Dear Surveillance Studies Community,
In this moment of international reckoning with legacies of anti-Black and settler colonialisms, we stand in solidarity with those protesting police violence, racial capitalism, and white supremacy. And we recognize that the embodied stresses, strains, and violences of enduring and mobilizing for change in this context fall unevenly on people of color, including gender non-confirming and trans people. These lived realities heavily influence who has the space, energy, and choice to participate in scholarly activities, and whose voices and viewpoints are represented at this time.
The directors and board of the Surveillance Studies Network and the editorial board and staff of Surveillance & Society are committed to care for and solidarity with scholars who face oppression, violence, and inequality, in academic contexts and beyond. This solidarity is even more important in a moment when the inequities of time, labour, resources, and precarity are increasing. In the present historical moment of unprecedented social crises and public health emergencies, we acknowledge the unequal burdens of work and collective care. Many scholars, students, and practitioners are struggling right now to balance responsibilities of home, work, and care for others, as well as dealing with financial precarity and managing mental, physical, and emotional health. These responsibilities and stresses disproportionately target BIPOC scholars, queer and trans writers, women, and people with disabilities, whose voices may then be marginalized, silenced, and suppressed in this moment of upheaval and emergency.
We acknowledge these longstanding—and currently exacerbated—imbalances and are committed to redoubling our efforts to correct them within our own community. Some of our new and ongoing interventions include
- 1. Funding up to four small research grants (of up to £500 each) a year to support underrepresented scholars.
- 2. Providing travel grants for underrepresented junior scholars to offset the costs of attending our biennial international conference.
- 3. Building out our existing mentorship program to foster meaningful support, mentorship, and community for underrepresented minorities.
- 4. Recruiting additional BIPOC surveillance-studies scholars to join the SSN board and the journal’s editorial board.
- 5. Extending revise and resubmit deadlines for manuscripts under review at Surveillance & Society to reduce stress and accommodate the time constraints of scholars during this period of anxiety and labor imbalance.
The vigilance to provide more thorough representation in the work appearing at our conferences and in the journal is ongoing. We are committed to expanding the range of work appearing in these venues, and we welcome your suggestions and contributions. For instance, the journal is prioritizing contributions on its blog, blink, which focuses on timelier dispatches than those allowed by the labor-intensive (but necessary) process of journal peer-review. We also encourage authors to consider the multiple ways they can contribute to dialogues around surveillance offered by the journal. Sections such as Review Articles and Opinion Pieces offer spaces for speculative and generative work with shorter and more flexible formats that may feel more manageable and responsive to current discussions.
As an international community of scholars and practitioners devoted to the critical study of surveillance, we are dedicated not only to promoting research and scholarship in its multiple forms, but also to supporting and upholding those who undertake this work.