Dr. Charmaine Chua: Imperial Infrastructures and the Monstrosity of Logistics

Presented by the the Department of Geography during Geography Week.

In the just-in-time milieu of the Amazon Prime age, we have come to expect that the click of a button will bring goods to our doorstep within two days. Often made invisible amidst the fast circulation of goods, however, is the immense infrastructure of warehouses, megaships, and megaports that skirt the edges of our urban landscapes.

As the demand for fast commodities has risen in the last few decades, states, corporations, and cities have heavily invested in the logistics industry to support these flows, generating monstrous post-industrial landscapes largely only visible to those communities whom it dispossesses. Through an examination of the transpacific supply chain and the port cities of Los Angeles and Singapore, this lecture examines how logistics infrastructures are not — as political and economic elites claim — solutions to de-industrialization. They are imperial infrastructures: monstrous state and corporate collaborations that, in seeking to channel ‘fast’ global circulation through harbor cities, in turn distribute inequality and imprint forms of “slow violence” onto the lived spaces of vulnerable urban populations.

Dr. Charmaine Chua is an assistant professor of global studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the politics of global circulation and the rise of logistics. She is working on a book that examines the political economies of violence and inequality associated with the rise of the logistics. Her work has been published widely in journals and edited volumes, and she collaborates and engages in public education and organizing with the Empire Logistics and Abolition collectives.

Monday, November 4, 2019 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Ho Science Center, 101
1819 Oak Dr, Hamilton, NY 13346, USA


Culture, Global and international

Event Format

Lectures, colloquia, seminars, etc., Brown bags

Geography Department
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