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Aerial Aftermaths

Wartime from Above. Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies

By (author) Caren Kaplan
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Duke University Press, North Carolina, United States
Published: 5th Jan 2018
Dimensions: w 152mm h 229mm d 25mm
Weight: 656g
ISBN-10: 0822370085
ISBN-13: 9780822370086
Barcode No: 9780822370086
From the first vistas provided by flight in balloons in the eighteenth century to the most recent sensing operations performed by military drones, the history of aerial imagery has marked the transformation of how people perceived their world, better understood their past, and imagined their future. In Aerial Aftermaths Caren Kaplan traces this cultural history, showing how aerial views operate as a form of world-making tied to the times and places of war. Kaplan's investigation of the aerial arts of war-painting, photography, and digital imaging-range from England's surveys of Scotland following the defeat of the 1746 Jacobite rebellion and early twentieth-century photographic mapping of Iraq to images taken in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Throughout, Kaplan foregrounds aerial imagery's importance to modern visual culture and its ability to enforce colonial power, demonstrating both the destructive force and the potential for political connection that come with viewing from above.

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"Bringing together mapping, photography, war, and the interrogation of the aerial view, Kaplan's engaged study Aerial Aftermaths underscores the significance of that view to contemporary visual culture. Moreover, Kaplan links this account to an established critique of cartography as a form of power and more particularly an engagement with Western control over non-Western landscapes and peoples." -- Jeremy Black * American Historical Review * "[A] sweeping, richly illustrated work on the uses of aerial views in wartime aftermaths." -- Blair Stein * Technology and Culture * "Anyone with an interest in state power, surveillance, drone theory or technology, the history of colonialism, art history, military history, or the history of visual culture would find this study enriching and challenging." -- Grace Aldridge Foster * Journal of Cinema and Media Studies * "A historically astute account of becoming-aerial, Kaplan's text is a valuable, careful and nuanced contribution to a wider collection of aerially attentive interventions." -- Anna Jackman * Postcolonial Studies * "Kaplan troubles both the conventional wisdom that vision from above results in the immediately legible and its opposite: that vision from above evacuates the possibility of what we can see. She compels her reader to consider the violence 'always already inherent in both desires.'" -- Jennifer Kelly * Radical History Review * "Kaplan's erudition and deep thought emerge from every page, and her prose is as purposeful and potent as one would expect from a Duke monograph. Aerial Aftermaths is a powerful, timely and elegantly crafted book that shrewdly subverts the optics of war." -- Peter Hobbins * Cultural Studies Review * "Caren Kaplan's brilliant new Aerial Aftermaths is full of quotable material . . . The author is clear that she wants to interrogate the kind of thinking that makes for grand narratives. And we are better for it. Kaplan's deconstruction of such narratives is necessarily interdisciplinary, as she impressively reads across a host of literatures in geography, history, American studies and technology/media studies, but it is especially noteworthy for bringing art historians and critics into the fold. She nimbly reads images against the grain, finding the gaps and absences and filling them with historical and critical insight." -- Timothy Barney * Imago Mundi * "An intelligent, engaging tour-de-force bringing into conversation with one another a variety of different media, images and texts, and persuading the readers through its thoughtful reconstruction and deconstruction of historical instances of all-encompassing vision to learn something even about the unconscious ways they may view the world themselves." -- Laleh Khalili * New Americanist * "[A] fascinating history which [Kaplan] illustrates with well-chosen images sprinkled throughout the text. She shows that while the aerial perspective is far from new, contemporary viewers almost always find it fresh and consider the view from the heavens to be particularly revealing." -- Neta C. Crawford * H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews * "Kaplan challenges the assessment that the view from above must always entail power and control, though that's often the purpose of this perspective. . . . As Kaplan shows, the view from above can be appropriated by artists and activists to challenge military claims and call attention to the suffering on the ground. She herself takes a view from higher above to critique drone warfare." -- Jason Pearl * Public Books *