Cover for Grégoire Chamayou’s book ‘Théorie du drone’ (2013)

Théorie du drone by Grégoire Chamayou, Paris: La fabrique, 2013. Image retrieved from Geographical Imaginations.

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.

• • •

• Books: authored

• Books: sections

• Books: translations and/or introductions, notes, afterword

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 2007d. Ecrits sur le corps et l’esprit by Immanual Kant, trans., introductions and notes by Grégoire Chamayou, Paris: Flammarion, coll. GF.

  • 2006. Principes fondamentaux de stratégie militaire by Carl Von Clausewitz, trans. by Grégoire Chamayou, Paris: Fayard/Mille et une nuits.; Google Books.

  • 2004. Le sabotage by Émile Pouget, notes and afterword by Grégoire Chamayou and Mathieu Triclot, Fayard/Mille et une nuits.

• Academic articles

• Books: reviewed

• Interviews and other public contributions

• Audio and video contributions

• Text in English about Grégoire Chamayou

  • 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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