A Critical History of Logistics
Dr Daniel Steuer
This project will be a genealogical exercise on logistics. Logistics can be understood briefly as networks of infrastructures and technologies that produce a dispersed but globally coordinated system that aims to manage resources, production, distribution, information and labour. This project will focus on the conceptual and material shifts in the field of logistics, focusing on the moment of the 50s and 60s and the political and economic climate in which logistics shifted from a purely military art to a business science, and further, the mode of organisation of the global supply chain economy. In attempting to map the trajectory of logistics from a military art with its roots in colonial practices, this project will also investigate what these conceptual shifts do to the construction of the human and the implications this has for contemporary life.
What are the major shifts in the field of logistics, and how has it developed from a military science into the foundation of the global supply chain economy?
How does this map onto shifts in imperial power and the materiality of logistical networks?
How does the form of logistics construct the human in various ways at different points in its development?