This topic revisits ‘border studies’, a concept and method understood as transversal practices of ‘heterolingual address’ (Sakai). In transposing this concept-method across select sites of urban change in Ningbo, this module aims to bring collaborative research techniques in relation to modes of analysis. How might Ningbo be understood in terms of what Sassen terms (2007) calls a ‘geography of strategic places at the global scale’? And is there a relation between these ‘new transnational geographies and new transnational politics’? Who are the subjects of such a politics – rural and international migrant workers, for instance?; an expanding middle-class?; young people; spatially dislocated older populations? What sort of documentary media practices can we enlist to assist our analysis of urban transformations?

Set Readings
Mezzadra, Sandro and Neilson, Brett (2008) ‘Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor’, transversal.

Sassen, Saskia (2007) ‘The Global City: Recovering Place and Social Practices’, in A Sociology of Globalization, New York: Norton & Co., pp. 97-128.

Solomon, Jon (2007) ‘Translation, Violence and Heterolingual Intimacy’, translate.

Zehle, Soenke (2008) ‘Border Games: Migrant Media Changes Terrain’, in Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn and Roland Marti (eds) Jouer selon les règles du jeu = Playing by the rules of the game = Spielen nach den Spielregeln, Münster: LIT, pp. 287-296.

Further Readings
Holmes, Brian (2008) ‘One World, One Dream: China at the Risk of New Subjectivities’, Continental Drift.

Liu, Serena (2007) ‘Social Citizenship in China: Continuity and Change’, Citizenship Studies 11.5: 465–479.

Ong, Aihwa (2006) Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Sovereignty and Citizenship, Durham: Duke University Press.

Sakai, Naoki (2006) ‘Translation’, Theory, Culture & Society 23.2/3: 71-86.

Sassen, Saskia (2001) The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Second Edition, Princeton University Press.

Sassen, Saskia (2007) ‘Toward a Multiplication of Specialized Assemblages of Territory, Authority and Rights’, Parallax 13.1: 87-94.

Van Heur, Bas (2008) Networks of Aesthetic Production and the Urban Political Economy, PhD Dissertation, Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin.

Zhang, Li (2001) Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks within China’s Floating Population, Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press.

Zukin, Sharon (1989) Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change, Rutgers University Press.

Brad Setser: Follow the Money,
China Financial Markets,
China Media Blog: Aggregated China Media News & Blogs,
China Law Blog,
The China Beat,
Danwei: Chinese Media, Advertising and Urban Life,
+8*: Mobile and Internet Innovation and Arbitrage,

How can imaginary geographies be constituted or invented through collaborative research practices that draw on a range of media forms expression? How does a sound recording coordinate our perceptions of places, space and time? How might a collaboratively written text invoke the practice of ‘heterolingual address’? How do we formulate different codings to register the range of discourses, actors, practices that constitute the sites of urban change in Ningbo? Can the media dynamics of a video documentary combined with peer-to-peer distribution and production systems engender novel understandings of the qualities of space and time, labour and life? This topic – and indeed this module overall – is interested in exploring experimental mapping practices as a way of generating new modes of analysis.

Set Readings
Lovink, Geert and Christoph, Spehr (2007) ‘Out-Cooperating the Empire?’, in Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter (eds) MyCreativity Reader: Critique of Creative Industries, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, pp. 83-98.

Melitopoulos, Angela (2007) ‘Timescapes: The Logic of the Sentence’, translate.

Schneider, Florian (2006) ‘Collaboration: Some Thoughts Concerning New Ways of Learning and Working Together’, Roundtable: Research Architecture.

Further Readings
Andrijasevic, Rutvica (2008) ‘Gendered Migration and Differentiated Inclusion’, Re-public.

Frelih, Luka (2008) ‘Frida V. in Beijing and OpenStreetMap’s First Leaps in Beijing’, Urban China 33: 38-41.

Holmes, Brian (2008) ‘Some Reflections on Global Mapping’, Continental Drift.

Flusser, Vilém (2003) The Freedom of the Migrant: Objections to Nationalism, trans. Kenneth Kronenberg, Urbana and Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Munster, Anna (2008) ‘Welcome to Google Earth’, in Arthur and Marie-Louise Kroker (eds) Critical Digital Studies Reader, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Angela Melitopoulos, Timescapes / B-Zone (short video of exhibition)
Bureau d’études,
Institute for Distributed Creativity,
Google Earth,
Google Maps,
Masters of New Media,
Network Cultures Winter Camp09,
Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology,

There is an intimate relationship between creative industries developments and real-estate speculation. This topic frames that relation in terms of what Sassen (2007) calls a ‘politics of the disadvantaged’. Who are the winners, and who are the losers in creative industries developments that fuel real-estate booms? How can we map the geography of social-urban transformation in Ningbo as it relates to the development of creative industries clusters? Can high-end property developments be found adjacent to such clusters? Have factories – and their workers – relocated? And what about the investment of finance capital? Where’s the money come from? Can we overlay the flows (and flights) of finance capital onto the change of urban space?

Set Readings
Blackwell, Adrian (2008) ‘Inverting the Cultural Map: Peripheral Geographies of Beijing’s Creative Production’, Urban China 33: 48-51.

Zhang, Li (2008) ‘Private Homes, Distinct Lifestyles: Performing a New Middle Class’, in Li Zhang and Aihwa Ong (eds) Privatizing China: Socialism from Afar, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 23-40. [References]

Oudenampsen, Merijn (2007) ‘Back to the Future of the Creative City: An Archaeological Approach to Amsterdam’s Creative Redevelopment’, in Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter (eds) MyCreativity Reader: Critique of Creative Industries, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, pp. 165-176.

Keane, Michael (2008) ‘Creative Clusters: Out of Nowhere?’, Urban China 33: 34-35.

Neilson, Brett and Rossiter, Ned (2008) ‘Precarity as a Political Concept, or, Fordism as Exception’, Theory, Culture & Society 25.7/8: 51-72.

Carriço, Mónica; de Muynck, Bert; Rossiter, Ned (eds) (2008) Urban China 33 [Special Issue: ‘Creative China: Counter-Mapping Creative Industries’].

Further Readings
Adorno, Theodor (1975) ‘Culture Industry Reconsidered’, New German Critique 6 (Autumn): 12-19.

Blackburn, Robin (2008) ‘The Subprime Crisis’, New Left Review 50 (March/April): 63-106.

Debord, Guy (1994) The Society of the Spectacle (1967), trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, New York: Zone Books.

Gill, Rosalind and Pratt, Andy (2008) ‘In the Social Factory? Immaterial Labour, Precariousness and Cultural Work’, Theory, Culture & Society 25.7/8: 1-30.

Keane, Michael (2007) Created in China: The Great New Leap Forward, London: Routledge.

Keane, Michael (2009) ‘Why China Wants Creativity‘, Creative Economy Online.

Neilson, Brett (2008) ‘Labour, Migration, Creative Industries, Risk’, Urban China 33: 42-43.

Pasquinelli, Matteo (2008) ‘Beyond the Ruins of the Creative City: Berlin’s Factory of Culture and the Sabotage of Rent’.

Ross, Andrew (2008) ‘The New Geography of Work: Power to the Precarious?’, Theory, Culture & Society 25.7/8: 31-49.

Rossiter, Ned and Meng Yue (2008) ‘Migrant Workers, Collaborative Research and Spatial Pressures: An Interview with Meng Yue’, Urban China 33: 44-47.

Van Heur, Bas (forthcoming 2009) ‘The Clustering of Creative Networks: Between Myth and Reality’, Urban Studies 46.9.

Zukin, Sharon (1989) Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change, Rutgers University.

China Cultural Creative Industries,
China Media Observatory,
International Creative Industries Alliance Beijing,
MyCreativity: Convention of International Creative Industries Researchers, Amsterdam, 16-18 November, 2006,
Counter-Mapping of Creative Industries in Beijing, May-July, 2007,
DCMS – Creative Industries
Precarity Webring,

Electronic waste is an enormously toxic by-product of the Creative Industries, and one that is rarely considered in policy-making or academic research. The health risks for workers exposed to e-waste recycling are considerable and long-term (Maxwell and Miller, 2008a). The current global financial crisis has extended to the economy of the waste industries, with reports of many workers and smaller businesses facing substantial declines in trade and employment. How can we trace the transnational flows of waste products and how are these industries organized locally in Ningbo? What are the working conditions for those on the frontline of waste recycling, where have the workers come from and what are the instances of deteriorating health? Is there a relationship between the routes and locations of the waste industries and new urban developments – are they proximate to or at a distance from each other?

Set Readings
Maxwell, Richard and Miller, Toby (2008a) ‘Creative Industries or Wasteful Ones?’, Urban China 33: 28-29.

Maxwell, Richard and Miller, Toby (2008b) ‘Ecological Ethics and Media Technology’, International Journal of Communication 2: 331-353.

Zehle, Soenke (2008) ‘Network Ecologies: Documenting Depletion, Exhausting Exposure’, Urban China 33: 30-31.

Rossiter, Ned (2009) ‘Translating the Indifference of Communication: Electronic Waste, Migrant Labour and the Informational Sovereignty of Logistics in China’, International Review of Information Ethics 11.

Feilhauer, Matthias and Zehle, Soenke (eds) (2009) ‘Special Issue: Ethics of Waste in the Information Society’, International Review of Information Ethics 11.

Further Readings
Davis, Mike (2008) ‘Who Will Build the Ark? The Utopian Imperative in an Age of Catastrophe’, Brecht Forum.

Greenpeace (2008) Chemical Contamination at E-waste Recycling and Disposal Sites in Accra and Korforidua, Ghana.

Grossmann, Elizabeth (2008) High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health, Washington: Island Press.

Levin, Dan (2009) ‘China’s Big Recycling Market Is Sagging’, The New York Times, 11 March.

Martinez-Alier, Joan (2000) ‘Environmental Justice, Sustainability and Valuation’, Harvard Seminar on Sustainability.

Pellow, David Naguib (2003) The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Global Economy, New York: New York University Press.

Chan, Jenny and Ho, Charles (2008) The Dark Side of Cyberspace: Inside the Sweatshops of China’s Computer Hardware Production, Berlin: World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED).

Smith, Ted, et al. (eds) (2006) Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Schauer, Thomas, Markus Neuvonen, Matti Penttilae (eds) (2006) Information Technology, Competitiveness and the Environment, Brussels: Finnish Association for the Club of Rome.

Schauer, Thomas (200?) The Sustainable Information Society: Vision and Risks.

UNEP-Vital-Graphics (2004) Vital Waste Graphics. E-Waste: The Great E-waste Recycling Debate, October.

Varnelis, Kazys (ed.) (2009) The Infrastructural City: Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles, Actar.

Waldmeir, Patti (2010) ‘China’s Irregular Recyclers Face Scrapheap’, Financial Times, 15 March.

Wu Jiayin (2009) ‘The Junk Man Cometh: But He Won’t Recycle’, Shanghai Daily, 16 February.

Basel Action Network,
The Curse of Copper: Ascendent Copper in Ecuador,
Engage Media,
Good Electronics Network,
Greenpeace, Following the E-Waste Trail (documentary)
Make IT Fair,
Naomi Klein, ‘Ecological Debt’ (video)
PC Global,
Procure IT Fair,
Taiwan Environmental Action Network,
Toxics Link,
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition,
World Council for Renewable Energy,

How to pose the question of national sovereignty in China as it manifests within the political economy and techno-system of maritime logistics? With militaristic origins, logistics emerged as a business concept in the 1950s concerned with the management of global supply chains. Today, the complex task of logistics is aided by specially engineered computer software and information technology (IT) tracking devices that facilitate the organization of labour, storage and goods. Ningbo port is the second largest in China and a close competitor of its neighbouring port in Shanghai. The ship is a deterritorialized extension of the nation-state. The management of labour and control of borders associated with the maritime vessel serves as a microcosm for the problem of governance for the territorial state. When situated in the era of the Cold War and Fordism, modern logistics is strangely out of time. As a managerial science of flexiblization and transnational flows, post-World War Two logistics arguably anticipated post-Fordist regimes of the past 10-30 years. What, therefore, might the circuits of control in contemporary maritime logistics have to say about the future-present of sovereign states and the biopolitical management of populations?

Set Reading
Hamashita, Takeshi (2003) ‘Tribute and Treaties: Maritime Asia and Treaty Port Networks in the Era of Negotiation, 1800-1900’, in Giovanni Arrighi, Takeshi Hamashita and Mark Selden (eds) The Resurgence of East Asia: 500, 150 and 50 Year Perspectives, London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon, pp. 17-50.

Frontline (2004) ‘Is Walmart Good for America? Interview with Edna Bonacich’, 9 June.

Morley, David (2009) ‘For a Materialist, Non-Media-centric Media Studies’, Television & New Media 10.1: 114-116.

Solomon, Jon (2008) ‘Rethinking the Meaning of Regions: Translation and Catastrophe’, translate.

Rossiter, Ned (2009) ‘The Logistics of Labour, Life and Things: Maritime Industries in China as a Biopolitical Index of Sovereign Futures’, Biopolitics, Ethics, and Subjectivation: Questions on Modernity, International Conference at Chiao Tung University, Hsin Chu, Taiwan, 24-28 June.

Neilson, Brett and Rossiter, Ned (forthcoming 2010) ‘Still Waiting, Still Moving: On Migration, Logistics and Maritime Industries‘, in David Bissell and Gillian Fuller (eds) Stillness in a Mobile World, London and New York: Routledge.

Further Readings
Angus, Ian and Shoesmith, Brian (eds) (1993) ‘Special Issue: Dependency/Space/Policy: A Dialogue with Harold A. Innis’, Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture 7.1.

Bonacich, Edna and Wilson, Jake B. (2007) Getting the Goods: Ports, Labor, and the Logistics Revolution, Cornell University Press.

Branch, Alan (2007) Elements of Shipping, 8th edition, London and New York: Routledge.

Carey, James W. (1992) ‘Space, Time, and Communications: A Tribute to Harold Innis’, in Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society, New York: Routledge, pp. 142-172.

Cooper, Melinda; Goffey, Andrew and Munster, Anna (eds) (2007) ‘Special Issue: Biopolitics’, Culture Machine 7.

Cudahy, Brian (2008) Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed the World, Fordham University Press.

Erie, Steven (2004) Globalizing L.A.: Trade, Infrastructure, and Regional Development, Stanford University Press.

Foucault, Michel (2008) The Birth of Biopolitics. Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-1979, edited by Michel Senellart, trans. by Graham Burchell, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hills, Jill (2002) The Struggle for Control of Global Communication: The Formative Century, University of Illinois Press.

Innis, Harold A. (1940) The Cod Fisheries: The History of an International Economy, Toronto: The Ryerson Press.

Innis, Harold A. (1986) Empire and Communications, Victoria and Toronto: Press Porcépic.

Innis, Harold A. (1995) Staples, Markets, and Cultural Change, ed. Daniel Drache, Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Levinson, Marc (2008) The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Lewis, Leo (2008) ‘Credit Freeze Leads to Crisis in Shipping Industry’, The Times, 20 November.

Lewis, Leo (2009) ‘Worldwide Shipping Rates Set to Tumble 74%’, The Times, 8 April.

Martin, Randy (2002) Financialization of Daily Life, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Neilson, Brett and Rossiter, Ned (forthcoming 2010) ‘Still Waiting, Still Moving: On Migration, Logistics and Maritime Industries’, in David Bissell and Gillian Fuller (eds) Stillness in a Mobile World, London and New York: Routledge.

Packer, Jeremy and Robertson, Craig (eds) (2005) Thinking With James Carey: Essays on Communications, Transportation, History, Peter Lang.

Rivoli, Pietra (2006) The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade, Wiley.

Schiller, Dan (2000) Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Schulz, Thomas (2008) ‘Global Crisis Hits Shipping Industry Hard’, Spiegel International, 5 December.

Sekulla, Allan (1996) Fish Story, Richter Verlag.

Wade, Alex (2009) ‘The Coaster: Shipping Industry Rocked by Recession’, The Times, 21 February.

Walters, William (2008) ‘Bordering the Sea: Shipping Industries and the Policing of Stowaways’, borderlands: new spaces in the humanities 7.3.

Willis, Henry H. and Ortiz, David S. (2004) Evaluating the Security of the Global Containerized Supply Chain, RAND Corporation.

Winseck, Dwayne R. and Pike, Robert M. (2007) Communication and Empire: Media, Markets, and Globalization, 1860–1930, Durham: Duke University Press.

Basel Action Network,
Container Alliance,
Ningbo Port,
The Container Project: Explorations in Mobility at UC Santa Barbara
CMA Shipping Lines
Ningbo Star Shipping Co. Ltd.,
Zhejiang Ningbo Maoyu International Agency, Ltd.

Arrighi, Giovanni (2007) Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century, London: Verso.

Brenner, Neil and Keil, Roger (eds) (2006) The Global Cities Reader, London and New York: Routledge.

Chan, Anita (2001) China’s Worker’s Under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy, Armonk and London: East Gate.

Friedman, John (2005) China’s Urban Transition, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Greenhalgh, Susan and Winckler, Edwin A. (2005) Governing China’s Population: From Leninist to Neoliberal Biopolitics, Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press.

Hanser, Amy (2008) Service Encounters: Class, Gender and the Market for Social Distinction in Urban China, Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press.

Juris, Jeffrey (2008) Networking Futures: The Movements against Corporate Globalization, Durham: Duke University Press.

Kelty, Christopher M. (2008) Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software, Durham: Duke University Press.

Lee, Ching Kwan (2007) Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt, Berkeley: University of California Press.

Pun Ngai (2005) Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace, Durham and Hong Kong: Duke University Press/Hong Kong University Press.

Rofel, Lisa (2007) Desiring China: Experiments in Neoliberalism, Sexuality and Public Culture, Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Ross, Andrew (2006) Fast Boat to China: Corporate Flight and the Consequences of Free Trade, Lessons from Shanghai, New York: Pantheon Books.

Sassen, Saskia (2002) Global Networks, Linked Cities, London: Routledge.

Sassen, Saskia (2006) Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Sassen, Saskia (2006) Cities in a World Economy, 3rd edition, Pine Forge Press.

Wang Hui (2003) China’s New Order: Society, Politics and Economy in Transition, ed. by Theodore Huters, Cambridge, Mass.: Havard University Press.

Wilk, Richard R. (1996) Economies and Cultures: Foundations of Economic Anthropology, Westview Press.

Yan Hairong (2008) New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development and Women Workers in China, Durham: Duke University Press.

Zhang, Li (2001) Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks within China’s Floating Population, Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press.