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UCSB Symposium to Examine the Use of Drones From a Humanist Perspective

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

In the war on terror, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) –– also known as drones –– have become an important component in the U.S. military arsenal. The pilotless aircraft are used for surveillance, and for their ability to strike at targets over enemy territory without risk to American military personnel. But how has the use of drones changed the face of war, and how will they be put to use in the future?

These questions and others will be addressed at a symposium at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, February 28. "Life in the Age of Drones" will begin at 2 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will bring together a philosopher, activists, and artists to discuss the increasing use of UAV's around the world over the last decade. Panelists will present a variety of research, art, and activist projects exploring how life has changed in the age of drone warfare. Among the topics to be addressed are the U.S. military's use of drones in Pakistan, and practices of targeted killing; anti-drone protest movements; artistic interventions using drones; filmmaking and drone warfare; and do-it-yourself drones.

The keynote address, "After the Drones," will be delivered by Arthur Kroker, the Canada Research Chair in Technology and Theory at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. His talk will begin at 2 p.m. Other speakers include Marko Peljhan, professor of media arts and technology at UCSB and co-director of the UC Institute for Research in the Arts, who will discuss "The Art and Science of Unmanned Systems –– A Brief History"; Lisa Parks, professor of film and media studies, and director of UCSB's Center for Information Technology and Society (CITS), who will discuss "Targeted Homelands: Networked Visions of the U.S. Drone War in Pakistan"; filmmaker Casey Cooper Johnson, who will screen and discuss his film "UNMANNED: A Filmmaker's Journey"; and Nancy Mancias, a CODEPINK campaign organizer, whose talk is titled "Much Ado About Drones: New Media to New War."

Part of the UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanity Center's series "Fallout: In the Aftermath of War," the symposium is also sponsored by CITS and UCSB's art, feminist studies, film and media studies, and sociology departments.

More information about the symposium and the series is available at http://www.ihc.ucsb.edu.

Interdisciplinary Humanities Center