Part I. Intro, History & Theory

Week 1 - 8/22 & 8/24 - Intro & Syllabus; Intro to website & social media; What is a “drone”?


“Start Here” articles from 

“introduction” in Laurence Newcome, Unmanned Aviation: A Brief History of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 

Week 2 - 8/29 & 8/31 - Technological Determinism


"Do Artifacts Have Politics?" in L. Winner, The whale and the reactor: a search for limits in an age of high technology (University of Chicago Press, 1986).

"Introduction" and "Technological Determinism in American Culture," in Merritt Roe Smith and Leo Marx, Does Technology Drive History?: The Dilemma of Technological Determinism (MIT Press, 1994).


Chpt. 1 in Volti, Rudi. Society and Technological Change. 5th ed ed. New York: Worth Publishers, 2006.

Leo Marx, "Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept," Social Research 64 (1997): 965–88.

Week 3 - 9/7 - Social Construction of Technology [Monday class cancelled for Labor Day]


Chpt 3 in in Volti, Rudi. Society and Technological Change. 5th ed ed. New York: Worth Publishers, 2006.

Pinch and Bijker, "The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts: Or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology Might Benefit Each Other," in Wiebe Bijker, Thomas P. Hughes, and Trevor Pinch, The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology (The MIT Press, 1989).


Law, John (1987) Technology and Heterogenous Engineering: The Case of Portuguese Expansion. In Bijker WE, Hughes TP, Pinch TJ (eds) The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 111-134.

Hughes, "Technological Momentum," in Merritt Roe Smith and Leo Marx, Does Technology Drive History?: The Dilemma of Technological Determinism (MIT Press, 1994).

Part II. Military, Intelligence & Law Enforcement

Week 4 - 9/12 & 9/14 - Drone Surveillance-Strike and the War on Terror

Guest Speakesr: 

9/12 - Marouf Hasian, Professor, Department of Communication, University of Utah

9/14 - Aaron Jolley, Program Manager, L3 Communications


Thomas Billitteri (2010), “Drone Warfare,” CQ Researcher, 20 (28): 653-676.

Currier, C. and Maas, P. (2015) “Firing blind: Flawed intelligence and the limits of drone technology,” The Intercept, 15 October 2015. Online. Available HTTP: < > (accessed 15 October 2015).

Chapter 6, ‘The “Stress” of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Crews and the Biopolitical Normalization of America’s “Precise” Drone Attacks Overseas’, in Hasian, M., Lawson, S.T. and McFarlane, M. (2015) The Rhetorical Invention of America’s National Security State, Lanham, MA: Lexington Books.

Guiora, Amos N., Targeted Killing: When Proportionality Gets All Out of Proportion (2013). University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 1. Available at SSRN: or 

Micah Zenko, “Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies,” Council Special Report No. 65, January 2013,


Guiora, Amos N. License to Kill. Foreign Policy. 13 July 2009.

Cora Currier, “Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes, ProPublica, Feb. 5, 2013, 

Targeted Killings and Drone Warfare - Council on Foreign Relations 

The NSA's Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program - The Intercept

Guiora, Amos N., Determining a Legitimate Target: The Dilemma of the Decision Maker (August 4, 2011). Texas International Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or 

Stanford/NYU Law Schools, Living Under Drones,

Columbia Law School, The Civilian Impact of Drone Strikes: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions, 

United Nations, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,

summary or arbitrary executions, 

Micah Zenko and Sarah Kreps, “Limiting Armed Drone Proliferation,” Council Special Report No. 69, June 2014, 

Additional Resources

Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s “Covert Drone War” Page -

ProPublica’s “The Drone War” Page -

Living Under Drones - 

Week 5 - 9/19 & 9/21 - Domestic Law Enforcement and Surveillance Drones


Richard M. Thompson II (2013), Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations, Congressional Research Service. April 3.

McNeal, G.S. (2016) “Drones and the Future of Aerial Surveillance,” George Washington Law Review, 10, 10: 354-416.

Craig Whitlock and Craig Timberg (2014), “Border-patrol drones being borrowed by other agencies more often than previously known,” The Washington Post (January 14). 


Chad C. Haddal and Jeremiah Gertler (2010), Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance, Congressional Research Service. July 8.

Farber, Hillary B., “Eyes in the Sky: Constitutional and Regulatory Approaches to Domestic Drone Deployment” (February 3, 2014). Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 64, No. 1, 2013. Available at SSRN: 

Week 6 - 9/26 & 9/28 - Classes CANCELLED. Instructor conference travel.

Week 7 - 10/3 & 10/5 - Debating Military, Intelligence & Law Enforcement Drones

Demonstration debate from the University of Utah’s John R. Park Debate Team.

In-class student debate about military, intelligence, and law enforcement use of drones.

Week 8 - 10/10 & 10/12 - FALL BREAK

Part III. Emerging Civilian Uses of Drones

Week 9 - 10/17 & 10/19 - Emerging Domestic Uses

10/19 - Guest Speaker: Avery Holton


Daniel McGlynn (2013), “Domestic Drones,” CQ Researcher, 23 (37): 885-908.

David Goldberg, Mark Corcoran, and Robert G. Picard, “Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Journalism: Opportunities and Challenges of Drones in Newsgathering.” Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. June 2013.

Mark Tremaynea & Andrew Clarkb, “New Perspectives from The Sky: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Journalism,” Digital Journalism, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014.

Holton, A.E., Lawson, S. and Love, C. (2014) “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” Journalism Practice, : 1-17.


Bart Elias (2012), Pilotless Drones: Background and Considerations for Congress Regarding Unmanned Aircraft Operations in the National Airspace System, Congressional Research Service. September 10.

Week 10 - 10/24 & 10/26 - Drones at the U

10/26 - Cari Johnson, University of Utah Geology, talk about drones in research


Lawson, S. & Holton, A., “Testing Immersive Classroom Innovation With Drones,” MediaShift, 14 September 2014, 

McChord, K., “U. creates curriculum to study social, ethical uses of drones,”, 11 November 2014, 

Week 11 - 10/31 & 11/2 - Legal Issues and Regulation

11/2 - John Horel, University of Utah Atmospheric Sciences, talk and demonstration flight


Alissa M. Dolan (2013), Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues, Congressional Research Service. April 4.

Huerta v. Pirker, March 6, 2013.

Cynthia Love, Sean Lawson, and Avery Holton (2014), “News from Above: First Amendment Implications of the Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Drone Ban,” Mercatus Center Work Paper.


Kaminski, Margot E., Drone Federalism: Civilian Drones and the Things They Carry (April 26, 2013). 4 California Law Review Circuit 57 (2013) . Available at SSRN: 

Week 12 - 11/7 & 11/9 - Ethics and Privacy

Guest Speaker: Randy Dryer


David Wolfgang, “Droning On,” Quill, March/April 2013.

Culver, K. B. (2014). From Battlefield to Newsroom: Ethical Implications of Drone Technology in Journalism. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 29(1), 52–64. doi:10.1080/08900523.2013.829679

John Villasenor, “Observations from Above: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Privacy,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2013, 

IV. Final Projects

Week 13 - 11/14 & 11/16 - Final Project Lab Time

        Open lab time to polish final projects.

Week 14 - 11/21 - Final Project Lab Time [Wednesday class CANCELLED for Thanksgiving]

Week 15 - 11/28 & 11/30 - Final Project Presentations

Week 16 - 12/5 & 12/7 - Final Project Presentations