Public Transport in the Americas: Mobility and Transatlantic Scientific Exchanges

Mar 26, 2021

Lecture (virtual) | 12pm ET | Speakers: Andra B. Chastain (Washington State University Vancouver); Dhan Zunino Singh (National University of Quilmes); Moderators: Bianca Freire-Medeiros (Universidade de São Paulo/Brasilien), Mario Peters (GHI Washington)

The German Historical Institute is pleased to announce the next session of the new virtual lecture series “Mobilities and Migration across the Americas.” The lecture series is co-sponsored by the Institute of European Studies; Global, International & Area Studies; the Center for Latin American Studies (all at UC Berkeley); The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS); Mecila: Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America; and the The International Research Training Group (IRTG) "Temporalities of Future."

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Featuring lectures by Andra B. Chastain (Washington State University Vancouver) and Dhan Zunino Singh (National University of Quilmes), this is the third event in a four-part lecture series on “Mobilities and Migration across the Americas,” organized by Albert Manke (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington at the University of California, Berkeley) and Mario Peters (GHI Washington). The series aims at providing a platform for engaging and inspiring interdisciplinary debates by bringing together scholars from Latin America and the Caribbean, Anglo-America, and Europe.

In this session, historian Andra B. Chastain will discuss the history of the metro system in Santiago de Chile where French-Chilean collaboration played an important role. Shaped by local and global Cold War dynamics and the social and cultural history of the city, she argues that the metro was a hybrid system, a result of French prestige and funding as well as decades of Chilean research and promotion. Sociologist and historian Dhan Zunino Singh will address the introduction of underground railway systems for urban public transport in Boston and Buenos Aires in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from a cultural-historical and transnational perspective. Analyzing the circulation and reception of ideas, capital, experts, technologies, and materials, he reconsiders the role of external forces in the making of local mobilities. Both presenters will explore the place of national and international expertise and invite us to understand mobility infrastructure projects as attempts to respond to the challenges of rapid urbanization, congestion, and transportation crises. For further information, please see the series announcement.
 

About the Speakers


Andra B. Chastain is an assistant professor of history at Washington State University Vancouver and holds a PhD in Latin American history from Yale University. She is the co-editor (with Timothy Lorek) of Itineraries of Expertise: Science, Technology, and the Environment in Latin America’s Long Cold War (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), and has published articles in the Journal of Transport History and the Journal of Urban History, among others. She is a board member of the Global Urban History Project. She is writing a book about the history of the metro system in Santiago, Chile, in which French-Chilean collaboration played an important role.

Dhan Zunino Singh is an associate researcher at the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas), and a researcher and lecturer at the Center for Intellectual History at the National University of Quilmes, Argentina. He holds a PhD in History from the University of London. He is the co-editor of the book Keywords on Mobility Studies in Latin America (Biblos, 2018) and an associated editor of the Journal for Transport History. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on the history of cities, mobilities and culture.

Bianca Freire-Medeiros is Professor of Sociology at the University of São Paulo (USP) and a researcher at the Center for Metropolitan Studies (CEM/USP), where she coordinates the research group MTTM: Mobilities Theories Themes & Methods. Her research focuses on photographic and cinematic images of urban spaces and cultural otherness. In 2018, she co-edited Urban Latin America: Images, Words, Flows and the Built Environment (with J. O’Donnell; Routledge). She was a visiting researcher at the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University and the Center for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University. She was a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin (Tinker Professorship), Colégio de México (Florestan Fernandes Chair) and the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development in Geneva.

Mario Peters is a research fellow in American and Transatlantic History at the GHI Washington. He completed his PhD in history at Leibniz University Hanover in 2016where he also worked as assistant professor and taught Latin American and Caribbean history at the Centre for Atlantic and Global Studies. Before he joined the GHI in October 2020, Mario Peters was a Feodor Lynen postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and visiting scholar at the Social History program at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is the author of Apartments for Workers. Social Housing, Segregation, and Stigmatization in Urban Brazil (Baden-Baden: Nomos 2018). His current research interests are spread across the intersection of mobility studies, environmental history, and the study of Inter-American relations. In his new project, he examines the development of Pan-American transportation infrastructures between 1870 and 1970, focusing on the cooperation and exchange of knowledge between North American and Latin American experts who contributed to the planning and construction of these infrastructures.

About the Lecture Series


Lectures every last Friday of each month: January 29, 2021 | February 26, 2021 | March 26, 2021 | April 30, 2021 (9am PT / 12pm ET / 6m CET). The lecture series is co-sponsored by the Institute of European Studies; Global, International & Area Studies; the Center for Latin American Studies (all at UC Berkeley); The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS); Mecila: Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America; and the The International Research Training Group (IRTG) "Temporalities of Future."

Over the past decade, the history of mobility in the Americas has sparked growing interest among historians and scholars from neighboring disciplines. While recent developments in international research continue to inform this trend, researchers across the region have been combining local, transregional, and transnational approaches on patterns and actors of mobility in creative ways. Setting the focus on inter-American entanglements and disentanglements, connections and ruptures, this virtual GHI lecture series addresses two major strands: the history of mobility in the sphere of transportation, planning, and infrastructure on the one hand, and the history of human mobility including migration regimes and transnational governance on the other.

In this sense, we will tap into such varied issues as urban public transport, the creation of traffic and diasporic networks and the production, circulation, and conveyance of knowledge. Secondly, we are interested in the social impacts of new infrastructure and means of transportation as well as policies regulating migration, and the significance of mobility for hemispheric relations in the Americas. Thirdly, we deem the perspective of migrants themselves, but also of technical experts and policymakers and the knowledge they convey of key importance toward a deeper understanding of the personal impact large-scale policies and planning might have on people’s livelihoods. Bringing together scholars from Latin America and the Caribbean, Anglo-America, and Europe, this lecture series shall provide a platform for engaging and inspiring interdisciplinary debates.

Organizers: Albert Manke (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington at the University of Califonia, Berkeley) and Mario Peters (GHI Washington)



Migration and Racism in the Americas: The Case of Migrants in the United States

January 29, 2021
Speaker: Ramón Grosfoguel (University of California, Berkeley); Comment: Julia Roth (Bielefeld University)


Mexico and the United States: Frontierization and Migration Policies February 26, 2021
Speakers: Kateřina Březinová (Metropolitan University Prague) and Luicy Pedroza (El Colegio de México)


Public Transport in the Americas: Mobility and Transatlantic Scientific Exchanges March 26, 2021
Speakers: Andra B. Chastain (Washington State University Vancouver); Dhan Zunino Singh (National University of Quilmes)


Flying Down to Rio: Aviation, National Identities, and Hemispheric Relations in the AmericasApril 30, 2021
Speakers: Melina Piglia (National University of Mar del Plata); Leonie Schuster (Kiel University); Peter Soland (Southeast Missouri State University)