Supply Studies Research Network & Manifest Project Stipends

Submission deadline: March 24th, 2023

While of significant social and environmental importance, global supply chains are both complex and opaque. Understanding the impact of these networks is challenging. ​​Manifest is a digital humanities project for producing critical accounts of global logistical operation and communicating the impact of supply chains on society through an open-source web-based platform, research pedagogy, and scholarly community dedicated to the documentation, dissemination, and critical analysis of supply chains, production lines, and trade networks. 

Supported by an NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant, Manifest is seeking researchers (both independent researchers and those affiliated with an institution/organization) to join a critical supply chain studies research network. There are two opportunities for involvement:  

  • Research Network Participants: Anyone who wants to be part of the network’s conversations, but not necessarily work with Manifest directly. These participants would be invited to the network’s virtual launch this summer, and to participate in future events. 
  • Funded Researchers: Researchers proposing the development or adaptation of a research project for publication on Manifest. Those selected will receive a small stipend to make use of Manifest and/or other digital tools to develop projects, with stipends intended to defray development costs and support several virtual meetings between May 2023 and May 2024.

Both opportunities are addressed to anyone studying the global movement of goods, knowledge, or labor. This includes independent scholars, faculty, graduate students, journalists, NGO workers, activists, and practitioners (broadly understood). Their work might address the social and environmental impacts of supply chains, representations of the logistical imagination, or histories and futures of trade, supply, and assembly. 

Potential topics for funded research projects include (but are not limited to):  
  • Maps of historic trade networks, such as the ivory trade or transatlantic slave trade; and historic supply chains, such as for mass-produced goods like sewing machines.
  • Contemporary trade networks, such as for mineral distribution; and contemporary supply chains, such as for mass-produced goods like mobile phones and laptops.
  • Accounts of the movement of artifactual objects (paintings, sculptures, etc.); follow-the-thing narratives of particular products (fair-trade coffees, donated blood, drugs, etc.); or maps of commodity circulation (money, oil, wheat, etc.) within larger logistical networks.
  • Narratives of fictional / imagined logistical networks in film, television, and literature.
  • Ethnographic accounts of the movements of humans within larger logistical networks.
  • Maps of logistical infrastructures, such as warehouses, ports, and factories, especially those which emphasize the global peripheries of logistics space.
  • Digital supply chains, such as those for the assembly and distribution of digital goods such as software or AI systems, or for media products such as music and television.
  • Accounts of logistical software systems, supply chain management infrastructure, or other coordination technologies and tools (from truck stops to GPS).
  • Critical accounts of the technologies of worker surveillance, the securitization of global trade, and automation and artificial intelligence across the supply chain. 
  • Techniques for assessing the impacts of logistical processes. 
  • Movements of non-human actors emphasizing environmental / ecological impact.
  • Maps of alternative, insurgent, and queer logistical structures and systems.

How to Apply:
  • Anyone interested in joining the network should email with their name, email, affiliation, and a short bio by March 24th
  • Researchers submitting a proposal for funded support should also include a short (up to 250 word) abstract of their proposed project, along with relevant links or references.
Scroll to Top