Infrastructure’s Long Shadow: From Central Asia to Ukraine

Director's Seminar
Event Format
In person
CGIS South, S354, 1730 Cambridge St

Infrastructures can be conceptualized as networks that link up the built environment, people, and technology. They might include energy, transport, or communication, while also relating to natural resources, human bodies, and other species. These networks often remain invisible when they function as planned yet suddenly appear in the public imagination when they fail, get destroyed, or become subject to spectacular political projects. Over the past decade, infrastructure has also resurfaced as an issue of public interest in sites as diverse as the United States, China, and Ukraine, often involving pressing concerns around security, economic stability, and basic needs. However, with this focus on the present and future, the longer histories of infrastructure are often neglected. As a result, core infrastructure features, such as the materialization of mundane violence, political control, and socio-economic transformation, remain less understood. Drawing on social science literature on infrastructure and 15 years of research in Central Asia, this talk discusses concepts that might prove to be useful in studying cases from Ukraine from a long-term perspective. 

Refreshments will be provided.



The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or in advance of your participation or visit. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance if possible. Please note that the Davis Center will make every effort to secure services but that services are subject to availability.