I.C.E. in Africa: the relationship between people and the Internal Combustion Engine in Africa
01 / 2006 - 01 / 2011
In Africa there is a vast field of study which has never been systematically researched or analysed. In the past hundred years this field has become so pervasive as to now pass us by unnoticed. This is the field of the interaction between people and the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). Internal combustion engines are those in which motive power comes from the explosion of vapour -usually a petroleum distillate- in a cylinder, and are to be found in virtually every generator, pump, motor-vehicle, and boat on Earth. Through five case studies, and informed by Actor Network Theory (ANT), the research project seeks to integrate ICE technology within a framework of analysis that explores the interrelationship between people and ICE technology over time in African societies. The aim of the project is to explore the socio-historical and cultural relationship that has developed between people and ICE in Africa, and to examine how ICE has shaped socio-historical processes.