Cargomobilities: They’re not just for containers anymore

After a month or two hiatus, here’s my latest ramble on the RHULGeopolitics blog

rhulgeopolitics

Yesterday’s New York Times had a fascinating article on The Race to Build a Better Business Class that sheds light on how the mobilities that give modernity its rhythm are limited by and refracted through the material limits of the human body, and how these mobilities are then mediated by national business cultures, the patterns of specific travel routes, and even regional body types.

As the article explains, airlines seek to balance the need to create ever-more elaborate Business Class and First Class seats that earn a premium ticket price with the fact that these seats’ increased weight  and footprint limit the number of tickets that can be sold. Each airline, in effect, is forced to treat the a passenger as an abstract source of value — a commodity — with some very specific (but relatively minimal) reproduction needs (i.e. each must occupy a certain bit of volume and be…

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