Title

Drone Melancholia

Presenter

Andrew Durand

Abstract

My presentation attempts to extend the work of Barbara Biesecker, distilled in her scholarly article, “No Time for Mourning: The Rhetorical Production of the Melancholic Citizen-Subject in the War on Terror,” by applying her theory of melancholic rhetoric to President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University. I trace the history of the drone program through the War on Terror and argue that the melancholic rhetoric employed by President Obama has facilitated the continued use of drones as a counter-terrorism tactic. I suggest that there are three distinct tropes present in this rhetoric: creation of an omen of loss; invocation of a state of emergency; and creation of a state of exception. I conclude that like President Bush, President Obama invokes melancholic rhetoric in order to facilitate the continuation of American war efforts.

Faculty Sponsor

Heather Hayes

Sponsor Department/Programs

Rhetoric Studies

Tracks

Rhetorical Studies: Interventions

Location

Reid G02

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 19th, 10:45 AM Apr 19th, 11:00 AM

Drone Melancholia

Reid G02

My presentation attempts to extend the work of Barbara Biesecker, distilled in her scholarly article, “No Time for Mourning: The Rhetorical Production of the Melancholic Citizen-Subject in the War on Terror,” by applying her theory of melancholic rhetoric to President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University. I trace the history of the drone program through the War on Terror and argue that the melancholic rhetoric employed by President Obama has facilitated the continued use of drones as a counter-terrorism tactic. I suggest that there are three distinct tropes present in this rhetoric: creation of an omen of loss; invocation of a state of emergency; and creation of a state of exception. I conclude that like President Bush, President Obama invokes melancholic rhetoric in order to facilitate the continuation of American war efforts.