Grégoire Chamayou’s book Théorie du drone was released in April 2013. The timing was appropriate. A month later, in May 2013, the United States government acknowledged the killing of four American citizens in drone strikes. Two months later, in July, a leaked Pakistani document suggested the civilian death toll associated with CIA drone strikes was higher than what official sources claim. Although drone strikes have been the continuous subject of heated debates during the past couple of years, Chamayou’s new book appears to be the first serious philosophical attempt to rethink the traditional categories in which this topic is usually framed (geographical, ethical, political, legal, technological, etc.). Grégoire Chamayou, who was born in 1976, is currently “chargé de recherche” at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in France. He’s also editor for the publishing label ZONE (which is owned by La Découverte).
Even though Chamayou’s book on drones has yet to be translated in English, English readers still have some interesting options. At the time of writing, the most thorough introduction to Chamayou’s drone theory is in English and is to be found at Derek Gregory’s excellent blog Geographical Imagination. Derek Gregory, who teaches Geography at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), is currently running a very helpful series where he works his way through the book, chapter after chapter. The first instalment of this series is titled “Theory of the drone 1: Genealogies” (July 23, 2013). I also recommend reading an earlier introductory post where Derek Gregory introduces Chamayou’s new book and provides some context and links to additional materials: see “Theory of the drone” (July 6, 2013). Also worth mentioning is the fact the First Part of Théorie du drone quotes from four different articles by Derek Gregory (all of which are available at the “Downloads” section of his website)
Théorie du drone further develops theories which were first exposed in Chamayou’s previous book Les chasses à l’homme (2010, see below for bibliographical details). This book was translated into English last year as Manhunts: A Philosophical History. Chamayou discusses his theory of manhunt in English in a video recording available online. He has also published an article in English on this topic: “The manhunt doctrine”. Finally, an excellent, in-depth overview of Chamayou’s work is offered by Kieran Aarons’s essay “Cartographies of Capture”.
What I’m proposing here is a supplement to the introduction already offered by Derek Gregory. It is meant as a quick bibliography of various material published by Chamayou: books, translations, articles, but also videos and audio recordings, additional public contributions, reviews, etc. The documents collected here testify for the development of what Kieran Aarons has identified as the main theme in Chamayou’s work, the violent capture of the human body:
[…] the notion of violent capture serves as a guiding theme linking Chamayou’s work, linking it to his early study of experimental medicine, his genealogy of manhunting and predatory power, as well as his recent study of contemporary predatory or “cynegetic” warfare use of drones. (“Cartographies of Capture”, Theory&Events, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2013).
This bibliography was created in August 2013. If it is missing an important item, feel free to contact me and I will gladly add it.
• • •
2010. Les chasses à l’homme, Paris: La Fabrique (except: PDF). This book was translated into English in 2012: Manhunts: A Philosophical History, trans. by Steven Rendall, Princeton: Princeton University Press. The “Introduction” (3 pages) is offered as an excerpt (PDF). Google Books with preview. The English translation was reviewed at Books&Idea.net: “Predatory Power” by Jean Bérard, June 3, 2011.
2008. Les corps vils. Expérimenter sur les êtres humains aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, Paris: La Découverte, coll. Les Empêcheurs de penser en rond. This book was reviewed in Medical History by Charles T. Wolfe (Vol. 55, No. 2, April 2011, pp. 263-264). A review in French was also published in Astérion, no. 7, 2010.
2012. “Introduction”, Kubark. Le manuel secret de manipulation mentale et de torture psychologique de la CIA, Paris: La Découverte, Hors Collection ZONES. Get the book at Archive.org.
2011. “Saison 3 : Contradictions”, co-authored with Kieran Aarons, in The Wire, ed. by Emmanuel Burdeau and Nicolas Vieillescazes, Les Prairies ordinaires / Capricci.
2010. De la guerre by Carl Von Clausewitz, ed. by Grégoire Chamayou, Paris: Flammarion “Le Monde”.
2007a. Le 18 Brumaire de Louis Bonaparte by Karl Marx, trans. and introduction by Grégoire Chamayou, Paris: Flammarion, coll. GF. Amazon.fr.
2007b. La guerre civile en France by Karl Marx, notes and afterword by Grégoire Chamayou, Paris: Fayard/Mille et une nuits.
2007c. Principes d’une philosophie de la technique by Ernst Kapp, trans., introductions and notes by Grégoire Chamayou, Paris: Vrin, coll. Pour demain. Amazon.fr.
2007d. Ecrits sur le corps et l’esprit by Immanual Kant, trans., introductions and notes by Grégoire Chamayou, Paris: Flammarion, coll. GF. Amazon.fr.
2004. Le sabotage by Émile Pouget, notes and afterword by Grégoire Chamayou and Mathieu Triclot, Fayard/Mille et une nuits.
2013. “Fichte’s Passport – A Philosophy of the Police”, trans. by Kieran Aarons, Theory & Event, Vol. 16, No. 2.
2011. “The manhunt doctrine”, trans. by Shane Lillis, Radical Philosophy, Issue 69, Sep/Oct.
2011. “Combien de temps nous reste-t-il à vivre ? La durée de la vie comme objet mathématique et comme enjeu politique au XVIIIe siècle”, Astérion, No. 8. Online (unpaginated).
2009a. “Le jeu le plus dangereux”, Critique, Vol. 8-9, No. 747-748, pp. 716-727.
2009b. “Petits conseils aux enseignants-chercheurs qui voudront réussir leur évaluation”, Revue du MAUSS, Vol. 1, No. 33 pp. 208-226. This text was published in an issue about the crisis universities are facing as institution of knowledge. It’s a ferocious comment on the entrepreneurial turn of academia.
2008. “La querelle des têtes tranchées : Les médecins, la guillotine et l’anatomie de la conscience au lendemain de la Terreur”, Revue d’histoire des sciences, Vol. 2, Tome 61, pp. 333-365.
2007. “Fiat experimentum in corpore vili – Kant et la morale de l’expérimentation sur l’homme au XVIIIème siècle”, La Croisée des savoirs, Cahiers de l’Ecole Doctorale 139 “Connaissance, langage, modélisation” de l’Université Paris-X Nanterre, Presses Universitaires de Paris X, 2007, pp. 187-198.
2005. “L’objet = X Nymphomanes et masturbateurs XVIII e -XIX e siècles” co-authored with Elsa Dorlin, Nouvelles Questions Féministes, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 53-66.
2013. Reviewed work: Markus Krajewski. Paper Machines: About Cards and Catalogs, 1548–1929 (2011), in Isis, Vol. 104, No. 1, March.
2013. “Drones : comment des milliers de personnes sont exécutées en dehors de tout cadre légal”, Basta!, interview with Agnès Rousseaux, October 16. A reaction to this interview can be found at DSI-Défense et sécurité internationale: “Sur une interview de G. Chamayou, ou de quelques mythes entourant les drones armés” by J. Henrotin, October 16, 2013.
2013. “«La guerre devient un télétravail pour employés de bureau»”, Libération, interview with Alexandra Schwartzbrod, May 19.
2013. “Un drone, ça ne fait pas de prisonniers”, Télérama, interview with Juliette Cerf, May 18.
2013. “«La France a l’intention de s’équiper en drones reaper»”, regards.fr, interview with Marion Rousset, May 14.
2013. “Drone et kamikaze, jeu de miroirs”, Le Monde Diplomatique, April, p. 3.
2010. “Grégoire Chamayou et l’idéologie de la chasse à l’homme”, Les Inrockuptibles, interview with Jean-Marie Durand, June 17.
2010. ““Every move will be recorded” A Machinic Police Utopia in the Eighteenth Century”, Max Planck Institute For The History of Science, July. German version: PDF.
2013. AUDIO: “Grégoire Chamayou”, France Inter, interview with Dorothée Barba, audio recording, July 4. 15 mins.
2013. VIDEO: “Grégoire Chamayou / Théorie du drone / Editions La Fabrique”, Grégoire Chamayou talks about his new book Théorie du drone, video recorded while he was at the library Harmattan, in Lille, on May 21. 1 hour 28 mins.
2011. VIDEO: “Grégoire Chamayou: Hunter vs. Hunted”, Grégoire Chamayou talks (in English) about his theory of the manhunt using numerous movie clips to illustrate his argument. A discussion with game designer Katie Salen and filmmaker/curator Jamie Hook follows. Video recorded on February 1st, 2011 as part of the Walls and Bridges series. 1 hour 53 mins.
2013. “Cartographies of Capture” by Kieran Aarons, Theory & Event, Vol. 16, No. 2. This essay is presented as “a thematic overview of the work of contemporary French philosopher Grégoire Chamayou”.
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