Peripheral Flows: A Historical Perspective on Mobilities between Cores and Fringes
The main purpose of the eleven contributions to this volume is to reconsider and re-assess the role of cores and peripheries in shaping modern socio-technical systems. From this perspective they explore a terrain of highly complex systems mainly operating on the so-called Western model: Railways, telegraphs, motor vehicles and airports were, in fact, all born in classic cores areas in the West and then spread out into the peripheries. The approach in itself is not new, but this volume has managed to bring out interestingly innovative elements and viewpoints. The contributors are not content with the traditional definitions of peripheries and flows, but tend to put them to the test, revise them and eventually offer critiques. The result is a tempering of the monolithic and traditional concept of a one-way transfer. No longer, therefore, a simple and linear act of adoption, but a recourse to adaptation – changes in meaning, use and perception. The volume is a starting point for future explorations on the subject of science and technology studies and takes part in a wider discussion of globalisation, global and transnational history.
Simone Fari is Assistant Professor of Economic History at the University of Granada. He began research on telecommunications history while studying for a PhD at the University of Bari, before going on to investigate financial history during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Turin. He also worked as postdoc assistant at the University of Lugano, and held an “Earth Connected” Research Fellow at London Science Museum. He has just published The Formative Years of the Telegraph Union with Cambridge Scholar Publishing (2015) and Victorian Telegraphs before Nationalisation with Palgrave (2015).
Massimo Moraglio is currently senior researcher at the Technische Universität of Berlin, having obtained his PhD at the Polytechnic University, Turin. His main research focus covers mobility and its wide effects in political, social and cultural fields, in particular infrastructure and transport technologies in contemporary environments. He has recently co-edited The Organization of Transport, A History of Users, Industry, and Public Policy with Routledge (2015), and is deputy editor of The Journal of Transport History.
"The main contribution of this book is not so much in providing answers, but in offering interesting thoughts for further examination. For example, Gabrielle Balbi and Massimo Moraglio show how communications and transport are very closely interconnected and suggest that scholars should consider them a common field of investigation. [...] the book does good work in showing that the fringes were not passive recipients of technology, but shaped it to their own needs."
Jan Kunnas ICON Journal (2018)
"The strength of the volume is the unconventional perspective on peripheral countries and a new approach towards studying flows of mobilities between the cores and the fringes. [...] All in all, the volume’s underlying idea convinces the reviewer. He enjoyed reading a book that sheds light on an understudied topic of mobility history and transnational mobility flows. Hopefully, the volume will encourage further studies on the relation of cores and fringes in the history of mobility."
Christian Henrich-Franke, University of Siegen, Germany Journal of Transport History 38/1 (2017)
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