Over the last two decades, there has been a wave of scholarly interest in the social and political dynamics around infrastructures past and present. Scholars have explored the fantasies, visions, and economic forces that have animated the construction of large technological systems, the expansion of technoscientific expertise and their role in enabling new social formations, forms of citizenship, and global connections. They have also highlighted the variegated consequences of infrastructure’s expansion, emphasizing the ways in which it has come to mediate social practices and relationships at multiple scales by creating complex human-nonhuman assemblages. However, while obviously central to infrastructure, questions around space and space-making have remained largely implicit and underexplored.
In the 6th annual conference of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199: “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition”, we therefore focus on how infrastructures are linked to processes of spatialization and the ways in which infrastructural projects produce particular spatial effects. We start from the premise that infrastructures are not the natural material scaffolding of spatial formats, such as nation-states, commodity chains, or regional corridors.
Instead, infrastructure’s relationship to spatial formats is historically contingent, politically malleable and prone to disruption. Infrastructural projects may evolve alongside the coordinates of particular spatial formats but, under certain circumstances, they may also undermine, reconfigure, or do away with them. What are the spatial imaginations and interests involved in the planning and building of infrastructures? How exactly and to what extent are societies shaped or even “formatted” by infrastructures? How do infrastructural projects shape the spatial formats and the spatial orders that connect and disconnect places and regions in the context of globalization?
Due to the current exceptional circumstances, the conference takes place mainly online. While all the panels are accessible via Zoom, there will also be a limited number of on-site events. For the detailed programme, including the access to the online sessions, please see the information below.
If you have further inquiries, please contact Dr. Ute Rietdorf or Rüdiger Lauberbach at sfb1199[at]uni-leipzig.de.