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Orientalism and War$
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Tarak Barkawi and Ketih Stanski

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199327782

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199327782.001.0001

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Orientalism in the Machine

Orientalism in the Machine

(p.128) (p.129) 7 Orientalism in the Machine
Orientalism and War

Josef Teboho Ansorge

Oxford University Press

This chapter is focused on the intersection of technology, warfare, and visuality. It explores the relationship of orientalism to information technology in the context of “small war”. Said’s Orientalism is read as a failure of the Panopticon, as a story about disenchantment with, and breakdown of, the technical means of seeing the other. Modern information technology and drone fleets represent a new possibility to see the other, where earlier orientalist models failed. This kind of visuality, however, carries its own failures. The argument is that once that second failure occurs, new ontologies—such as that of the network—have to be postulated to understand the other and the foe. This ontology of the network, and the attached technical assemblage, represent a retreat from trying to fix the essence, oriental or otherwise, of a given people. It forms a kind of erasure of the other that can also be detected in videogames and war-games. The weapon is what remains.

Keywords:   Orientalism, Panopticon, Network, Counter-Insurgency, Information Technology

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