Infrastructure – Suggested Readings

Suggested Readings

Theorizing “Infrastructure”: General Readings on Infrastructure

Amin, A. (2014). Lively infrastructure. Theory, Culture & Society, 31(7-8), 137-161.

Anand, N. (2012). Infrastructure: Commentary from Nikhil Anand, Johnathan Bach, Julia Elyachar, and Daniel Mains. Curated Collections, Cultural Anthropology Online November, 26.

Appel, H., Mason, A. & Watts, M. (Eds). (2015). Subterranean Estates: Life Worlds of Oil and Gas, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Bowker, G. C., Baker, K., Millerand, F. & Ribes, D. (2010). “Toward Information Infrastructure Studies: Ways of Knowing in a Networked Environment.” In International Handbook of Internet Research, edited by Jeremy Hunsinger, Lisbeth Klastrup, and Matthew M. Allen, 97–117. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Chu, J. Y. (2014). When Infrastructures Attack: The Workings of Disrepair in China: When Infrastructures Attack. American Ethnologist 41(2): 351–367.

Edwards, P. N. (2003). Infrastructure and modernity: Force, time, and social organization in the history of sociotechnical systems. Modernity and Technology, 1.

Elyachar, Julia. (2010). Phatic labor, infrastructure, and the question of empowerment in Cairo. American Ethnologist 37.3: 452-464.

Furlong, K. (2011). Small technologies, big change: Rethinking infrastructure through STS and geography. Progress in Human Geography, 35(4), 460-482.

Furlong, K. (2014). STS beyond the “modern infrastructure ideal”: Extending theory by engaging with infrastructure challenges in the South. Technology in Society, 38, 139-147.

Graham, S. (Ed.). (2010). Disrupted cities: When infrastructure fails. Routledge.

Harvey, P. (2015). Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Harvey, P., Jensen, C. B., & Morita, A. (Eds.). (2016). Introduction: Infrastructural Complications in “Infrastructures and Social Complexity: A Companion”. Routledge., Introduction.

Howe, C., J. Lockrem, H. Appel, et al. (2016). Paradoxical Infrastructures: Ruins, Retrofit, and Risk. Science, Technology & Human Values 41(3): 547–565.

Larkin, Brian. (2013). The Politics and Poetics of Infrastructure. Annual Review of Anthropology 42(1): 327–343.

Lockrem, J., & Lugo, A. (2012). Infrastructure: Commentary from Nikhil Anand, Johnathan Bach, Julia Elyachar, and Daniel Mains. Curated Collections, Cultural Anthropology Online November, 26.

McFarlane, C. & Rutherford, J. (2008). Political Infrastructures: Governing and Experiencing the Fabric of the City: Political Infrastructures. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32(2): 363–374.

Ribes, D, & Finholt, T. A. (2009). The Long Now of Technology Infrastructure: Articulating Tensions in Development. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 10 (5): 375–98.

Rodgers, D., & O’neill, B. (2012). Infrastructural violence: Introduction to the special issue. Ethnography, 13(4), 401-412.

Simone, A. (2004). People as infrastructure: intersecting fragments in Johannesburg. Public Culture 16(3): 407-429.

Star, S. L. (1999). The ethnography of infrastructureAmerican Behavioral Scientist 43(3): 377–391.

Star, S. L., & Ruhleder, K. (1996). Steps toward an ecology of infrastructure: Design and access for large information spaces. Information systems research, 7(1), 111-134.

Winner, Langdon. 1980. “Do Artifacts Have Politics?” Daedalus 109 (1): 121–36.


Barry, A. (2013). Material Politics: Disputes along the Pipeline. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Bennett, J. (2004). The Force of Things. Political Theory, 32(3): 347-372.

Jensen, C. B. (2015). Experimenting with political materials: environmental infrastructures and ontological transformations. Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 16(1), 17-30.

Miller, D. (2005). Materiality: an Introduction In Materiality, ed. Daniel Miller, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 1-50.

Pinney, C. (2005). Things Happen: Or, From Which Moment Does That Object Come?  In Materiality, ed. Daniel Miller, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 256-272.

Winner, L. (1980). Do Artifacts have Politics?. Daedalus, 109(1): 121-136.

Water Infrastructures 

Anand, N. (2011). Pressure: The politechnics of water supply in Mumbai. Cultural Anthropology, 26(4), 542-564.

Anand, N. (2012). Municipal disconnect: on abject water and its urban infrastructures. Ethnography, 13(4), 487-509.

Anand, N. (2015). Leaky states: Water audits, ignorance, and the politics of infrastructure. Public Culture, 27(2 76), 305-330.

Barnes, J. (2016). States of maintenance: Power, politics, and Egypt’s irrigation infrastructure. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

Carse, A. 2012. “Nature as Infrastructure: Making and Managing the Panama Watershed.” Social Studies of Science, 42(4): 539-563.

Harris, L. (2006). Irrigation, gender, and the social geographies of the changing waterscape in Southeastern Anatolia. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24: 187–213

Harris, L. (2012). State as socionatural effect: Variable and emergent geographies of the state in southeastern Turkey. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 32(1), 25-39

Kaika M (2006) Dams as symbols of modernization: The urbanization of nature between geographical imagination and materiality. Annals of the Association of Amercian Geographers 96: 276–301.

Kooy, M., & Bakker, K. (2008). Technologies of government: Constituting subjectivities, spaces, and infrastructures in colonial and contemporary Jakarta. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32(2), 375-391.

McFarlane, C. (2008). Governing the contaminated city: Infrastructure and sanitation in colonial and post‐colonial Bombay. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32(2), 415-435.

McFarlane, C. (2008). Governing the contaminated city: Infrastructure and sanitation in colonial and post‐colonial Bombay. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32(2), 415-435.

Molle, F., Mollinga, P.P., & Wester, P. (2009). Hydraulic bureaucracies and the hydraulic mission: flows of water, flows of power. Water Alternatives 2 (3), 328–349.

Rodina, L., & Harris, L. (2016). Water services, lived citizenship, and notions of the state in marginalised urban spaces: The case of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa. Water Alternatives, 9(2).

Schnitzler, A. (2008). Citizenship prepaid: Water, calculability, and technopolitics in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies 34(4): 899–917.

Schnitzler, A. (2013). Traveling technologies: Infrastructure, Ethical Regimes, and the Materiality of Politics in South Africa. Cultural Anthropology 28(4): 670–693.

Schnitzler, A. (2016). Democracy’s Infrastructure: Techno-Politics and Protest after Apartheid. Princeton University Press.

Swyngedouw, E. (2004). Social Power and the Urbanization of Water: Flows of Power. Oxford Geographical and Environmental Studies. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.

Energy Infrastructures

Boyer, D. (2011). Energopolitics and the Anthropology of Energy. Anthropology News, 52(5), 5-7.

Boyer, D. (2014). Energopower: an introduction. Anthropological Quarterly, 87(2), 309-333.

Edwards, P. N. (2010). A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hess, D. J. (2014). Political ideology and the green-energy transition in the United States. Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society, 277.

Hughes, T. (1983). Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Mains D. (2012). Blackouts and progress: privatization, infrastructure, and a developmentalist state in Jimma, Ethiopia. Cultural Anthropology. 27(1):3–27

Mitchell, T. (2011). Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil.  New York: Verso Press.

Schick, L., & Winthereik, B. R. (2016). Making Energy Infrastructure: Tactical Oscillations and Cosmopolitics. Science as Culture, 25(1), 44-68.

Politics of Infrastructure

Collier, S. J., Mizes, J. C., & von Schnitzler, A. (2016). Preface: Public infrastructure / infrastructural publics. Limn, 7, 2-7.

Hetherington, K. & Campbell, J. M. (2014). Nature, Infrastructure, and the State: Rethinking Development in Latin America: Nature, Infrastructure, and the State. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 19(2): 191–194.

Harvey, Penny. 2015. Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise. Expertise: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Lakoff, A., Collier, S.J., 2010. Infrastructure and event: the political technology of preparedness. In: Braun, B., Whatmore, S.J. (Eds.), Political Matter: Technoscience, Democracy, and

Tawil-Souri, H. (2015).Cellular Borders: Dis/Connecting Phone Calls in Israel-Palestine. Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures.

Infrastructural Imaginations

Bach, J. (2010). “They come in peasants and leave citizens”: urban villages and the making of Shenzhen, China. Cultural Anthropology, 25(3), 421-458.

Harvey, Penny, and Hannah Knox. (2012). The Enchantments of Infrastructure. Mobilities 7(4): 521–536.

Humphrey C. 2005. Ideology in infrastructure: architecture and Soviet imagination. J. R. Anthropol. Inst. 11(1):39–58.

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