This essay introduces the special issue “Reading for Infrastructure: Worlds Made and Broken.” It offers an account of the “infrastructural turn” in the humanities and explains how the assembled essays frame infrastructures as making worlds with dispositions that facilitate certain “forms of life,” even as they break and dismantle others. These essays cluster around three key themes that open onto the imbrication of “modern” infrastructures and racial capitalism: slavery, borders, and energy. The introduction also outlines the various conjugations of reading and infrastructure suggested by the essays: practices of reading new things as infrastructure, reading infrastructures themselves, and engaging with readings of infrastructure.

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