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Message posted on 10/01/2019

CfP - Open Panel at 4S 2019 - Chinese Global Infrastructural Futures

                Dear Sir/Madam

Please could you circulate this via your listserve.
Many thanks for your assistance


Dear Colleagues,

We invite submissions of abstracts to the following Open Panel at the 4S
conference, 2019, in New Orleans. Please also share with colleagues and
students who may find this interesting.

Many thanks

David Tyfield (

2019 New Orleans Sept 4-7

Open Panel 167: The Belt Road
Initiative: Infrastructural Futures & a Chinese Anthropocene?

The Belt Road Initiative (BRI), aka the New Silk Roads, is often feted as the
largest infrastructural programme not just in the world today, but ever. First
announced by Xi Jinping in 2013, it has garnered increasing commentary and
scrutiny, but focusing overwhelmingly on high-level geo-political issues,
largely defined by existing 'common-senses'. Meanwhile, in STS and critical
geographies, an 'infrastructural turn' (Graham 2010) has illuminated questions
of infrastructure - its in/visibility & blackboxing, disruption, maintenance,
complexity and networked interconnection - as a key issue for contemporary
politics; and, indeed, for the contemporary redefinition of 'politics' itself
regarding onto-politics, materiality, virtuality, embodiment and liveliness.
Booming discussions (largely Western) of the Anthropocene and technosphere, in
which issues of infrastructure are central if often overlooked, are also of
relevance here, not least in terms of how these will be shaped by the
increasing, but unfamiliar and uncertain, global influence of China. In this
context, the emergence of an infrastructure programme that would not just be
unprecedented in scale, but also a vehicle for the geopolitical ascendancy of
the first non-trans-Atlantic global hegemon, presents arguably the key arena
to test and develop further the conceptual and theoretical innovations of the
infrastructural turn. Yet the BRI remains largely ignored from this
perspective. This panel thus invites papers that will explore how the BRI and
STS can illuminate and develop each other, and the key ques tion of
infrastructural global futures amidst the Anthropocene and/or China's concept
of 'Ecological Civilization'.

David Tyfield (Lancaster University, UK)
Marius Korsnes (NTNU, Norway)
Andrew Chubb (Lancaster University, UK)

The deadline for submissions at the conference website
( or via is February 1st, 2019
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