From Piraeus to Kolkata: Logistics along the New Silk Road
Logistical Worlds was a project that investigated relations among infrastructure, software, and labor in three shipping ports with growing significance for China’s international economic activity. This talk considers questions of empirical research and method in two of these sites: the Greek port of Piraeus, often positioned as a “dragon’s head” of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and Kolkata, an unavoidable chokepoint in this same project. Issues for interrogation include the conceptualization of logistical power, the relation of logistical techniques and technologies to geopolitics, and the binds of civilizational perspectives in understanding the making of logistical worlds.

Bio:
Brett Neilson is Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, where he leads the Globalisation and Diversity research program. With Sandro Mezzadra, he is author of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor (Duke University Press 2013) and The Politics of Operations: Excavating Contemporary Capitalism (Duke University Press 2019). With Ned Rossiter, he has led the Australian Research Council funded research projects Transit Labour: Circuits, Regions, Borders; Logistical Worlds: Software, Infrastructure, Labour and Data Farms: Circuits, Territory, Labour.