3rd Surveillance & Society Conference, 2008

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 – Thursday 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

Fees and Local Information

This is a non-residential conference and participants will need to make their own arrangements for accommodation (we will provide advice for this in due course). The Conference will be held at the Richards Roberts Building at the University of Sheffield, UK. Conference web site will be up and running from November 20th 2007 providing full details of the emerging conference programme, transport and accommodation advice, payment details and a final booking form.

The Conference Fee is £200 per person, which includes refreshments and lunch and an optional £25 two years’ membership of Surveillance Studies Network. The membership fee will be used to promote the charitable activities of the Surveillance Studies Network, support the continued publication of the Journal of Surveillance and Society and give other benefits to members.

There will be a formal conference dinner on the evening of April 2nd at an additional charge of £50.

We are hoping to offer ten reduced fee places for post-graduate students wishing to give a paper or present a poster display of their research. If you wish to apply for this please register your interest as soon a possible and send an abstract/summary of your research/ by 16th November 2007. Allocation to these strictly limited places will be based on the quality of the abstract/ research description and on a first come first serve basis.

Information about the Sheffield Centre for Criminological Research
Information about the University of Sheffield
Details of how to get to the University
Information about The Edge
Maps of the university
Details about the city and hotels
• The most convenient airport is located at Manchester. Sheffield is one hour away by train. Details
Flights to and from Manchester:

For more information contact Lisa Burns


October 6 – Revised First Call issued
November 16 – Dead-line for initial register of interest, name, title, contact
details etc by email to Lisa Burns
November 20 – Second Call issued – with list of key speakers – Electronic booking
form available – Conference web site up and running – formal registration and payment from now.
December 20 – Abstracts required
March 1 – Deadline for submission of final electronic papers
March 1 – Final Deadline for registration and payment for all conference attendees
without late booking surcharge
March 24 – Papers published on Web available to all registered conference
April 1 – Evening pre-conference reception
April 2/3 – Conference

We look forward to hearing from you

Please register your interest NOW.

Professor Clive Norris
Dr Kirstie Ball

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