Author Archives: Laleh Khalili

Publication: A World Built on Sand and Oil

This is probably one of my favourite publications, in part because I was pushed and pushed by Lapham Quarterly‘s superb editors. The essay compares the trade in oil and sand today to think through maritime transportation, the building of infrastructures, the … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, empire, imperialism & colonialism, environment, infrastructure, Middle East, oil, ports, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Publication: The infrastructural power of the military

Drawing on extensive research in the archives of the US Army Corps of Engineers, this article again draws on my concomitant interest in militaries and infrastructure. “The infrastructural power of the military: The geoeconomic role of the US Army Corps … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, empire, empire, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, labour, logistics, Middle East, militaries, political economy, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Publication: The Roads to Power: The Infrastructure of Counterinsurgency

It has been years since I posted here, but I am going to quickly provide some links to various publications related to the project here. The first is an article that conjugates my research on transport infrastructures with my counterinsurgency … Continue reading

Posted in construction, empire, empire, imperialism & colonialism, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, logistics, militaries, transport, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Domination, Dispossession and Struggle in the Making of Infrastructure and Logistics

Last night (20 February), Deb Cowen (Toronto), Charmaine Chua (Oberlin), Rafeef Ziadah (SOAS) and I had a conversation about the politics of infrastructure and logistics.  Here is the recording for the event:

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, finance and insurance, infrastructure, logistics, Middle East, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Offshore

In one of the most significant environmental decisions the Trump administration has taken, a ban on offshore drilling was lifted on 4 January 2018.  The New York Times reported: While the plan puts the administration squarely on the side of … Continue reading

Posted in environment, infrastructure, oil, political economy | 1 Comment

Religious fable about infrastructure

Source: Siyar al-Muluk by Nizam al-Mulk (died, 1092). Translation by Navīd Zarrinnal: “”They say when Umar was about to leave this world, his son asked him: “When will I see you?” Umar replied: “In the next world.” His son said: “I … Continue reading

Posted in infrastructure, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The use of free ports to stash arts

Interesting older item from New York Times on the use of free ports to stash away artworks (and other contraband): The drab free port zone near the Geneva city center, a compound of blocky gray and vanilla warehouses surrounded by train … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, finance and insurance, free ports/zones, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The poetry of medieval maritime travel

I have been reading Arab navigation manuals and travelogues, and there is such poetry in the navigation manuals in particular. It is the liminality of the navigation texts in particular – between art and science, familiar and wholly other.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, seafaring, the sea, Travels, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Medieval Arab Naviation

“More interesting is the testimony of Ibn al-Mujawir who reports that in 626 A.H./1228-9 A.D. a ship arrived in Aden from Qumr (Comoros or Madagascar); the art of navigation of the people of Qumr impressed him as superior to that … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East, ports, seafaring, the sea, Travels, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Of Ballast and Land Reclamation

That extraordinary image is from some time in the 1970s, and the container-ship steaming so serenely in Hudson River is a Jugolinija ship belonging to the Yugoslav national shipping line.  What is of course poignant about the image is that … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, environment, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, political economy, transport, Uncategorized, war | 1 Comment