Thursday, September 13, 2007

Surveillance and Society Conference 2008

InVisibilities: The Politics, Practice and Experience of Surveillance in Everyday Life

A two-day international conference hosted by the Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield in association with the Surveillance Studies Network

Wednesday 2nd April - Thurs
day 3rd April 2008


While many of the world’s nations are becoming surveillance societies, the nature of life with surveillance in those societies is far from homogeneous, and is not widely researched or theorised. This conference focuses on the lived realities of surveillance and is keen to encourage empirical studies which document its everyday experience.

By its very nature surveillance makes populations visible, and differentiates between their members; surveillance itself features varied techniques, intensities and foci. Whether as workers, consumers, children, patients, criminals, web surfers or travellers we are made visible in different ways, through different technologies and administrative regimes. Visibility is not always total, unproductive or oppressive – visibility is necessarily partial. For some it is actively embraced: lives are lived in visibility.

Nevertheless, widespread ambivalence towards surveillance has been noted in academic, policy and media circles. As surveillance confers benefits and incurs costs on individuals, personal information economies of surveillance emerge. In building personal strategies which involve surveillance practices, invisibilities are negotiated to mediate, limit and exploit exposure to surveillance. How individuals, groups, organizations and societies negotiate, experience, resist, comply with, and enjoy surveillance are critical empirical questions, which appeal to surveillance scholars from a wide range of social science disciplines.

Key themes to include:

• Experiencing Surveillance and Visibility
• Participatory and Voluntary Surveillance
• Theorising (in)visibility
• Histories of Surveillance and Visibility
• Surveillance of the Other - Visibility and Difference
• Representations of Surveillance in Film/Art/Literature/Media
• State Surveillance and Identification
• Surveillance, visibility and the welfare state
• Surveillance and consumer visibility
• The transparent body
• Electronic visibilities
• (In)visibility and labour
• Negotiating (in)visibility
• Researching (in)visibility
• Spatial visibilities
• Surveillance futures

Submission of Abstracts and Expressions of Interest

If you would like to give a paper please submit your abstract to Lisa Burns at the University of Sheffield by January 31st 2008. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words. Your abstract should also contain the following information.

• Name
• Country of residence
• Institutional affiliation
• Institutional address
• Telephone number
• Email address

On the same theme about surveillance, Queen's University, Kingston has been working on the Surveillance Project.

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