Transnational Subjectivities (Lecture 5)

Apples and Hauls

The “Global” Brand

  • Status, luxury, superior, innovative, cool
  • History of “cool”: calm and collected (15th Africa), to cool down → staying cold, col → tabacoo → cool (19th), itutu → ancient (west Africa)

14962342_10154339213704475_923483659_nCreative Class

  • Commodity designed for the hip, trendy, urban consumer
  • Creative “careers” in the arts, fashion, advertising, media
  • Give every undergrad students a MacBook Pro → industry standard
  • The only thing in your pocket is the only thing you need

Means of Production

  • Most production moving from Eastern Congo to East Asia
  • iSlave: Foxconn’s workforce is supplying the world’s leading electronic brands (lots of workers committed suicide)

Planned Obsolescence

  • Phoebus cartel
  • “desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary” (Stevens, 1955, p.7)
  • Agbogbloshie: where the old technology go through
  • The electronic waste trail

Hauling and Unboxing Or, how ideology gets inside


  • Assembly line removes us from the producer
  • Alienates the maker from their product


  • “I shall then suggest that ideology ‘acts’ or ‘functions’ in such a way that it ‘recruits’ subjects among the individuals (it recruits them all), or ‘transforms’ the individuals into subjects (it transforms them all) by that very precise operation which I have called interpellation or hailing, and which can be imagined along the lines of the most commonplace everyday police (or other) hailing: ‘Hey, you there!’…I might add: what thus seems to take place outside ideology (to be precise, in the street), in reality takes place in ideology. What really takes place in ideology seems therefore to take place outside it.” (Althusser 1971, p.174)
  • Woman ideology: tell me not to sit like a man
  • Educational ideology: appear when I sit in ET building