Workshop: “Roads as Routes to Modernity”

mediterranean mobilities

Berlin, ZMO, 5 October 2012

Retrieving the significance of roads from within the ‘family’ of modes of transport and infrastructures of mobility is one of the concerns of our workshop. The other significant aim is to produce independent histories of roads that integrate with and explain the social and political processes of state-formation and empire building. Control over communication was and remains an integral part of governance in both colonial and post-colonial periods. In the Ottoman empire, railways were projected and constructed on a larger scale only in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Before, road building was an important project of modernisation. In the background of this understanding, we seek to ask:
1. When and how did roads become important part of processes of control and consolidation of power, either by state or regional powerful elites?
2. What discourses (‘opening up the interiors’, ‘moral and material advancement’, ‘civilizing…

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