cfp: SSN 2022, Rotterdam

The 9th biennial Surveillance & Society conference of the Surveillance Studies Network, hosted by Erasmus University Rotterdam on June 1-3 2022 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


The conference is organised by the international, interdisciplinary open access journal Surveillance & Society ( and the Surveillance Studies Network, which is a registered charitable company dedicated to the study of surveillance in all its forms, and the free distribution of scholarly information (

Emerging blinking into the post-pandemic sunlight, the world’s longest-running surveillance studies conference is back, offering a famously welcoming, constructive atmosphere and three ways forward for thinking about surveillance:

1. TARGETS: Who is under surveillance? How are they affected, protected or harmed? Which individuals, communities or groups benefit and profit from surveillance, and which ones lose and are excluded?

2. TRACKS: How does surveillance happen – technologically, socially, politically, culturally etc.?And how is surveillance governed, controlled, regulated and prevented? What flows and what is blocked? What trajectories are emerging? What possibilities are there for critique, opposition, reform, resistance, struggle and destruction?

3. TRACES: What is left behind?How are trajectories and pathways (re)constructed across individual, collective and societal histories?

These themes will inspire a range of interventions across (sub-)disciplines and approaches. We invite scholars, artists, and practitioners from all backgrounds to engage critically with historical, current and emergent surveillance practices, performances, policies, patterns, plans and proposals, and the various dilemmas, opportunities and ambivalences these represent.


We are delighted to already confirm two superb keynote speakers:

  • Simone Browne, Associate Professor, in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies University of Texas (US)
  • Elizabeth Joh, Martin Luther King Professor of Law, UC Davis (US)


Organisational, industrial, and commercial visions
  • Surveillance and the workplace
  • Consumption and surveillance
  • Medical surveillance
  • Fraud detection and security
  • Education and monitoring
Viewing transitions
  • Migration and refugees
  • Borders and security
  • Social movements and protests for change
  • Electoral monitoring

Digitally mediated surveillance

  • Algorithms and focused monitoring
  • Drones and security devices
  • Social media platforms
  • Mobile devices, including wearables
  • Internet infrastructures
  • IoT devices
  • Big data analytics
  • Machine-learning
Sensing beyond seeing
  • Critiques of visual metaphors
  • Listening and other kinds of sensing
  • Bodies, biometrics & haptics
  • Affective surveillance
Law, Justice & Surveillance
  • Policing, intelligence and security
  • Surveillance in the courts
  • Surveillance and human rights
  • Privacy and Surveillance
Surveillance and Social Relations
  • Racialization
  • Gender and identity
  • Families and children
  • Households and neighbourhoods
Surveillance culture(s)
  • Surveillance art
  • Performing surveillance
  • Surveillance film and television
  • Writing surveillance
  • Science fiction and dystopian accounts
Politics and Philosophy of Surveillance
  • Surveillance politics
  • Surveillance and social justice
  • Philosophy of Surveillance
  • Ethics and Surveillance
  • Regulations, politics and governance of surveillance

There will also be two sponsored special sessions on the following themes:

Special Sessions: Surveillance and Smart Cities *

The smartification of cities has been the primary concern of many local municipalities. Collecting data from citizens’ movements within the city and interactions with city infrastructure has become increasingly important for municipal planning. Together with technological intermediaries, local governments have implemented a myriad of cameras, sensors, and other data collecting technologies in various urban spaces and contexts. Additionally, cities routinely ask citizens to voluntarily participate by urban smartification measures by donating their own personal data to city data repositories for ongoing analysis. Whether the city actively monitors its citizens or asks for their voluntary participation in urban initiatives, these approaches raise several surveillance and privacy concerns in the smart city. We invite papers that explore the diverse issues of surveillance in smart cities, ranging from its democratic foundations, citizen resistance and participation, post-covid smart city surveillance, stakeholder interests and platform influence, and other related topics.

* Sponsored by the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities:

Special Sessions: Social implications of AI supported surveillance #

As the adoption of machine-learning algorithms becomes widespread, the impacts of the broad set of technologies commonly labelled as Artificial Intelligence (AI) also pervade an increasing number of contexts, develop new facets, and shift everyday practices. We invite papers that explore the intersections of surveillance and AI, exploring this from a wide range of perspectives, including technical, legal, ethical, and economic considerations, among others, framed within the scope of social impacts. Papers that focus on core research areas of AI in arts and culture, communication and change, health care policy and management and work and labour are of particular interest. The definition of AI for this special session includes not only machine learning algorithms, but also perceptions and popular understandings of Artificial Intelligence and their perceived, potential and actual impacts.

#Sponsored by the Societal Impact of AI Erasmus initiative:

Submission criteria:

Interested conference participants are invited to submit abstracts for this proposal. Due to the limited number of sessions, authors are limited to one first author submission for a paper and organisation of one proposed panel. Authors can be second author on other papers, but should not be the (primary) presenter.

Paper Proposals

Paper sessions will be composed by the Organising Committee based on the individual paper abstracts submitted. Abstracts should consist of:

  • Name(s) of Author(s)
  • Affiliation(s) of Author(s)
  • Proposed Title of Paper
  • An abstract of up to 200 words

For those who are unable to participate in person, selected panels will offer the possibility to present remotely. As there will be limited spaces, applicants will be asked to provide a motivation why they are unable to travel to Rotterdam.

Panel Proposals

Panels are sessions that bring together a group of presenters with contributions on a topic related to the conference themes. The session format should engage the panellists and audience in interactive discussions and preferably represent a diversity of views on the topic. Panels should be designed to fit in a 90-minute session, and feature a minimum of three and maximum of five presentations. Panel Proposals should consist of:

  • Name(s) and email address(es) of Organiser(s)
  • Affiliation(s) of Organiser(s)
  • Proposed Title of Panel including the indication [PANEL] in the title
  • An abstract of up to 350 words, including an explanation of why the panel is of interest to the conference, and the proposed format of the panel.
  • Name(s) and Affiliation(s) of all proposed panellists including a chair. NB: Organisers must secure the agreement of all proposed panellists before submitting the Panel Proposal.

Submission process and information:

All paper and panel proposals should be submitted through the Easy Chair submission system:

For further information, please visit our website at:

If you have any additional questions, please contact us at:

Key dates:

  • December 15, 2021: Submission of individual paper abstracts and conference panels
  • February 15, 2022: Decisions regarding paper and panel proposal acceptance
  • March 15, 2022: Preliminary conference programme available
  • May 1, 2022: Submission of full papers and extended abstracts
  • June 1, 2022: Welcome and opening drinks
  • June 1-3, 2022: Conference is held in Rotterdam

Forthcoming request for artistic submissions

Within this conference, we wish to engage with artists working with various media to enhance our understandings and experiences of surveillance research and contexts. The conference organisers are working with local artists and the SSN Arts Prize Committee to ensure artistic inclusion at SSN 2022. In the coming months, more details about how to participate will be forthcoming.

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