Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Empire in the AirAirline Travel and the African Diaspora$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Chandra D. Bhimull

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479843473

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479843473.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 02 March 2021



(p.45) 3 Speed
Empire in the Air

Chandra D. Bhimull

NYU Press

The third chapter connects rapidity, depth, and altitude to inequality and oppression. It questions how the notion of speed, which is a rate, lost its sense of slowness and became synonymous with fastness. It advocates for an understanding of speed that is culturally and historically informed. Aviation literally turned speed up at a time when access to technological advancements in the maritime world was generating new hopes for Pan Africanism. A temporal and spatial revolution, speed-up established new racial hierarchies. In Britain, government officials and airline executives were drawn to the advantages of direct straight-line travel. They planned to use commercial air power to fashion faster transportation flows between certain parts of the empire. Consequently, some people and places were selected to speed-up, which meant others were made to slow-down. The shift from land- and sea- to air-based movement radically altered the terrains of empire, giving rise to a new dimension and direction of structural inequality.

Keywords:   altitude, depth, fastness, inequality, rate, slow-down, slowness, speed, speed-up, straight-line

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.