Prof. Benjamin K. Hodges has published the article, “Ghost trains: past and future mobilities haunting a Southern Town,” in Mobilities, a SSCI Q1 journal. The article uses two transportation projects, one an early 20th century electric rail line and the other high speed rail, to consider the history of suburban development around the capital city of Richmond, Virginia. This history is used to give context to contemporary anxieties about the potential impacts of proposed high speed rail along the Southeast corridor of the U.S.
Hodges also uses Avery Gordon’s theory of haunting and Derrida’s hauntology to consider what it means to confront the lasting material signs of the racial segregation that so informed the South. The history of racial segregation in public transportation is positioned alongside recent debates about the removal of public monuments. Hodges also uses folklore about trains, small-town gossip and his own anecdotes about growing up in a small Southern town to draw attention to the complex interplay of everyday affects and larger anxieties about the future that continue to inform decisions about transportation infrastructure and suburban development.