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Save the Date: SSN 2022 in Rotterdam

Save the Date!

9th Biennial Surveillance Studies Network Conference

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1-3 June 2022

More information about the conference and the call for papers will follow in September 2021



Call for SSN Mentorship Program, deadline extended

Dear Colleagues,

The Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) is beginning its 2021 mentorship program for doctoral students engaged in research topics on surveillance. 

We are calling for faculty members and PhD students who are interested to participate this year as mentors and mentees, respectively. 

One faculty member mentor will be paired with one PhD student mentee for a one-year period beginning in June 2021. The time commitment is minimal, but the program greatly assists young surveillance scholars in developing their scholarship and networking with established scholars in the field. 

Over the one-year period, each pair will have a minimum of two discussions via phone or video chat. The focus of the discussions can be determined individually by each pair, but they might cover the mentee’s research or research interests, related literatures, the academic job market, or other matters relating to career. (Please note that, as an informal mentorship arrangement, the program is intended only as a supplement and not a replacement to students’ pre-existing supervisor/mentorship relationships.) 

If you are interested in participating, please email mentorship coordinator Julia Chan (julia.chan@carleton.ca) by June 25. 2021 with your name, contact information, and up to five keywords of research interests. We will do our best to match faculty members and PhD students who share similar interests. 

Note: It is expected that PhD students participating in the program will become SSN members, if they are not already. 

We look forward to hearing from you! 
Julia



Call: SSN Small Research Grants

We are pleased to announce the 2021-22 Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) Small Research Grant competition (call as pdf). The SSN Small Grants scheme provides funding to support junior/early-career scholars working in economically under-resourced regions of the world. This year, we will be able to fund two awards of up to £1500 each, to be used during the 2021-2022 academic year in support of surveillance studies research (for more information about what constitutes surveillance studies research, we recommend reviewing articles published in Surveillance & Society (http://surveillance-and-society.org/), the SSN’s international journal of surveillance studies). These awards will also be accompanied by a two-year SSN membership. The Small Grants Committee will review and select recipients based on the following criteria and process.

Read more ›


cfp for Dialogues: Imagining Surveillance Futures

Dear Colleagues,

We are very excited to announce a call for contributions to a joint Dialogue Section-Art Forum of Surveillance & Society we are calling “Surveillance Stories: Imagining Surveillance Futures.” Storytelling has the ability to capture the imagination and to attract a wide audience. Stories can also generate important meanings, engage metaphors, and explore new possibilities in ways that conventional academic papers often cannot, or at least typically do not.

Therefore, for this special project, we invite contributions that creatively engage with the possibilities of the surveillant future. Submissions should inform how we ought to think about surveillance, regulate surveillance, or study surveillance to achieve/avoid the futures depicted in the stories. These pieces can take the form of a short narrative piece (~800 to 2000-words, if text-based; ~2-5 minutes if time-based media), including speculative stories. They can also involve artistic interventions that explore and visualize this topic. Contributions can be fictional, quasi-fictional, or nonfiction stories (presented in a narrative fashion) that draw on surveillance studies research and theory to imagine what possible surveillance futures might look like. 

Our interest here is to encourage stories that imagine utopian as well as dystopian futures, and that utilize creative text, images, video, and other forms of artistic expression (the range of media for artworks that can be presented is subject to the technological limitations of the journal’s platform, but can include video and limited photography or images—please get in touch if you have questions about what might be possible). For selected pieces, we will also request that authors include a closing paragraph or two at the end of each piece that specifically links the elements of the story to existing surveillance studies research (including research previously published in Surveillance & Society or elsewhere, or that builds on the authors’ own fieldwork or other research). (Media not based in text should also include a transcript of dialogue, basic description of the visuals, etc.)

Along with the narration of surveillant futures as a mode of creative address, our goal with this special project is to make space for explorations that focus on and derive from various regions and perspectives often under-represented in surveillance studies research. We are interested in bringing into conversation a collection of works that capture a range of approaches and from a multitude of viewpoints. As such, we will prioritize submissions against those criteria, in addition to excellence and fit with the full set of accepted pieces.

For inspiration and as examples of similar sorts of projects, we refer you to a new publication from the UW Tech Policy Lab, “Telling Stories” (https://techpolicylab.uw.edu/telling-stories/), that contains fictional stories about artificial intelligence. You may also find Dr. Casey Fiesler’s new paper, “Innovating like an Optimist, Preparing like a Pessimist: Ethical Speculation and the Legal Imagination” of interest (find it online at https://ctlj.colorado.edu/?page_id=1283). Within the Value Sensitive Design field, Nathan, Klasnja, and Friedman’s “Value Scenarios: A Technique for Envisioning Systemic Effects of New Technologies” (https://doi.org/10.1145/1240866.1241046) may also be of interest.  

Submission: 

If you are interested in proposing piece for the Surveillance Stories section, please send the following to us on or before the end of day on April 16, 2021 (to both bcnewell@uoregon.edu and susan.cahill@ucalgary.ca):

  • Your name
  • Details of your institutional affiliation (if applicable)
  • Link to your online profile, website, etc., with list of your publications or artistic pieces (if available)
  • A title and ~300- to 400-word abstract for your proposed contribution (which can describe the storytelling approach, the media to be used, and/or present a narrative element from the story)

Timeline:

Authors will be notified of initial acceptance decisions on or before May 15, 2021. Final drafts/versions of provisionally accepted pieces will be due on September 1, 2021. Final acceptance will follow shortly thereafter, with anticipated publication in the December 2021 issue of Surveillance & Society.

Please note that Dialogue and Art pieces are not refereed, but are subject to editorial review and, if (tentatively) accepted, possible requests for revision. Depending on time constraints, we also hope to allow authors of accepted contributions the chance to read or view and engage with the other accepted pieces prior to publication, to create a real dialogue within the section, when possible. We will only be selecting a limited number of pieces for inclusion in this special section. Recent Dialogue sections have focused on Surveillance and the COVID-19 Pandemic (coming in March 2021), Surveillance as EvidenceThe State of Sousveillance, and Decolonizing Surveillance Studies.

We look forward to reading your proposals.



Call for Dialogue: Terrorism, White Supremacy, State Surveillance

Dear Colleagues,

as the Dialogue Editor of Surveillance & Society, I invite expressions of interest to write short (~2000-word) papers for an upcoming Dialogue section of the journal focused on the interrelated topics of “Domestic Terrorism, White Supremacy, and State Surveillance.” We aim to publish the section in either the June or September 2021 issue of Surveillance & Society.

In this Dialogue, we seek contributions that examine how concerns about domestic terrorism, white supremacy, and/or nationalism have impacted domestic state surveillance practices and surveillance powers in countries around the world. The attack on the U.S. Capitol Building in January 2021 represents just one recent and high-profile instance of how nationalism and white supremacy have resulted in calls for greater domestic surveillance practices and powers. There have been others in many parts of the world in recent years. Thus, in this section we call for proposals to submit Dialogue pieces to the journal that reflect on, unpack, or critique how domestic state surveillance powers have been affected by domestic terrorism concerns in countries around the world (especially those related to white supremacy and nationalism), how surveillance studies research might inform the path forward, and (where relevant) how a surveillant focus on white nationalists and domestic terrorism might also negatively impact communities of color, exacerbate inequalities, and/or promote discrimination.

Specifically, we are looking for short contributions that answer (some of) these questions and, in the process, also critically examine the role that such surveillance may play in societies around the globe and suggest ideas, theories, or methods to approach surveillance studies research in the future. We are hoping to curate a small set of papers from scholars in various parts of the world, including in the Global South and areas not as commonly the focus of surveillance studies research. As such, we will prioritize submissions against those criteria, in addition to excellence and fit with the full set of accepted papers.

If you are interested in proposing a short paper for inclusion in this discussion, please send the following to me on or before the end of day on Feb. 28, 2021 (to bcnewell@uoregon.edu):

  • Your name
  • Details of your institutional affiliation (if applicable)
  • Link to your online profile, website, etc. with list of your publications (if available)
  • A title and 300-400 word abstract for your proposed contribution (proposals should connect to the themes identified above and also have a strong normative/critical/argumentative element)

Please note that Dialogue pieces are not refereed, but are subject to editorial review and, if (tentatively) accepted, possible requests for revision. Depending on time constraints, we also hope to allow authors of accepted papers the chance to read and engage with the other accepted papers prior to publication, to create a real dialogue within the section. We will only be selecting a small number of pieces for inclusion in this special section.

I look forward to reading your proposals.



New MA in Surveillance Studies in Rotterdam

We are proud to introduce our new Master Programme entitled “Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies”, starting next academic year (2021-2022) at Erasmus University Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. 

While digitalisation brings many opportunities, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and social media platforms involve an unprecedented collection of personal information and raise global challenges about privacy and security. Social media monitoring and manipulation can sway elections, spark civil strife and help predict expected social patterns and behaviour. Algorithms determine who gets to see which online information and advertisements, but also who is considered a public threat. In everyday life, many very useful apps and tools may provide the potential for new forms of (unwanted) surveillance.  Surveillance cameras make it possible for neighbours to report suspicious activity on WhatsApp groups and participate in local official and unofficial policing practices. Location tracking of family and friends is perceived to be both caring and controlling. Health and lifestyle apps promote physical and emotional well-being, all the while provoking their own privacy and ethical concerns.

The integration of digital technologies into a range of everyday practices create and perpetuate a number of contemporary and cross-sector issues that require better understanding and critical reflection about data collection, discrimination, privacy violations, and disruptions by and through digital media. The MA programme “Digitalisation, Surveillance & Societies” enables students to develop scientifically informed responses to these challenges by focusing on social, intercultural, political, technical, and international dimensions of digitalisation. It advances evaluative thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital for socially responsible technology design, as well as developing effective personal, social, organisational, political and policy responses or strategies to digital media practices. Understanding societal implications of digitalisation allows citizens, companies and governments to harness their potential while safeguarding the interests of those who could be vulnerable or exploited by them.

Please refer to our website for more information: https://www.eur.nl/en/master/digitalisation-surveillance-societies.

Additionally, any questions can be directed to either Daniel Trottier (trottier@eshcc.eur.nl) or to our team at: https://www.eur.nl/en/master/digitalisation-surveillance-societies/contact .



Call: Dialogues on Surveillance and Covid-19

As the Dialogue Editor of Surveillance & Society, I invite expressions of interest to write short (~2000-word) papers for an upcoming critical Dialogue section of the journal that takes stock of “the surveillance and privacy implications of COVID-19 one year on from its global emergence.” We aim to publish the section in the March 2021 issue of Surveillance & Society.

The big-picture questions we are seeking to examine are: Looking back over the past year, how has the global COVID-19 pandemic affected state or private surveillance around the world? Have new forms of surveillance emerged? How do these new surveillance systems (such as, but not limited to, automated contract-tracing programs) fit into or break out of existing models or theories of surveillance in society? Are we seeing very different surveillance responses in different parts of the world? Are these new developments examples of surveillance as a means of providing “care” (and, if so, how should we think critically about these forms of surveillance)?

Specifically, I am looking for short contributions that answer (some of) these questions and, in the process, also critically examine the (new) role that such surveillance may play in societies around the globe and suggest ideas, theories, or methods to approach surveillance studies research in the future. We are hoping to curate a small set of papers from scholars in various parts of the world, including in the Global South and areas not as commonly the focus of surveillance studies research. As such, we will prioritize submissions against those criteria, in addition to excellence and fit with the full set of accepted papers.

If you are interested in proposing a short paper for inclusion in this discussion, please send the following to me on or before the end of day on Dec. 13, 2020 (to bcnewell@uoregon.edu):

  • Your name, details of your institutional affiliation (if applicable), and information about your connection to the region of the world that you propose to examine in your proposed Dialogue paper.
  • A title and 300-400 word abstract for your proposed contribution (proposals should connect to the themes identified above and also have a strong normative element)

Please note that Dialogue pieces are not refereed, but are subject to editorial review and, if (tentatively) accepted, possible requests for revision. Depending on time constraints, we also hope to allow authors of accepted papers the chance to read and engage with the other accepted papers prior to publication, to create a real dialogue within the section. We will only be selecting a small number of pieces for inclusion in this special section.

I look forward to reading your proposals.



SSN Small Research Grant, ext. deadline

SSN is happy to announce that the next funding round for small research grants is now open, with a December 1 deadline for applications. See https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/surveillance-and-society/announcement/view/299 for the full CFP (ignore the earlier deadline noted in that post). The text is also presented below:

We are pleased to announce that in response to feedback from our members we have made available some funding to support scholars working in economically under-resourced regions. Through a “Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) Small Research Grant,” we will be able to make up to six awards of up to £500 each available for the 2020-2021 academic year. These awards will also be accompanied by two-year SSN memberships. The Small Grants Committee will review and select recipients based on the following criteria and process.

Eligibility

Surveillance Studies Network members (or non-members who conduct surveillance-related research and would like to become part of SSN) are encouraged to apply, with preference given to persons who:

  • justify themselves as working in an economically under-resourced region;
  • are early career researchers (i.e., a doctoral student or researcher who has earned their PhD in the last five years);
  • have not previously received funding through the SSN Small Research Grant; and,
  • submit all required criteria prior to the application deadline.

Evaluation Criteria

We will be evaluating applications based on their articulation of specific research-related activities that would significantly augment the applicant’s program of research, but that would not be feasible without additional funding. Additionally, we will take into consideration the overall feasibility of the proposed work and the extent to which it is likely to make a significant contribution to surveillance studies.

Process

Please submit a brief proposal (1-page maximum) outlining:

  • the activities to be conducted with the funding,
  • the importance of these activities to your program of research,
  • justification of your region of residence as economically under-resourced,
  • description of your suitability for the award based on the other criteria of preference, and
  • a timeline for completion of the activities planned. (All awarded funds must be spent by June 30, 2021.)

Additionally, please also submit a budget (1-page maximum) outlining your plans for using any awarded funds up to a maximum of £500 (e.g., transcription services, informant/human-subjects payments, technical equipment, conference fees, etc.).

Send your proposal and budget as one document (PDF preferred) to Bryce Newell at bcnewell@uoregon.edu on or before December 1, 2020. Please include the following text in your email subject header: “SSN Small Grants Application.” Notification of awards will be made as soon as possible after the deadline.



Call for Creative Submissions

Surveillance & Society has two new sections dedicated to artistic engagements with surveillance. Both “Artistic Presentations” and “Art Review” seek to highlight the ways in which broadly defined notions of creative practices not only reflect, but also produce, modes of thinking about themes and issues related to surveillance. Please see the description of the sections below, and feel free to circulate widely. Do not hesitate to get in touch with me at susan.cahill@ucalgary.ca if you have any questions or require further information.

Artistic Presentations

Surveillance & Society encourages submissions that make use of the possibilities offered by the electronic medium. We therefore welcome creative engagements with surveillance in the form of photography, video, multimedia, hypertext prose/poetry, codework, etc.

However please note that we cannot act as curators, and would generally expect only prepared pieces that have not previously been available online or in this form, with any accompanying explanatory text and guidance for the viewer / reader to be provided or arranged for by the creator(s).

Please contact the Arts Editor (susan.cahill@ucalgary.ca) if you wish to submit such a piece.

Art Review

Surveillance & Society is dedicated to art and creative practice as unique and productive ways to engage with topics related to surveillance. As such, the journal welcomes the inclusion of written reviews that critically address creative engagements with surveillance. In addition to soliciting work, we accept proposals for writing that could fit into the following three formats:

Art in Process
Published works about art primarily examine the piece after its completion. Here, we would like to include writing by artists about their process, the ways in which creative thinking, research, and production come together in the making of the artworks.

Art in Conversation
We encourage discussion pieces between artists, curators, and scholars discussing the state and place of art as a mode of surveillance address.

Artwork or Exhibition Review
Artwork or Exhibition Reviews should examine a contemporary creative work—either a single piece or a larger exhibition—in relation to the larger contexts of surveillance themes.

We also invite requests from artists or curators who would like to have their work reviewed. Please note that it is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission to reprint any included images.

In general, art review submissions should:

  • be no more than 2500 words in length (not including references);
  • otherwise follow the general author guidelines.
  • Please contact the Arts Editor (susan.cahill@ucalgary.ca) if you wish to submit such a piece.

Surveillance & Society is aware of and sensitive to many people’s uncertain situations right now. If you are interested in submitting a visual or written piece, but unsure of what the commitment or timelines might be, please contact the Arts Editor for a discussion.



Call for Nominations: SSN Book Award: 2020

The Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) invites nominations (including self-nominations) for the annual Surveillance Studies Book Award.

The award is given in recognition of an outstanding monograph on surveillance published during the preceding year. We are currently inviting nominations for 2020 (i.e., books with a ‘2019’ copyright date).

Single or multi-authored works are eligible, but not edited volumes.

The winner will receive an award amount of £100 (to be split among authors if there is more than one), as well as a 1-year membership for the Surveillance Studies Network (SSN), which provides benefits including discounts on all SSN-sponsored conferences and events. The winner/s will be announced in late 2020 and will be honored at the 2021 SSN conference, if possible.

Using the subject heading “SSN Book Award 2020,” please email the committee chair, Philip J. Boyle (pjboyle@uwaterloo.ca) to nominate a book. Please include the title of the book, year of publication, author, publishing house, and a paragraph of no more than 250 words detailing specifics about why thisbook would be suitable for the award.

The deadline for receipt of books from the publisher is September 30th, 2020. A copy of the book must be sent to each member of the prize committee (addresses will be provided). Hard copies are preferred where possible. Please note that books will not be returned.

SSN Book Award Committee Members:

  • Philip J. Boyle, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Legal Studies, University of Waterloo
  • Julia Chan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cinema & Media Arts, York University
  • Greg Wise, Professor of Communication Studies and Social Technology, Arizona State University


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