Ethics and War: Priya Satia (History, Stanford)

Thu February 9th 2012, 5:30pm
Event Sponsor
McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society
Annenberg Auditorium, 435 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Ethics and War: Priya Satia (History, Stanford)

"The Defense of Inhumanity: Air Control and the British Idea of Arabia"~~~Abstract: In this lecture, Prof. Satia takes up the question of aerial control, a military surveillance tactic the British invented in Iraq between the world wars. In particular, she will examine how British perceptions of the region and the postwar emergence of British mass democracy inspired the aerial control regime. She will also describe how British officials reconciled their genuine ethical scruples with the actual violence of imperial policing in the region. Finally, she will discuss how the period of British rule in Iraq has shaped American thinking about the region and the Iraqi response to the American presence.Priya Satia's research interests span modern British cultural and political history, colonialism and imperialism, the experience and practice of war, technology and culture, human rights and humanitarianism, the state and institutions of government, arms trade, political economy of empire, and environmental history.

Satia was raised in Los Gatos, California and educated at Stanford, the London School of Economics, and the University of California, Berkeley where she earned her Ph.D. in 2004.  She is currently Associate Professor of History at Stanford where she teaches courses on modern Britain and the British Empire.

Satia's latest book Spies in Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East has been the recipient of several book prizes including the 2009 AHA-Pacific Coast Branch Book Award, the AHA Herbert Baxter Adams Book Prize in 2009, and the 2010 Pacific Coast Conference of British Studies Book Prize.

Her work can also be found in academic journals such as the American Historical Reviewand Past and Present. Her article, “The Defense of Inhumanity: Air Control in Iraq and the British Idea of Arabia” won the Article Prize of the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies for 2005-2006 and the 2007 Walter D. Love Prize of the North American Conference on British Studies. 

Satia is currently researching the manufacture, trade, and use of small arms in the British empire for her book project, "Guns: The True History of the British Empire."