Research Network

The Supply Studies Research Network is an informal gathering of researchers committed to the critical study of logistics and supply chains.

Research Network

Supported by funding from the Office of Digital Humanities at the NEH, this network is intended for 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. It programs events, hosts a mailing list, provides a researcher directory, and maintains a collection of shared resources.

Network Resources:

Areas of research include (but are not limited to):

  • 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 for studying products (fair-trade coffees, donated blood, drugs, etc.); or research into commodity circulation (money, oil, wheat, etc.) within larger logistical networks.
  • The production of narratives of fictional / imagined logistical networks in film, television, and literature.
  • Ethnographic inquries into the movements of humans within larger logistical networks.
  • Logistical infrastructures, such as warehouses, ports, and factories, especially emphasizing 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.
  • Alternative, insurgent, and queer logistical structures and systems.

How to Join:

Anyone interested in joining the network (and getting access to the mailing list and researcher directory) should email manifest [at] with their name, email, affiliation, and a short bio.