The logistics revolution has demanded the extraction of value at any cost. The government it assembled has left the world fragmented and fragile—an endless ocean of cargo containers stretching from factory to fulfillment center. How many have been exploited, displaced, and enslaved—with not just countries, but entire cultures bought, sold, and thrown away? Supply chains stand amid the greatest period of environmental degradation in the history of the world, with landscapes torn asunder, skies and seas polluted. What does justice mean in an age of supply chain capitalism? What reconciliation can we hope for, and when will it arrive?
DELIVERY EXCEPTION: SUPPLY CHAIN JUSTICE & RECONCILIATION is a speaker series bringing together scholars and organizers to discuss logistical justice and examine the possibilities of reconciliation in an era of supply chain capitalism.
Spring 2024 Schedule
Friday, January 26th at 6PM ET
TAMARA KNEESE (Data & Society) - “AI Supply Chains: Infrastructures, Workflows, Power”
Tamara Kneese is Project Director of Data & Society’s Algorithmic Impact Methods Lab. Before joining D&S, she was Lead Researcher at Green Software Foundation, Director of Developer Engagement on the Green Software team at Intel, and Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Director of Gender and Sexualities Studies at the University of San Francisco. Tamara holds a PhD in Media, Culture and Communication from NYU and is the author of Death Glitch: How Techno-Solutionism Fails Us in This Life and Beyond (Yale University Press, 2023).
Thursday, February 8th at 12PM ET
JESS BIER (Erasmus University Rotterdam) - “Scheduling Ship Pilots: Labor and Logistical Algorithms under Racial Capitalism”
JESSICA STEINMAN (Erasmus University Rotterdam) - “Out of Sync: Pay, Work, and Temporal Inequalities among Vietnamese Seafarers”
Jess Bier is an associate professor of urban sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Jess’s research analyzes the unjust social and political geographies of digital infrastructures. Her first book, Mapping Israel, Mapping Palestine: How Occupied Landscapes Shape Scientific Knowledge was published in 2017 by MIT Press. Jess is currently the PI of the ERC-funded project DIGIPORTS, a study of how the digitalization of ports is reshaping the racialization of logistical workers and vice versa.
Jessica Steinman is a postdoctoral researcher at Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. She earned her D.Phil in Social Anthropology from Leipzig University, where she taught courses on migration and diaspora studies. She has conducted extensive fieldwork on Vietnamese migrants and their experiences negotiating identity, belonging, and mobility in translocal communities in several countries, including Germany, Taiwan, the United States, and Russia. Her current research focuses on labor, mobility, and power inequalities in container shipping and logistics in The Netherlands, Vietnam, and Singapore. Her research analyses the effect of digital transformations on the (im)mobility of labor and the mobility of goods through the temporal experiences of logistics workers and seafarers. The question of how people’s (im)mobility intersects with the unequal valuation of labor through the movement of goods has been central to this work. Her work draws on a range of theoretical frameworks, including postcolonial theory, feminist theory, and critical race theory, to explore how labor, mobility, and power intersect in the context of racial capitalism.
Wednesday, February 21st at 12PM ET
ARMIN BEVERUNGEN, ULF TREGER, & MAJA-LEE VOIGT (Leuphana University Lüneburg) - “Justice at the End of the Supply Chain: Interrogating Amazon’s Logistical Urbanism from the Cloud to the Curb”
Armin Beverungen is junior professor for organization in digital cultures at Leuphana University Lüneburg, where he is also a member of the Centre for Digital Cultures. He is an associate editor of Organization. His research currently focuses on two projects: on how Amazon reshapes our cities (https://logistical.city/, with Maja-Lee Voigt and Ilia Antenucci), with a particular focus on automation, logistics and speculation in the city; and on the promises of wealth associated with smart urbanism (with Orit Halpern, Marc Steinberg, Liza Cirolia and Anindita Nag).
Ulf Treger (he/him) is fellow with the Center for Digital Cultures and associated with the project “Automating the Logistical City”. He has studied Visual Communication at HFBK Hamburg. As a designer, coder, and researcher he works on projects on the interdependence of digital and physical spheres and researches their impacts on social practices and public space. One focus are maps as visual representations of space and also as instruments of creating spaces.
Maja-Lee Voigt (she/her) is an urban researcher, Ph.D. student at the Leuphana University Lüneburg, and co-founder of the interdisciplinary city research collective Akteurinnen für urbanen Ungehorsam in Hamburg, Germany. Assisted by a methodological toolbox of ethnographic and critical feminist thinking, she is currently researching Amazon’s monopoly on bits, bytes, and boxes. Overall, Maja-Lee’s work focuses on the automation of logistical cities, tackling questions about (resisting) algorithmic architectures of oppression, and hacking patriarchy towards more just urban futures.
Wednesday, March 6th at 7PM ET
CHRISTINA DUNBAR-HESTER (University of Southern California) & ATHENA TAN (Plug in IE)
Monday, March 18th at 6PM ET
MIRIAM POSNER (University of California, Los Angeles)
Wednesday, March 27th at 6PM ET
BENJAMIN MCKEAN (Ohio State University), JESSICA CHAMPAGNE (Worker Rights Consortium ), & ANGELES SOLIS (Make the Road Action)
For full registration details see: tickettailor.com/events/supplystudies.
These events, which are free and open to the public, are organized as part of the Supply Studies Research Network, a group of scholars, students, activists, and organizers who have identified their active interest in the critical study of logistics. The research network is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities. Funding and support for Delivery Exception is provided by the The Conference of Arts and Science Deans and the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University.
While as a virtual event the geographies enrolled here are many, Delivery Exception would like to acknowledge that Fordham itself occupies the ancestral lands of the Lenni Lenape and Wappinger peoples.