Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Research theme 2020-21: Traffic


This theme is open to the widest possible interpretation and is assumed to address the concerns of many disciplines and departments while providing a frame for thinking across or even bypassing entrenched or established modes of thinking. It could include the following concerns:

  • The transportation of merchandise for the purpose of trade, commerce, commercialism, deals and markets, ships and shipping, movement and markets
  • The buying and selling or exchange of goods for profit: bargaining, barter, business
  • Histories, theories and representations/figurations of trade, exchange, profiteering and commerce
  • Illicit trade, wheeling and dealing, smuggling, steeling and stealth, intersectional bias, corruption and punishment, influence peddling
  • The passing of persons or of goods and vehicles or vessels, along a road, railway, canal, or other route of transportation; traffic infrastructures, formal and informal, legitimate and illegal
  • The passage of people and goods via routes and roadways, the organisation and flow of ‘traffic’
  • Traffic blocks and blockages, flows and conduits, jams and bottlenecks
  • Technologies of traffic, digital and data, AI and the exchange of information and the transfer/tracking/trading of stuff
  • The traffic in images, image exchange, mediation and meaning
  • The trade/traffic in people, human trafficking, labour and slavery, sexual exploitation and crime, borders and controls, traffic of organs and vital resources
  • The exchange/traffic in/of women, kinship and kidnap, social systems and barter