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The Mimetics of Mobile Capital

The Mimetics of Mobile Capital Nicole Shukin Introduction In 2002, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired a radio mini- series entitled ‘The Wayward Bookmobile’. It featured a Municipal Efficiencies Officer whose civic task of retiring a bookmobile begins to unravel under its wayward spell. The Officer’s syntax starts switching erratically between literal modes of transportation figured by a traveling library, and literary modes of transmission mobilized by the mimetic powers of books-on-wheels. Over the course of the mini-series the books, sparked by the sign of mobility into what Arjun Appadurai calls ‘things-in-motion’, auto-animate from mimetic artefacts into virtual subjects (1998: 5). Instead of fulfilling his task of repossessing social excesses associated with the wayward bookmobile, the Officer ends up possessed by the spectral magnetisms of a suddenly radioactive busload: the pig Wilbur (from Charlotte’s Web), Black Beauty, Bambi, and other popular animal signs. The wayward bookmobile emblazons a whimsical figure of automobility whose more serious formulations within Fordist and post-Fordist cultures of capital call for rigorous critical engagement. By introducing a mimetic load put into circulation under the articulated signs of mobility and animal life, the wayward bookmobile is suggestive of the specific discourse of automobility that I will work to critique, following in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Sociological Review SAGE

The Mimetics of Mobile Capital

The Sociological Review , Volume 54 (1_suppl): 25 – Oct 1, 2006

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References (61)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2006 The Editorial Board of the Sociological Review
ISSN
0038-0261
eISSN
1467-954X
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-954X.2006.00642.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Nicole Shukin Introduction In 2002, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired a radio mini- series entitled ‘The Wayward Bookmobile’. It featured a Municipal Efficiencies Officer whose civic task of retiring a bookmobile begins to unravel under its wayward spell. The Officer’s syntax starts switching erratically between literal modes of transportation figured by a traveling library, and literary modes of transmission mobilized by the mimetic powers of books-on-wheels. Over the course of the mini-series the books, sparked by the sign of mobility into what Arjun Appadurai calls ‘things-in-motion’, auto-animate from mimetic artefacts into virtual subjects (1998: 5). Instead of fulfilling his task of repossessing social excesses associated with the wayward bookmobile, the Officer ends up possessed by the spectral magnetisms of a suddenly radioactive busload: the pig Wilbur (from Charlotte’s Web), Black Beauty, Bambi, and other popular animal signs. The wayward bookmobile emblazons a whimsical figure of automobility whose more serious formulations within Fordist and post-Fordist cultures of capital call for rigorous critical engagement. By introducing a mimetic load put into circulation under the articulated signs of mobility and animal life, the wayward bookmobile is suggestive of the specific discourse of automobility that I will work to critique, following in

Journal

The Sociological ReviewSAGE

Published: Oct 1, 2006

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