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Masculinity and Autonomous Vehicles

A Degendered or Resegregated Future System of Automobility?

Dag Balkmar and Ulf Mellström

This article addresses the anthropomorphization and interpellative experience of cars and trucks, in order to meet future mobility challenges. Autonomous vehicles offer an emancipatory opportunity within a wider movement of degendering and regendering motor vehicles. We argue that autonomous vehicles can challenge the foundations of a gendered economy founded on masculinity, speed, pleasure, and embodiment. Rather than thinking in terms of a process of demasculinization, this article anticipates a regendering and resegregation through which certain forms of masculine gendered economies of pleasure will lose ground and others will gain. A core question in this article asks who will be in the driver’s seat of future systems of automobility as the control of the vehicle is gradually being transferred from the driver to digital control systems and intelligent roads.

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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

In this article, I map out the foundational context and procedural dynamics through which the normative status of the white male trucker is achieved and maintained in the British Columbia-based long haul trucking industry. I pay particular attention to the dehumanizing racism and masculine subordination directed toward South Asian truckers. Drawing on ethnographic data, I socially and historically situate these dynamics in relation to Canadian national mythologies, practices of nation building, and the neoliberal organization of trucking labor. To provide a richly detailed analysis of precisely how these narrative dynamics shape hierarchies of race and mobility in the industry, I examine a pervasive, racializing story among white truckers concerning workplace politics and practices of excretion.

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The Body in Motion

Communism and Epistemology in Iva Pekárková's Novel Truck Stop Rainbows

Simona Fojtová

Drawing on feminist conceptualisations of the body, this essay analyses Iva Pekárková’s novel, Truck Stop Rainbows (published as Péra a Perutě [Feathers and wings] in 1989, translated into English in 1992), to show how this contemporary Czech writer challenges the metaphor of the female body as a container through which communist propaganda in Czechoslovakia offi cially sanctioned and established a normative female identity in maternal, economic and civic functions. I seek to demonstrate how Fialka, the female protagonist who lives under the Czechoslovak communist regime of the 1980s, critiques discursive and epistemic formations that conceptualised the female body as a vessel for reproduction and labour and denied the female body the authority to function as a source of knowledge. Striving to spotlight the body in its cognitive role, I argue for an understanding of the body not as an instrument of knowledge or a neutral medium that enables knowledge production but, rather, as a condition of the possibility of knowing.

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Elisabetta Gualmini

On 3 March 2008, four workmen lost their lives, asphyxiated by sulfur

fumes, going one after another into a tanker at the Truck Center in

Molfetta in the province of Bari, a company specializing in the maintenance

and cleaning of heavy vehicles. Those involved were the owner

of the company, aged 64, and three workmen, respectively, 44, 37, and

24 years old. The following morning, a fifth workman, who was barely

20 and had tried to save his companions, died at the hospital in Monopoli.

“Deaths Caused by Solidarity,” headlined some newspapers, but the

truth is that these deaths were foreseeable because none of the victims

were in possession of protective equipment. Little more than a month

later, on 16 April 2008, at Cornate d’Adda in the province of Milan, an

explosion in the chemical factory Masterplast caused the deaths of two

workmen, the company foreman, aged 47, and a 28-year-old employee

from Burkina Faso. And the list of deaths continues.

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Daniele Massaccesi, Emiliano Treré, Regine Buschauer, Liz Millward, Chandra D. Bhimull, Debojyoti Das, Tracy Nichols Busch, Anindyo Roy and Carmelo Busceme

Rodney Wai-chi Chu, Leopoldina Fortunati, Pul-Lam Law, and Shanhua Yang, eds., Mobile Communication and Greater China Review by Daniele Massaccesi

Pui-Lam Law, ed., New Connectivities in China: Virtual, Actual and Local Interactions Review by Emiliano Treré

Cara Wallis, Technomobility in China: Young Migrant Women and Mobile Phones Review by Regine Buschauer

James Fallows, China Airborne: The Test of China’s Future Review by Liz Millward

Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Review by Chandra D. Bhimull

Rila Mukherjee, ed., Pelagic Passageways: The Northern Bay of Bengal Before Colonialism Review by Debojyoti Das

Jamal J. Elias, On Wings of Diesel: Trucks, Identity and Culture in Pakistan Review by Tracy Nichols Busch

Arundhati Roy, Walking with the Comrades Review by Anindyo Roy

Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase and Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, eds., Rethinking Displacement: Asia Pacific Perspectives Review by Carmelo Buscema

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Susan Parman

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?)

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Kosher Biotech

Between Religion, Regulation, and Globalization

Johan Fischer

delivery details? Who owns the containers, or are they rented? Who cleans these containers and how? Are there any papers in the tank truck?” These questions cropped up in a production area that only produces fully kosher goods, so the questions targeted