Caren Kaplan is Professor Emerita of American Studies at the University of California at Davis. She is the author of Aerial Aftermaths: Wartime from Above (Duke 2018) and Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement (Duke 1996) and the co-author/editor of Life in the Age of Drone Warfare (Duke 2017),  Introduction to Women’s Studies: Gender in a Transnational World (McGraw-Hill 2001/2005), Between Woman and Nation: Transnational Feminisms and the State (Duke 1999), and Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices (Minnesota 1994) as well as two large-scale, digital multi-media scholarly works, Dead Reckoning (2007) and Precision Targets (2010). She is the series co-editor of Next Wave: New Directions in Women’s Studies for Duke University Press.


Ph.D. UC Santa Cruz, December 1987, History of Consciousness program

Dissertation under the direction of James Clifford, Donna Haraway, and Teresa de Lauretis, “The Poetics of Displacement: Exile, Immigration, and Travel in Contemporary Autobiographical Writing”

Graduate study at the Centre Américain du Cinèma, Paris, 1982-1984

B.A. Hampshire College, June 1977, Social Theory

Other Publications

Books or Special Issues of Journals

Aerial Aftermaths: Wartime from Above, Duke Univ. Press 2018.

Life in the Age of Drone Warfare, co-edited with Lisa Parks, Duke Univ. Press 2017.

Introduction to Women’s Studies: Gender in a Transnational World, co-written and edited with Inderpal Grewal, McGraw-Hill 2001, 2nd edition, 2005

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 26, no 4, 2001, special issue on “Gender and Globalization” edited with Inderpal Grewal, Liisa Malkki, and Amrita Basu

Between Woman and Nation: Transnational Feminisms and the State, co-edited with Norma Alarcón and Minoo Moallem, Duke Univ. Press, 1999

Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement, Duke Univ. Press, 1996 (Japanese trans. by Murayama Kiyohiko, Miraisha Press, 2003

Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices, co-edited with Inderpal Grewal, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1994

Digital Multi-Media Works

Precision Targets, designed in collaboration with programmer Erik Loyer with funding from the ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship, launched April 2010. url no longer functional due to discontinuation of Flash. [http://precisiontargets.com]

Objetivos de precisión, Spanish trans. commissioned by “Collaborations in Cultural Studies with Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexicali,” funded by a Seed Grant from the UC Davis Office for Outreach and International Programs, PI Prof. Robert Irwin, trans. Manuela Vargas Fernandez, programmer Erik Loyer, launched May 2015. url no longer functional due to discontinuation of Flash.  [http://precisiontargets.com/es%5D

Dead Reckoning: Aerial Perception and the Social Construction of Targets, designed in collaboration with programmer Raegan Kelly, published in Vectors 2:2, Jan. 2007. url no longer functional due to discontinuation of Flash.  [http://www.vectorsjournal.org/index.php?page=7 &projectId=11]

Recent Online Short Articles and Interviews

“Drone Futures E7: Caren Kaplan,” Interview with Michael Richardson, published January

                        10, 2021. https://soundcloud.com/user-507735121/drones-futures-e7-caren-kaplan

            “Coronavirus Drone Genres: Spectacles of Distance and Melancholia,” with Patricia R.

                        Zimmermann, Film Quarterly Quorum, April 30, 2020.


            “Everyday Militarisms: Hidden in Plain Sight/Site,” dossier introduction, with Gabi Kirk

                        and Tess Lea, Society and Space Online Forum, March 2020.

“Before the Drone: The Origins of Aerial Photography and Its Militarization,” Interview conducted by Léopold Lambert, Archipelago///The Podcast Platform of the Funambulist, launched April 8, 2015. http://the-archipelago.net/2015/04/08/caren-kaplan-before-the-drone-genealogy-of-aerial-imagery-and-its-militarization/

“Sensing Distance: The Time and Space of Contemporary War,” in “Always at War: Economy, Labor, Life and Blood,” curated by Sandra Trappen and Patricia Ticineto Clough, Social Text: Periscope, http://www.socialtextjournal.org/periscope/2013/06/sensing-distance-the-time-and-space-of-contemporary-war.php

“Drone Sight,” in “Soldier Exposures and Technical Publics,” collaborative visual essay curated by Zoe Wool, Public Books, launched Feb. 15, 2013, http://publicbooks.org/artmedia/soldier-exposures-and-technical-publics

“Bomb Sight: The Visual Realism of Aerial Reconnaissance,” in “Militarism? A Mini Forum,” curated by Deborah Cowen, Society and Space – Environment and Planning D, launched Sept. 5, 2012, http://societyandspace.com/2012/09/05/bomb-sight-the-visual-realism-of-aerial-reconnaissance/

Journal Articles

“Atmospheric Politics: Protest Drones and the Ambiguity of Airspace,” Digital War 1:1 (2020).

 “Drones as ‘Atmospheric Policing’: From U.S. Border Enforcement to the LAPD,” with Andrea

            Miller, Public Culture 31:3 (2019): 419-445.

“Aerial Surveying as Air Control: Geographical Knowledge in Mandate-Era Iraq.” The Funambulist 18 (2018), 12-15.

“Airpower’s Visual Legacy: Operation Orchard and Aerial Reconnaissance Imagery as Ruses de Guerre,” Critical Military Studies 1:1 (2014): 61-78

“Precision Targets: GPS and the Militarization of Everyday Life,” Canadian Journal of Communications 38 (2013):397-420

“’A Rare and Chilling View’: Aerial Photography as Biopower in the Visual Culture of 9/11,” Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture 11:2 (2011), launched June 30 at http://reconstruction.eserver.org/112/Kaplan_Caren.shtml

“The Biopolitics of Technoculture in the Mumbai Attacks,” Theory, Culture & Society 26: 7-8 (2009): 1-14

“Precision Targets: GPS and the Militarization of Consumer Identity,” American Quarterly 58:3 September 2006): 693-713

  • Reprinted in Rewiring the “Nation”: The Place of Technology in American Studies, eds. Carolyn de la Peña and Siva Vaidhyanathan, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2007, 139-160

“Mobility and War: The Cosmic View of U.S. ‘Air Power,’” Environment and Planning: A, 38 (Feb-March 2006): 395-407

“Transporting the Subject: Technologies of Mobility and Location in an Era of Globalization,” PMLA 117:1 (January 2002): 32-42

  • Reprinted in Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration, eds. Sara Ahmed et. al., Berg Publishers, 2003, 207-224

“Global Identities: Gender and Sexuality in Postmodernity,” with Inderpal Grewal, GLQ 7:4 (Fall 2001): 663-679

  • Trans. and reprinted in Femminismi queer postcoloniali, eds. Paola Bacchetta and Laura Fantone, Ombre Corte (Italy), 2015, 78-94

“Hillary Clinton’s Orient: Cosmopolitan Travel and Global Feminist Subjects,” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, 2:1 (Autumn 2001): 219-240

“Postcolonial Studies and Transnational Feminist Practices,” with Inderpal Grewal, Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies 5: 1 (Autumn 2000) http://social.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/index.htm (dead link)

  • Trans. and reprinted in Gender Studies, Kharkov Center for Gender Studies in Ukraine 7-8 (2002), 107-111

  • Trans. and reprinted in The Reader in Feminist Literary Criticism, ed. Hala Kamal, The Women and Memory Forum (Egypt), 2015

“Warrior Marks: Global Womanism’s Neo-Colonial Discourse in a Multicultural Context,” with Inderpal Grewal, Camera Obscura 39 (September 1996): 5-33

  • Reprinted in Keyframes: Popular Cinema and Cultural Studies, eds. Matthew Tinkcom and Amy Villarejo, Routledge UK, 2001, 52-71

  • Reprinted in Multiculturalism, Postcoloniality, and Transnational Media, eds. Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, Rutgers Univ. Press, 2003, 256-278

“Precision Targets: Discourses of Location and the Marketing of Global Positioning Systems” proceedings, Inaugural Internat’l Conf. in Critical Geography, Vancouver, Aug. 10, 1997, http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~nadine/iiccg/papers/kaplan_C.html (dead link)

“‘A World Without Boundaries’: The Body Shop’s Trans/National Geographics,” Social Text 43 (Fall 1995): 45-66

  • Reprinted in With Other Eyes: Looking at Race and Gender in Visual Culture, ed. Lisa Bloom, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1999, 139-156

  • Trans. and reprinted in With Other Eyes, Tokyo, Japan: Saiki-Sha Press 2000

“Transnational Feminist Cultural Studies: Beyond the Marxism/Poststructuralism/Feminism Divides,” with Inderpal Grewal, positions 2:2 (1994): 430-445

  • Reprinted in Between Woman and Nation: Transnational Feminisms and the State, eds. Alarcón et al, Duke Univ. Press, 1999, 349-363

  • Trans. and reprinted in Chung Wai Literary Monthly, Dept. of Foreign Lang. & Lit., National Taiwan Univ., 33:2 (July 2004): 75-88

“Reconfigurations of Geography and Historical Narrative,” Public Culture 3:1 (1990): 25-32

“An Essay-Review,” Modern Fiction Studies 35:1 (Spring 1989): 181-6

“Michael Arlen’s Fictions of Exile: The Subject of Ethnic Autobiography,” a/b: Autobiography Studies 4:2 (Winter 1988): 140-49

“Deterritorializations: The Rewriting of Home and Exile in Western Feminist Discourse,” Cultural Critique 6 (Spring 1987): 187-98

  • Reprinted in Defining Travel: Diverse Visions, ed. Susan L. Roberson, Mississippi Univ. Press, 2001, 190-99

  • Reprinted in The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse, eds. Abdul Jan Mohamed and David Lloyd, Oxford Univ. Press, 1990, 357-368

“The Poetics of Displacement in Buenos Aires,” Discourse 8 (Fall-Winter 86-87): 84-102

Book Chapters

Everyday Militarisms: Drones and the Blurring of the Civilian-Military Divide During COVID-19,”

      in Drone Aesthetics: War, Culture, Ecology, eds. Michael Richardson and Beryl Pong, Open

      Humanities Press, forthcoming 2021.

“Eyes in the Skies: Repellent Fence and Trans-Indigenous Time-Space at the US-Mexico Border,” in

            Drone Imaginaries and Communities, ed. Kathrin Maurer, Manchester Univ. Press,

            forthcoming 2021.

“Drones and the Image Complex: The Limits of Representation in the Era of Distance Warfare,”

            Delft Conference Proceedings,” in Mediating the Spatiality of Conflicts, eds. Armina Pilav,

            Marc Schooderbeek, Heidi Sohn, and Aleksander Stanicic, TU Delft Faculty of

            Architecture/BK Books, 2020, 29-43.

 “Introduction,” with Lisa Parks, in Life in the Age of Drone Warfare, eds. Lisa Parks and Caren

            Kaplan, Duke Univ. Press, 2017, 1-22.

“Drone-o-Rama: Troubling the Temporal and Spatial Logics of Distance Warfare,” in Life in the Age of Drone Warfare, eds. Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan, Duke Univ. Press, 2017 , 161-177.

“Afterword: Mobile Desires,” in Mobile Desires: The Politics and Erotics of Mobility Justice, eds. Liz Montegary and Melissa Autumn White, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 122-27

“The Balloon Prospect: Aerostatic Observation and the Emergence of Militarized Aeromobility” in From Above: the politics and practice of the view from the skies, eds. Peter Adey, Mark Whitehead, and Alison Williams, C. Hurst & Co., 2013, 19-40.

“Desert Wars: Virilio and the Limits of ‘Genuine Knowledge'” in Virilio and Visual Culture, eds. John Armitage and Ryan Bishop, Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2012, 69-85.

“The Space of Ambiguity: Sophie Ristelhueber’s Aerial Perspective,” in Geohumanities: Art, History, Text at the Edge of Place, eds. Michael Dear et.al., Routledge 2011, 154-161

“’Everything is Connected’: Aerial Perspectives, the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs,’ and Digital Culture,” proceedings, “Electronic Techtonics: Thinking at the Interface Conf.,” HASTAC, Lulu Press, 2008, 130-139

“Postcolonial Feminist Scholarship,” with Inderpal Grewal, in A Companion to Gender Studies, eds. Philomena Essed, Audrey Kobayashi, and David Theo Goldberg, Blackwell, 2004, 51-61

“Transnational Practices and Interdisciplinary Feminist Scholarship: Refiguring Women’s and Gender Studies,” with Inderpal Grewal, in Women’s Studies on Its Own, ed. Robyn Wiegman, Duke Univ. Press, 2002, 66-81

“‘Beyond the Pale’: Rearticulating U.S. Jewish Whiteness,” in Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in the Age of Globalization, ed. Ella Shohat, MIT Press, 1999, 451-484

“Introduction: Between Woman and Nation,” with Norma Alarcón and Minoo Moallem, in Between Woman and Nation: Transnational Feminisms and the State, eds. Alarcón et al, Duke Univ. Press, 1999, 1-16

“‘Getting to Know You’: Travel, Gender, and the Politics of Postcolonial Representation in Anna and the King of Siam and The King and I,” in Late Imperial Culture, eds. Roman de la Campa, Ann Kaplan, and Michael Sprinker, Verso, 1995, 33-52

“Introduction: Transnational Feminist Practices and Questions of Postmodernity,” with Inderpal Grewal, in Scattered Hegemonies, eds. Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1994, 1-33

  • Reprinted in The Transnational Studies Reader: Intersections and Innovations, eds. Sanjeev Khagram and Peggy Levitt, New York: Routledge, 2008, 251-260

  • Trans. and reprinted in Cullture della differenza. Femminismo, visualità e studi postcoloniali, ed. Federica Timeto. De Agostini Scuola SpA—Novaro, 2008, 16-29

“The Politics of Location as Transnational Feminist Critical Practice,” in Scattered Hegemonies, eds. Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1994, 137-152

“Resisting Autobiography: Outlaw Genres and Transnational Feminist Subjects,” in De/Colonizing the Subject: Politics and Gender in Women’s Autobiographical Practice, eds. Julia Watson and Sidonie Smith, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1992, 115-138

  • Reprinted in Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader, eds. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1998, 208-216

  • Trans. and reprinted in “Autobiografiia de Resistência: Gêneros Fora-da-Lei e Sujeitos Feministas Transnacionais,” Travessia: Revista de Literatura (Brazil) 29/30 (1997): 63-99

  • Trans. and reprinted in The Reader in Feminist Literary Criticism, ed. Hala Kamal, The Women and Memory Forum (Egypt), 2015.

Editorials, Prefaces, Interviews, Short Subjects, and Translations

“Transnational Feminist Pedagogy: An Interview with Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan,” Journal of American Studies of Turkey 38 (2013): 13-17.

“Presentazione,” in Cullture della differenza. Femminismo, visualità e studi postcoloniali, ed. Federica Timeto, Novaro: De Agostini Scuola SpA, 2008, vii-viii

“Transnational Feminist Practices Against War,” with Paola Bacchetta, Tina Campt, Inderpal Grewal, Minoo Moallem, and Jennifer Terry, http://www.action-tank.org/pfp/fem.htm (October 2001) (dead link)

  • Reprinted in Terror, Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out, eds. Ammu Joseph and Kalpana Sharma (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 2003), 266-272

  • Reprinted in Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism 2:2 (2002): 302-308

  • Trans. and Reprinted in Cyberzone 15 (2002): 108-116 (Italy)

  • Reprinted in September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives, eds. Susan Hawthorne and Bronwyn Winter (North Melbourne, Victoria: Spinifex Press, 2002), 58-63

  • Trans. and reprinted as “Por uma práctica feminista transnacional contra a guerra” in Revista Estudos feministas (Brazil) 9:2 (2001): 353-359

“Editorial,” with Inderpal Grewal, Liisa Malkki, and Amrita Basu, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 26.4 (Summer 2001): 943-948

“Questionnaire,” Sites 5.1 (2001): 222-223

“On Location,” in Making Worlds: Gender, Metaphor, Materiality, eds. Susan Hardy Aiken et. al., University of Arizona Press, 1998, 60-65

Book Review: Spaces of Identity: Global Media, Electronic Landscapes and Cultural Boundaries by David Morley and Kevin Robins (Routledge, London, 1995), in Society and Space 14: 6 (December 1996): 772-774

“To Be Porteño,” and “The North and Goodbye,” trans. of Buenos Aires by Alicia Dujovne Ortiz, with Aurora Wolfgang, in Critical Fictions: The Politics of Imaginative Writing, ed. Philomena Mariani, Bay Press, 1991, 115-30

“Ça cloche,” translation of “Ça cloche” by Sarah Kofman, in Continental Philosophy II: Derrida and Deconstruction, ed. Hugh Silverman, Routledge, 1989, 108-38

“The Post-Mod Squad in the Tristes Tropiques,” Inscriptions 2 (Spring 1987): 6-8

“To Be Porteño,” translation of “Etre Porteño” from Buenos Aires by Alicia Dujovne Ortiz. Discourse 8 (Fall/Winter 1986-87): 73-83

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    Caren Kaplan

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