I’m excited to contribute to the first edition of Roadsides, an online magazine exploring the social life of infrastructure. The magazine is beautifully designed and includes contributions from social scientists that are meant to be accessible for general audiences. My article, “Midnight Blues in the Melting Arctic,” critiques Canada’s ice roads & so-called “permanent” highways. I take a close look at the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, which opened in November 2017, and the Dempster Highway to which it connects, questioning whether these gravel roads that replace seasonal winter roads are really as solid and lasting as advertised.
Other articles in the inaugural issue of Roadsides explore topics like post-Soviet Tajikistan, hydropower in the Himalayas in India, and the temporalities of an English motorway that traces over an ancient Roman road.
Here’s the first paragraph of my article:
At the height of summer in the Arctic, the color “midnight blue” is meaningless. Above the polar circle, there’s never a rush to get home before dark because there is no night. Well after the clock strikes twelve, a house party carries on as if it has just begun, a mix of everlasting sunlight and expensive alcohol fuelling energetic chatter. Children still play in the streets, typically unattended, while teenagers race all-terrain vehicles around dirt roads. A baseball game enters its fifth inning, the loud smack of the wooden bat against warm leather sending the ball into streaky orange sky. At this point in the evening, it feels a little like meandering through a real-life version of Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory, passing melting clocks on the way toward a sunset that will never arrive.
For the full story, click here to read on!