E-Journal

Collection no. 001 – February 2019 – Infrastructural Times

The first curated collection of Roadsides advances an argument that infrastructure is inherently lively and fragile because it is always a complex web of multiple temporalities. The texts in this collection show a few examples of the variety of temporalities that make and unmake infrastructure in the Canadian Arctic, in Tajikistan, in India, at the eastern borders of the European Union, in Switzerland and in England. Focusing explicitly on those temporalities should provide food for thought in terms of rethinking infrastructure as an asynchronic timescape (Adam 1998).

Subscribe to our publication alert and follow us on Twitter!

Editorial

Julie Chu, Tina Harris, Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi, Madlen Kobi, Galen Murton, Nadine Plachta, Matthäus Rest, Alessandro Rippa, Martin Saxer, Christina Schwenkel, and Max Woodworth

We are delighted to present the initial collection of Roadsides entitled “Infrastructural Times”, curated by Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi.

Read article…

Introduction: Infrastructure as an Asynchronic Timescape

Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi encourages us to think infrastructures such as roads, pipelines or dams as places in which specific social relations intersect and accumulate over time, forming unique social-material-political terrain.

Read article…

Making Time in Maintenance Work

Ignaz Strebel, Moritz F. Fürst, and Alain Bovet demonstrate how time is perceived by maintenance workers in Switzerland as highly intersubjective, with a functioning water infrastructure being “a collective endeavour over time.”

Read article…

The Infrastructural Side Effects of Geopolitics: Fortuitous Socio-Biological Modifications to Three European Borders

Francisco Martínez and Tarmo Pikner take us to three borders: between Georgia and Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia, and Estonia and Russia – to observe how geopolitics translates onto highly unstable infrastructural forms that affect the cycles of agricultural work, fishing and commuting.

Read article…

Back to the Future: The Aftermath of Soviet Modernity in Tajikistan’s Pamirs

Carolin Maertens analyses the visit of Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon to the Wakhan Valley in the Pamirs as a “temporal event” that reveals how the future-oriented vision of the president collides with the local feeling that modernity has already happened in the past.

Read article…

Geological Surprises: State Rationality and Himalayan Hydropower in India

Mabel D. Gergan discusses the entangled temporalities of geological science and infrastructure construction in India, focusing in particular on “geological surprises”, that is, the ways in which the “young” Himalayan terrain interferes in state plans of dam construction.

Read more…

Midnight Blues in the Melting Arctic

Mia M. Bennett walks us through the suspended reality of the polar day and ponders how things thought of as permanent, such as permafrost, have turned out to be much less than that in the Canadian Arctic.

Read article…

Tailbacks in Time, East Anglia

Richard D.G. Irvine focuses on the time-depth of the terrain beneath the A14, a major road in east England. Superimposed on a Roman road and skirting the subsiding Fens, recent construction also uncovered the 100,000-year-old remains of a woolly mammoth, revealing very different environmental past.

Read article…

View or download the complete Collection no. 001 here (38 MB):

Collection no. 001

Collection no. 002 – 2019 – Labor

This collection employs labor as a conceptual device to examine and untangle the ways in which infrastructures shape and are shaped by social relations of work and employment. From bulldozers and rock crushers to financial transactions and electoral maneuvering, labor gets things done. Recognizing that road construction and other infrastructural developments are rarely simple and straightforward projects – and much more than technical expertise translated into material objects – the contributions comprising this collection attend to both conspicuous and invisible forms of work that constitute the development of roads, rails, fences, bridges, camps, and other technologies of transportation. For example, while building a road is always a political project, attention to labor illuminates both the connections and the gaps between the popular aspirations and uneven impacts of infrastructure development. By looking closely at the ways in which people, materials, landscapes, and ideologies intersect in everyday forms of work, infrastructures appear not only as things that move other things, but as dynamic processes that both disrupt and reinscribe social positions across a range of scales and demographics. For this collection, we especially invite contributions that examine and conceptualize the social dynamics of infrastructure development beyond conventional academic text; this includes, but is not limited to, alternative forms of study such as the graphic novel; short story; photographic illustration; participatory cartography; audio-visual study; and other creative outlets of analysis.

The call for papers is closed.

Subscribe to our publication alert and follow us on Twitter!