnessing a verbal dispute. Sergio, a 45-year-old foreman whose no-nonsense attitude has served him well over his 27 years on the docks of the Spanish Port of Algeciras Bay, had just directed me through the yard and along the streets of stacked colored steel

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Roll Out the Barrel

French and Algerian Ports and the Birth of the Wine Tanker

Owen White

. From the closing decades of the nineteenth century, Algerian ports were among the beneficiaries as colonists of European descent planted thousands upon thousands of hectares of vines. The basic unit in which Algerian wine traveled was the demi-muid , a

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Ana Prata

Despite recent interest in port issues by researchers across a variety of disciplines, the field of port studies in Portugal would still benefit from a sustained research effort on the part of the academia. There is still much ground to be broken, but the historical picture of Portuguese ports is not as bleak as it was in the 1980s. Even though the future is bright, gaps remain. This article presents existing works and recent trends of research and explores limits and understudied paths.

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Jon Schubert

imperatives of technical and regulatory innovation amidst inflation and dwindling foreign exchange reserves, this article charts the intensive labor required to make goods flow. Indeed, for the container economies under scrutiny in this issue, the port of

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Janell Rothenberg

Viewed from a distance, a large container port looks like any other. Terminals and stacked containers are marked by a narrowing set of multinational operators and shipping companies. Fences project promises of security and safety that are often enacted by the local hires of global security firms. Perhaps longshoremen are visible locking a container into place aboard a vessel, although the docks of contemporary container terminals are more notable for the seeming lack of men at work. Critical scholars of supply chains are revealing the global logics behind such visible similarities in port economy and governance. While this work responds to the call of John Shaw and James Sidaway to recognize how “[ports] matter beyond being entities in and of themselves,” ports are also shaped by more proximate, sociocultural logics.

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(Not) Made by the human hand

Media consciousness and immediacy in the cultural production of the real

Mattijs Van De Port

Taking its examples from the realm of popular religion and popular culture, this essay shows how sensations of im‐mediacy are sought and produced in a great number of fantasy scripts. Some of these scripts seek to undo media‐awareness: concealing or denying the involvement of the human hand they produce the sensation that one's imaginations are not human fabrications at all, but immanent to the world. Other scripts, however, flauntingly reveal the mediation process and the workings of the human hand in it. Yet on closer inspection, these latter scripts oftentimes throw into relief the moment where – all the awareness of the medium notwithstanding – the mediation process is transcended. The cases discussed help the author to ponder the place of the medium in what he calls ‘the cultural production of the really real’.

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'A Wrong Port'

Colonial Havana under Northern Eyes

Bonnie Shannon McMullen

This article looks at Havana of 1820 as seen through the eyes of John Howison, a young Scottish surgeon. As well as his accounts of Havana in his travel book Foreign Scenes and Travelling Recreations (1825), Howison distilled his deepest impressions of the city in a short tale in Blackwood's Magazine in 1821 called 'An Adventure in Havana'. Howison's reactions to Roman Catholicism, slavery and colonial government corruption, as well as the coarseness and exploitative nature of many foreign residents and visitors, combine with his repulsion at the pervasive presence of disease and death to present a picture that moves from objective analysis to gothic horror.

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‘Any port in a storm’

Responding to crisis in the world of shipping

Johanna Markkula

This article discusses crisis, and responses to crisis, in the global maritime industry. In order to stay ‘afloat’ in recession times, ship owners increasingly opt for Flags of Convenience. During research aboard a mixed nationality crewed cargo ship, I observed how a local crisis of a flag change impacted on the ambience and social cohesion onboard, and how crewmembers responded by reinforcing ties to their families back home. By showing how crises and their responses play out on multiple levels, the article argues that the ship's ‘local’ population, despite its apparent isolation, is deeply embedded in global events and processes.

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David Berliner, Laurent Legrain, and Mattijs Port