On Posthuman War: Computation and Military Violence (Paperback)
Tracing war’s expansion beyond the battlefield to the concept of the human being itself
As military and other forms of political violence become the planetary norm, On Posthuman War traces the expansion of war beyond traditional theaters of battle. Drawing on counterinsurgency field manuals, tactical manifestos, data-driven military theory, and asymmetrical-war archives, Mike Hill delineates new “Areas of Operation” within a concept of the human being as not only a social and biological entity but also a technical one.
Delving into three human-focused disciplines newly turned against humanity, OnPosthuman War reveals how demography, anthropology, and neuroscience have intertwined since 9/11 amid the “Revolution in Military Affairs.” Beginning with the author’s personal experience training with U.S. Marine recruits at Parris Island, Hill gleans insights from realist philosophy, the new materialism, and computational theory to show how the human being, per se, has been reconstituted from neutral citizen to unwitting combatant. As evident in the call for “bullets, beans, and data,” whatever can be parted out, counted, and reassembled can become war materiel. Hill shows how visible and invisible wars within identity, community, and cognition shift public-sphere activities, like racial identification, group organization, and even thought itself, in the direction of war. This shift has weaponized social activities against the very notion of society.
On Posthuman War delivers insights on the latest war technologies, strategies, and tactics while engaging in questions poised to overturn the foundations of modern political thought.
Mike Hill is professor of English at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is author of After Whiteness: Unmaking an American Majority and coauthor of The Other Adam Smith.
"On Posthuman War offers a compelling new account of the systemic militarization of human experience. Describing the weaponization of thought that has turned the brain itself into a combat zone, Mike Hill shows that the most basic epistemological and ontological questions can now only be posed from within the war machine."—Jan Mieszkowski, author of Watching War
"As Mike Hill demonstrates, war has become woven into the fabric of all our lives through the woof and warp of data and virtuality, and his discussion reaches deeply into the ontological import of this process. This is a book for our times, at once compelling and chilling, lively and optimistic."—Geoffrey C. Bowker, University of California, Irvine
"Flowing between philosophy, communication methods and the politics of diversity and race, the book bridges fields and informatively navigates the politics of war."—International Journal of Communication