The SSN Book Award Committee is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2020 SSN Book Award is:
Insurgent Aesthetics. Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War (Duke UP) by Dr. Ronak K. Kapadia, Associate Professor in Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The Book Award Committee found Dr. Kapadia’s book to be a theoretically sophisticated, empirically fascinating, and beautifully illustrated contribution that pushes the field of surveillance studies forward.
From the publisher:
In Insurgent Aesthetics Ronak K. Kapadia theorizes the world-making power of contemporary art responses to US militarism in the Greater Middle East. He traces how new forms of remote killing, torture, confinement, and surveillance have created a distinctive post-9/11 infrastructure of racialized state violence. Linking these new forms of violence to the history of American imperialism and conquest, Kapadia shows how Arab, Muslim, and South Asian diasporic multimedia artists force a reckoning with the US war on terror’s violent destruction and its impacts on immigrant and refugee communities. Drawing on an eclectic range of visual, installation, and performance works, Kapadia reveals queer feminist decolonial critiques of the US security state that visualize subjugated histories of US militarism and make palpable what he terms “the sensorial life of empire.” In this way, these artists forge new aesthetic and social alliances that sustain critical opposition to the global war machine and create alternative ways of knowing and feeling beyond the forever war.
The committee would also like to recognize Pacifying the Homeland: Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision (University of California Press) by Dr. Brendan McQuade as runner-up for the 2020 Book Award.
Dr. McQuade’s book tells a fascinating story of how intelligence fusion centers are becoming a generalized apparatus for the mass supervision and pacification in the United States. The committee considered many excellent books, and it was truly difficult to select a single winner. We thank all nominated authors for their contributions to surveillance studies.