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Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis
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War, Technology, Anthropology
Edited by Koen Stroeken
158 pages, Pocket Size 4.25” x 7”
ISBN 978-0-85745-587-1 $14.95/£11.95 Pb Published (December 2011)
eISBN 978-0-85745-588-8 eBook
Technologies of the allied warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as remote-controlled drones and night vision goggles, allow the user to “virtualize” human targets. This coincides with increased civilian casualties and a perpetuation of the very insecurity these technologies are meant to combat. This concise volume of research and reflections from different regions across Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa, observes how anthropology operates as a technology of war. It tackles recent theories of humans in society colluding with imperialist claims, including anthropologists who have become involved professionally in warfare through their knowledge of “cultures,” renamed as “human terrain systems.” The chapters link varied yet crucial domains of inquiry: from battlefields technologies, military-driven scientific policy, and economic warfare, to martyrdom cosmology shifts, media coverage of “distant” wars, and the virtualizing techniques and “war porn” soundtracks of the gaming industry.
Koen Stroeken is an Associate Professor of Africanist Anthropology at Ghent University. Committed to the value of reflexivity, he published most recently Moral Power: The Magic of Witchcraft (Berghahn Books, 2010), which is based on fieldwork in rural Tanzania.
Subject: Peace and Conflict Studies Theory and Methodology
Introduction: War Technology Anthropology
Part I: Perpetuating War
Chapter 1. Drones in the Tribal Zone: Virtual War and Losing Hearts and Minds in the Af-Pak War
Jeffrey A. Sluka
Chapter 2. The Dead of Night: Chaos and Spectacide of Nocturnal Combat in the Iraq War
Antonius C.G.M. Robben
Chapter 3. World in a Bottle: Prognosticating Insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan
Roberto J. González
Chapter 4. Anthropology As We Know It – A Casualty of War?
R. Brian Ferguson
Part II: Globalizing War
Chapter 5. Games Without Tears, Wars Without Frontiers
Chapter 6. Music, Aesthetics, and the Technologies of Online War
Chapter 7. Humanitarian Death and the Magic of Global War in Uganda
Chapter 8. Resident Violence: Miner mwanga magic as a war technology anthropology
Chapter 9. The Magic of Martyrdom and Cultural Imaginaries in Palestine
Neil L. Whitehead and Nasser Abufarha
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