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CULTURAL POLITICS 225 REPRINTS AVAILABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE PUBLISHERS. PHOTOCOPYING PERMITTED BY LICENSE ONLY© BERG 2006 PRINTED IN THE UK CULTURAL POLITICS VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2 PP 225–244 ON TERRORWAR: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS HABLES GRAY JOHN ARMITAGE An American cyberculture theorist and political activist, Chris Hables Gray was born in 1953 in Bishop, California. Gray is chiefly associated with the concept of the cybernetic organism or cyborg in addition to ideas regarding contemporary warfare and the politics of citizenship in the era of posthumanism. Inspired by his adviser in the History of Consciousness (Histcon) doctoral program at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Donna Haraway (1991, 1997), and to a certain extent also by the pioneering work of Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan Kline (1960), Gray’s writings are broadly comparable to those of N. Katherine Hayles (1999) and such fellow Histcon graduates as Paul Edwards (1996),Chela Sandoval (1995), Ron Eglash (1999), Jennifer Gonzalez (1995), Joe Dumit (Dumit and Davis-Floyd 1998), Sarah Williams (1995), and Rosanne Allucquére Stone (1995a) on cyborgization, situated knowledges, posthumanism, and embodiment in cyberspace. Gray’s most important works include his groundbreaking edited volume The Cyborg Handbook (1995), assisted by Steven Mentor (Mentor and Gray 1995) and Heidi Figueroa-Sarriera (1999), two long-time collaborators (Gray, > CULTURAL POLITICS 226 JOHN ARMITAGE Mentor, and Figueroa-Sarriera 1995), and his single-authored books PostmodernWar:The New Politics of Conflict (1997) and Cyborg Citizen: Politics in the Posthuman Age (2002). Through these works and related critical essays on anarchism and feminism in academic and activist journals,and as a Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Graduate College of the Union Institute and University,and Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies for Goddard College, Gray’s writings are currently influencing debates within cultural and technology,science, cyborg, and citizenship studies. At present, however, Gray’s work centers on an examination of the connections between what he calls twenty-first-century “TerrorWar” and power politics in the postSeptember 11th epoch. Accordingly,in this interview,Gray discusses his new book,Peace,War,and Computers (2005) with John Armitage, who teaches cultural and political studies at Northumbria University, UK. ON TERRORWAR JOHN ARMITAGE: I want to open this interview by inquiring as to how Peace, War, and Computers took intellectual form. For example, did this project emerge from your long-standing theoretical interest in postmodern warfare, new information and communication technologies , cultural and political struggles, or, perhaps, from the catastrophic events of September 11th and the subsequent US–led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq? In other words, is your objective in the book to improve our theoretical understanding of concepts such as war and technology or is it rather more concerned with enhancing our awareness of new kinds of cultural and political activism in the post-September 11th situation? CHRIS HABLES GRAY: Peace, War, and Computers was due to be sent into Routledge in October of 2001, but after the events of September 11th I realized it would have to be rewritten. Originally, it was supposed to be a sort of companion to PostmodernWar,showing how computers (as machines and as metaphors) have impacted peace and justice activism as much as they have the war movement , but in 2002 the book morphed into an analysis of the role of information (as an idea, as a commodity, and as a force multiplier) in both war and peace making, and more generally an argument about how information systems were transforming the international system. Special attention is still given in the book to the movement of movements (as some call it) and how new information technologies, and new understandings of information, are fostering new kinds of cultural and political struggles, exemplified for me recently by the Zapatistas, the Seattle protests, Argentina and Spain in the last few years, but based on a long history of nonhierarchical (horizontal as people like to say now) revolutionary practice among anarchists, feminists, ecologists, autonomistas, and others around the world. CULTURAL POLITICS 227 ON TERRORWAR: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS HABLES GRAY I myself came to academia from activism. In the late 1980s I was working construction and doing nonviolent direct actions against nuclear weapons and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1751-7435
Print ISSN
1743-2197
Pages
pp. 225-244
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-06
Open Access
No
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