Life in the Age of Drone Warfare

Life in the Age of Drone Warfare

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This volume's contributors offer a new critical language through which to explore and assess the historical, juridical, geopolitical, and cultural dimensions of drone technology and warfare. They show how drones generate particular ways of visualizing the spaces and targets of war while acting as tools to exercise state power. Essays include discussions of the legal justifications of extrajudicial killings and how US drone strikes in the Horn of Africa impact life on the ground, as well as a personal narrative of a former drone operator. The contributors also explore drone warfare in relation to sovereignty, governance, and social difference; provide accounts of the relationships between drone technologies and modes of perception and mediation; and theorize drones' relation to biopolitics, robotics, automation, and art. Interdisciplinary and timely, Life in the Age of Drone Warfare extends the critical study of drones while expanding the public discussion of one of our era's most ubiquitous instruments of war.

Contributors. Peter Asaro, Brandon Wayne Bryant, Katherine Chandler, Jordan Crandall, Ricardo Dominguez, Derek Gregory, Inderpal Grewal, Lisa Hajjar, Caren Kaplan, Andrea Miller, Anjali Nath, Jeremy Packer, Lisa Parks, Joshua Reeves, Thomas Stubblefield, Madiha Tahir
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Product details

  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 27.94mm | 748g
  • Duke University Press
  • North Carolina, United States
  • English
  • 0822369583
  • 9780822369585

Review quote

"As the presence of the drone in public imaginaries expands, its military/imperial paternities are overshadowed while the modes of violence that drone operations enable are progressively normalized. This thoughtfully curated collection definitively interrupts those trajectories. Putting the drone in its geopolitical place, it traces drone genealogies through histories of surveillance and killing from above, to the colonial presents in which we are all implicated, and that we need now more than ever to stand against." -- Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University, UK "Life in the Age of Drone Warfare is an intoxicating whirlwind of a volume explicating the drone in history, law, culture and geopolitics. Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan steer the way through an incisive feminist and critical lens partnered with startling material evidence. We find the drone coiled within matrices of relations, both distant and intimate, calculative, legal and bureaucratic, yet embodied and affective. Twisted in not only a vertical but vortical kind of power, the drone winds, distorts, corkscrews, and strangles-rewriting worlds as it goes." -- Peter Adey, author of Aerial Life: Spaces, Mobilities, Affects
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About Lisa Parks

Lisa Parks is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author and coeditor of several books, most recently, Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures.

Caren Kaplan is Professor of American Studies at the University of California, Davis, and the author and coeditor of several books, including Aerial Aftermaths: Wartime from Above, also published by Duke University Press.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction / Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan 1
Part I. Juridical, Genealogical, and Geopolitical Imaginaries 23
1. Dirty Dancing: Drones and Death in the Borderlands / Derek Gregory 25
2. Lawfare and Armed Conflicts: A Comparative Analysis of Israeli and U.S. Targeted Killing Policies / Lisa Hajjar 59
3. American Kamikaze Television-Guided Assault Drones in World War II / Katherine Chandler 89
4. (Im)Material Terror: Incitement of Violence Discourse as Racializing Technology in the War on Terror / Andrea Miller 112
5. Vertical Mediation and the U.S. Drone War in the Horn of Africa / Lisa Parks 134
Part II. Perception and Perspective 159
6. Drone-o-Rama: Troubling the Temporal and Spatial Logics of Distance Warfare / Caren Kaplan 161
7. Dronologies: Or Twice-Told-Tales / Ricardo Dominguez 178
8. In Pursuit of Other Networks: Drone Art and Accelerationist Aesthetics / Thomas Stubblefield 195
9. The Containment Zone / Madiha Tahir 220
10. Stoners, Stones, and Drones: Transnational South Asian Visuality from Above and Below / Anjali Nath 241
Part III. Biopolitics, Automation, and Robotics 259
11. Taking People Out: Drones, Media/Weapons, and the Coming Humanectomy / Jeremy Packer and Joshua Reeves 261
12. The Labor of Surveillance and Bureaucratized Killing: New Subjectivities of Military Drone Operators / Peter Asaro 282
13. Letter from a Sensor Operator / Brandon Bryant 315
14. Materialities of the Robotic / Jordan Crandall 324
15. Drone Imaginaries: The Technopolitics of Visuality in Postcolony and Empire / Inderpal Grewal 343
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