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CFP for Workshop: The ‘Surveillant Assemblage’ In the Age of AI

Pre-conference workshop: November 14, 2023 | Malmö, Sweden

Workshop website:

Organizing Committee:
Marie Eneman, Mikael Gustavsson & Jan Ljungberg 
Department of Applied Information Technology
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Keynote speaker: Professor Bernd Carsten Stahl
Bernd Carsten Stahl is Professor of Critical Research in Technology at the School of Computer Science of the University of Nottingham and former Director of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

The workshop is organized in connection with the main conference AI for Humanity and Society November 14-15, 2023: 

It has now been over 20 years since Haggerty and Ericsson’s (2000) seminal work on surveillant assemblages was published where they departed from the argument that two metaphors ‘Big Brother’ (Orwell, 1949) and ‘Panopticon’ (Foucault, 1977) had dominated the discussion of the contemporary developments in surveillance at the time. In this workshop, we will critically reflect on how the surveillant assemblage can be understood in our contemporary society and what dominates the current societal debate. Developments in digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) are laying the ground for surveillance capabilities of a magnitude we have never seen before, extending the intensity and scope of surveillance, to become more powerful, ubiquitous, and embedded in our daily lives. It should be emphasized that the emerging digital surveillance technologies should not be understood as individual tools related to certain practices, but rather a convergence of earlier discrete surveillance technologies into the surveillant assemblage. The introduction of surveillance provides high expectation of increased efficiency and security in society, while generating a set of tensions and dilemmas related to policy-making and regulation to protect fundamental democratic values and rights such as privacy and freedom of expression. The development of the powerful surveillant assemblage relates to an interplay of different factors such as:

  • A rapid, technical development of surveillance devices that collect information on citizens, e.g., stationary surveillance systems (CCTV), body-worn cameras, drones, biometrics such as facial and object recognition, secret data interception and a variety of sensors.
  • Increased platform surveillance as dominant pervasive social structures.
  • Availability of a large amount of data that comes from digital platforms and a plethora of personal digital services, such as social media, smart phones, GPS, and health apps, constituting a huge repository of information about citizens and their activities, readily available for use in surveillance, marketing, and political campaigning also known as dataveillance and surveillance capitalism.
  • Developments in AI and machine learning, advances the analytical step in surveillance, for both historical, real time and predictive analysis. A topical example is the controversial facial recognition app Clearview AI, based on a large volume of images of individuals scraped from social media.
  • Increased mandate for authorities to conduct surveillance e.g the new Swedish legislation ‘Secret Data Interception’ enabling the police to use “hacking” as a work method.
  • The intricate interplay between public and private actors, e.g. how government logics of interest to increase security in society are entangled into market-driven logics for capital and its consequences for how government work is organized.
  • Increased risks for fundamental democratic rights as privacy and freedom of expression, which raises important questions related to how rights as privacy can be conceptualized in relation to AI surveillance and how privacy can and should be protected.
  • The new EU proposal called ‘Chat Control’ which would enable mass surveillance of citizens in the EU, motivated by expectations that it will contribute to fight crimes.The proposal suggests that all internet service providers in the EU should be forced to monitor all communication on their platforms using Chat control’s algorithms.

Objectives with the workshop
The core aim of the workshop is to provide a platform and bring together researchers and other relevant stakeholders such as law and policy-makers, practitioners and developers to critically discuss issues related to surveillance and privacy in our contemporary society. In Sweden and within the EU, there is currently a strong political will and pressure to further extend the mandate for state and private actors to use surveillance motivated by the need to increase efficiency and security in society. This raises important questions on how the potential with emerging technologies can be used responsibly to increase security in society while protecting fundamental democratic values such as privacy and freedom of expression. The workshop welcomes a broad audience – researchers, law and policy-makers, practitioners and developers.

Registration and submission
Welcome to submit an extended abstract of 1000-1200 words (excluding the reference list) related to the workshop theme on critical issues related to the contemporary development of surveillance in society. The abstract should be emailed to marie [dot] eneman [at] with the subject surveillance workshop no later than August 15.

Submission deadline: 15 August, 2023
Notification:  22 August, 2023

Please note that in order to participate in this workshop you must also register for the main conference. Registration for the conference opens on 15 August.

WASP-HS is considering publishing a collection of papers from the workshops as a joint volume. Please direct any of your questions about the workshop to main organizer: Marie Eneman at – marie [dot] eneman [at]

Call for Papers: Oregon Surveillance Studies Workshop 2023

Oregon Surveillance Studies Workshop 2023

October 13–14, 2023 | University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (USA)

Conference Theme: Media, Information, and Surveillance

Organized by the Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) and hosted by the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), with additional support from Oregon State University’s School of Communication.

Conference website:
 Conference Co-Chairs:                
  • Bryce Newell – University of Oregon 
  • Joshua Reeves – Oregon State University

The 2023 Oregon Surveillance Studies Workshop welcomes proposals from scholars across disciplines to workshop works-in-progress papers that focus on issues of surveillance and/in society, with a particular emphasis on scholarship that brings media, communication, or information studies perspectives to these issues. Our broad theme is focused on the interconnections between “Media, Information, and Surveillance.” Proposals that align with the theme of the conference will receive some priority in the selection process. By framing the conference theme around issues of media, information, and surveillance, we hope to foster connections and dialogue about how approaching and understanding emerging surveillance practices and technologies from media studies, communication theory, information science, and critical data studies perspectives can provide new insights or open new directions for surveillance studies research. For example: How can theories, concepts, and approaches from media studies and the information sciences inform how we conceptualize, study, and regulate emerging forms of data-intensive surveillance?

More details:

Over twenty years ago, in 2002, Gary Marx presented his ideas about “the new surveillance” (Marx 2002) in the first issue of Surveillance & Society. Examining the evolution of surveillance practices and their increasing reliance on information technologies, Marx argued that the defining feature of this new surveillance was “the use of technical means to extract or create personal data” (Marx 2002: 12). Much has changed in the intervening years, both in terms of technology and surveillance practices, but this definition continues to apply to new forms of data-intensive surveillance today. At the same time, the transdisciplinary field of surveillance studies has matured over the past two decades, bringing together scholars from a variety of academic disciplines interested in conducting research at the intersections of surveillance and society. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together scholars from the fields of media studies, communication, the information sciences, critical data studies, and related fields to explore how theories, concepts, and ideas from these fields can inform transdisciplinary research and scholarship into the realities, social implications, and regulation of new and emerging surveillance and data-intensive technologies in society.

The Oregon Surveillance Studies Workshop is a discussion-based conference in which each session is dedicated to discussing and providing feedback on a single draft paper. Designated discussants briefly present the paper and provide comments and feedback, after which the author may respond (but does not present or summarize their paper), and then the room is opened for broad discussion amongst, and feedback from, everyone else in attendance. Because of this format, participants are expected to have read papers before the sessions and to actively provide constructive feedback. As such, conference participants have ample opportunities to engage and contribute to the sessions even if they do not workshop a paper (for example, as a discussant who provides commentary and feedback).

The conference will take place over two days and will include both physical and virtual attendance options. We anticipate hosting several sessions of the conference as dedicated or hybrid virtual sessions designed to allow scholars who are not able to easily travel to Oregon the opportunity to participate in at least some of the discussions at the conference. However, not all of the physical sessions of the conference will be streamed virtually, so virtual attendance is likely to provide a much more limited array of attendance options than in-person attendance. Applicants must designate on their initial application whether they are available to attend in person or only remotely. The in-person conference will include face-to-face roundtable discussions on both days of the conference as well as several meals and extended breaks to allow for networking and informal discussions to take place between participants. We anticipate being able to workshop at least 24 papers in person, with several more offered in a virtual format.

Dates and deadlines:
  • Abstract submission deadline: June 30, 2023
  • Acceptance/rejection decisions back to authors: July 22, 2023
  • Registration (early bird) deadline: August 18, 2023 
  • Author/Discussant/Commenter final registration deadline: Sept. 16, 2023
  • Full drafts of accepted papers due: Sept. 16, 2023 (full drafts not submitted by this date will be withdrawn from the program)*
  • Conference dates: October 12-13, 2023

*Important note about full drafts: Proposals will be accepted on the basis of abstracts, but full drafts of accepted papers must be submitted in time for discussants and other participants to read and prepare comments as noted below. If authors of accepted abstracts do not submit a full draft paper by the Sept. 16 deadline, their paper will be removed from the program and will not be workshopped at the conference.

Submission instructions:

Authors should submit an abstract as part of their application to have their research workshopped at the conference. Your abstracts should be in English and be between 500 and 700 words. You should clearly and concisely link your ideas and research to existing scholarly literature (and fully reference cited literature in a references section following your abstract). Abstracts should identify the theories, concepts, methods, and conclusions of your paper, and should also demonstrate your awareness and understanding of the existing relevant literature and explain how your work relates to, informs, or diverges from the existing body of knowledge. If you wish to cite your own work in your abstract, you should refer to your work in the third person – for example, “As Newell and Reeves (2023) argued,” instead of something like “in our prior work….”

Note: Abstracts which reveal the identity of the author(s), are not accompanied by full references to prior work (those cited in the abstract), or which are significantly below 500 words or above 700 words will be rejected without review.

Finally, please remember that substantially completed full drafts (which need not be polished but should be complete enough for meaningful discussion and feedback during the conference) will be required for all accepted proposals.

Please indicate in your abstract/application whether you anticipate being available to attend the conference in person or whether you intend to participate remotely. (Note that there will be more limited opportunities for remote participation.)

You should submit your abstracts through EasyChair (link:


Please direct any of your questions to the conference co-chairs, Bryce Newell ( and Joshua Reeves ( Please put “SSN Oregon 2023” in the subject line of your email. Please also check the conference website for additional information as the conference dates get closer:

Our Sponsors:

Surveillance Studies Network (SSN)

University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC)

Oregon State University School of Communication

SSN on Twitter

Surveillance & Society