The Cultural Politics of Drone Warfare

Date
2024
Authors
Jung, Jiyeon
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Eagle, Jonna
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American Studies
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My thesis examines visual representations of drones across three contemporary media—television (Amazon Studios’ Jack Ryan series), museum exhibitions (Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s 2017 exhibition “Drones: Is Sky the Limit?”), and video games (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games)—with a focus on how they each broach the ethical issues inherent in the discourse of drone warfare, such as targeted killing, civilian casualties, and surveillance. More specifically, I contend that these cultural products all participate in reinforcing the logic of U.S. imperialism that justifies and exonerates the use of armed drones in U.S. military campaigns overseas. The texts portray the use of armed drones as necessary, precise, and just, emphasize the human experience of drone operators, and as a result, neglect a more sustained discussion on the devastating consequences of drone warfare on civilian lives.
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American studies, drone warfare, ethics, militarism, popular culture
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96 pages
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