The Uneven Age of Speed: Caravans, Technology, and Mobility in the Late Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Middle East - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles (Review Article) International Journal of Middle East Studies Year : 2021

The Uneven Age of Speed: Caravans, Technology, and Mobility in the Late Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Middle East

Abstract

Abstract This article explores the way overland mobility was transformed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, during “the age of speed.” Beyond the already well-known caravan-to-car story, it argues that slow means of transportation such as caravans kept their own rationale and were instrumental in producing an economic geography that proved resilient in the face of the celebrated steam- or fuel-motorized means of accelerated mobility. Adopting the caravan traders and travelers’ vantage and foregrounding their life stories offer new insights on the way rail and automobility were experienced and adopted in the post-Ottoman Middle East. Such experiences cast a different light on the global rechanneling process affecting the circulation of persons and merchandise across the region during the interwar period. Exploring the resilience of caravans in an uneven age of speed does not only illuminate the transnational geographies underpinned by the overlapping networks of both slower and faster mobilities. It also helps to understand the many dimensions of their gradual albeit very uneven demise.

Dates and versions

hal-03875847 , version 1 (28-11-2022)

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Philippe Pétriat. The Uneven Age of Speed: Caravans, Technology, and Mobility in the Late Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Middle East. International Journal of Middle East Studies, In press, 53 (2), pp.273-290. ⟨10.1017/S002074382100012X⟩. ⟨hal-03875847⟩
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