Ryan Firebee drone | “Todos somos migrantes” (“We're all migrants”) mural by Teak and Adrián Juárez Omet in Pasaje Rodríguez, Tijuana | Colonia Postal, Tijuana
What is a drone? What does it do and how does it work? What political goals are pursued in drone design and through drone operations? These three questions are at the center of my dissertation project which traces the history of drones and their uses on the U.S.-Mexico border. Informed by the fields and methods of STS, digital studies, and Latina/o studies, I travelled to San Diego and Tijuana for archival research and oral history interviews. This field and archival trip was carried out with the support of my advisor, Dr. Lisa Nakamura, and the Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant.
Image sources: “1693 Ryan Firebee target 1962-12-11” is from the Ryan Aeronautical Negative Collection at the San Diego Air & Space Museum; the other two photographs are field pictures taken by Iván Chaar-López.
– Iván Chaar-Lopez, Ph.D. Candidate, American Culture