Drones, gender and identity in the new American way of war



12 May 2015


Seymour Centre, Chippendale

The US Studies Centre together with Sydney Ideas and Seymour Centre presented a panel discussion following a performance of Grounded, a play by George Brant. Dr David Smith moderated the panel discussion, which explored the themes of Grounded with a discussion of the issues as they are happening now: as women take on increasingly prominent roles in war, has military culture changed to reflect this new reality? How has the use of drones, so popular in the United States but so hated elsewhere, affected the way the US fights wars? How do drone pilots cope - or fail to cope - with the huge ethical dilemmas they encounter in their jobs?


  • Professor Megan H. MacKenzie
    Professor Megan H. MacKenzie
    Non-Resident Fellow, United States Studies Centre and Professor of Gender and War, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

    Megan MacKenzie is a non-resident fellow at the United States Studies Centre and a Professor of Gender and War in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Her research is broadly aimed at reducing war; it bridges feminist theory, critical security studies, and critical/post development studies. Megan has contributed research on topics including sexual violence in war, truth and reconciliation commissions, military culture, images and international relations, and women in combat.

  • Dr Jennifer Hunt
    Dr Jennifer Hunt
    Lecturer, National Security College, Australian National University

    Jennifer S. Hunt is a Lecturer at the National Security College at ANU. She was previously a lecturer and research associate at the United States Studies Centre. Her research portfolio examines the interplay between defence, energy and economic issues, with a focus on the US and the Arab Gulf. She has published on energy security policy in the US and Australia, the geopolitics of energy markets, and economic and political transitions in the Arab Gulf.

  • Dr David Smith
    Dr David Smith
    Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy, United States Studies Centre (jointly appointed with the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney)

    David Smith is jointly appointed between the US Studies Centre and the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. His research examines political relations between states and minorities, with a focus on religion in the US. His book Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.