Project C04: Urban Control Regimes

Railway Stations as Infrastructure of Human Categorization

The research project examines railway stations as exemplary infrastructures of human categorization. The railway station sorts people according to general social criteria (such as class or gender) and by local criteria sensitive to deviance. Based on the cases of the Paris railway stations of the 19th century and digitalized “security stations” of the 21st century (especially Berlin Südkreuz), the research project analyzes, on the one hand, the specific materiality and operativity of railway stations and, on the other, the technological changes of human categorization. Thus, it combines a study of the infrastructure of human categorization with a media history of surveillance.

Project team
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schabacher (PI)
Tom Ullrich, M.A. (PhD student)
Sophie Spallinger, M.A. (PhD student)