Garrett McKinnon

Garrett McKinnon is a PhD candidate in the department of history specializing in twentieth-century United States history within a global context. At Duke, he completed fields of study focusing on the history of the United States in the world, U.S. social movements from the revolutionary war to the present, and global and comparative political economy. As an instructor of record at Duke he has taught courses on Cold War America, modern warfare, United States political history, and United States Civil War and Reconstruction. His primary advisor is Dirk Bönker.

McKinnon is completing his dissertation, titled: "Automating Violence: A History of United States Drone Warfare, 1900-1970." This work draws upon sources of military and civilian provenance to historicize drone technology. His dissertation differs from much existing scholarship by offering a genealogy of war through the drone’s historical development. It examines cultural, corporate, and policy discourse over a long period of time to better understand the fantasies and anxieties that surrounded man and machine during key moments of U.S. armed conflict. Tracing drone technology’s intertwine into politics and culture from the First World War Era through the Vietnam War, his dissertation interrogates how constructions of airmen’s masculinity and  humanity shaped efforts to mechanize war with drones. More broadly, his work contributes to the literatures on warfare, technology, transnationalism, gender, discourse, and science. 

Current Research Interests

United States History
Transnational History
Cultural History
Social History
Military, War, and Society Studies
History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
Science, Technology, and Society
Social Movement History
Political Economy
History of Gender and Sexuality

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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