The spectres, spectacle and speculation of infrastructure - tracing the moralities of movement along energy corridors.
Rebekah Plueckhahn (University of Melbourne)
Ariell Ahearn Ligham (Oxford University)
Aula Magna-Polstjarnan
Friday 17 August, 9:00-10:45, 11:15-13:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This panel focuses on the moralities of movement induced by infrastructure corridors, where people speculate on the movement of energy resources (heating, mining, etc) and related migrations in capital, and people. It examines how speculative spaces shape peoples' actions, perceptions and politics.

Long abstract:

Infrastructural systems, both vast as in China's One Belt, One Road Initiative, or more localised, including city infrastructures, provide different 'material conditions of possibility' (Harvey 2016) that shape peoples perceptions of their environment and their relationships to it. This panel explores these speculative spaces that emerge around infrastructural corridors that assist with the movement of energy resources - heating, minerals, electricity - on a variety of scales. Some of these speculative spaces can include form of calculated financial speculation as well as speculation based on rumour, conjecture and a lack of information or ignorance (Pederson, 2017).

This panel will examine how these speculative spaces shape people's own decision making in relation to past, current or future access to these forms of energy infrastructures. While the focus is largely on the movement of materials, we welcome papers that examine how these speculative imaginaries shape people's own movement, staying or settling. In this, we ask participants to consider the types of ethical projects and moralities that emerge when people speculate upon and make life decisions in relationship to infrastructural flows. We welcome papers that discuss decisions and ethical projects that may contradict or bely material concerns or existing economic conditions but paint a larger picture of the extent and reach of infrastructural concerns in other aspects of life. This can include the moralities of state reach or lack thereof, moralities of wealth accumulation in relation to infrastructure, or ethical decision making in relationship to movement and migration.