Erasures of epistemology: Geographic thought on the “War on Terror”

Authors: Zahra Khalid*, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Topics: Geographic Theory, Cultural Geography, Geographic Thought
Keywords: knowledge production, war on terror, war, drones, epistemology, imperialism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Governor's Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Critical geographic thought on the “War on Terror,” while well-intentioned, can inadvertently obscure the contours of injury. This is often the result of epistemological and methodological choices. Scholarship that centers on technologies of war--most notably, the concern with drone warfare--reflects an epistemological focus on the non-human that often erases or stand in for a concern with the human. Even where the human is centered, methodological choices often mean a restricted focus that rarely strays from North Atlantic geographies. This leads to a silence and lack of engagement with the situated and particular lived experiences of war elsewhere: at the "frontlines." I argue that critical epistemologies need more robust engagements with difference, as well as a methodological commitment to the situated and particular.

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