Call for Nominations: SSN Arts Prize 2022

Surveillance Studies Network Arts Prize 2022

The Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) is dedicated to the study of surveillance in all its forms. It promotes innovative and multidisciplinary work on surveillance, including research that bridges different academic fields, furthers the understanding of surveillance in wider society, and informs information policy and political debate. As a registered charitable company, the SSN is committed to the free distribution of scholarly products, including the publication of Surveillance & Society, the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to surveillance studies.

As part of its mandate, the SSN seeks to encourage creative and artistic practices engaging with the topic of surveillance. As such, the Surveillance Studies Network Arts Prize is a bi-annual award that recognizes and publicly supports artwork centred on critical readings of surveillance. Following the success of its two previous Arts Prizes in 2018 and 2020, the SSN is delighted to announce the call for nominations to the 2022 competition.


All submissions are adjudicated by a committee composed of members of the SSN board. The award for first prize is £250 and up to three honourable mentions will receive £100. Additionally, the winner and each honourable mention will receive a fee waiver for conference registration at the forthcoming SSN Conference to be held 01-03 June 2022 at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, as well as coverage in a Surveillance & Society forum discussing the work. Funds permitting, winning artists will also receive an invitation to showcase their work, or a representation of it, in an onsite or virtual exhibition during SSN’s 2022 conference.

Please note that, due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the format of the 2022 SSN conference and thus the administration of the Arts Prize may be subject to change to accommodate changing public health measures.

The nominated work must be an original art project that was produced or exhibited in the 2019, 2020, or 2021 calendar years. The following criteria will be used to adjudicate the nominations:

  1. demonstrates a thematic fit with the critical orientation of the Surveillance Studies Network and Surveillance & Society;
  2. exhibits theoretical sophistication;
  3. produces new and unique ways of thinking about modes of surveillance;
  4. and promotes audience engagements.

Deadlines and Forms

The call for nominations closes on 30 November at 11:59pm EST, with the selected artworks announced in January 2022. To nominate an artwork for the upcoming competition, please download and complete the following form: Self-nominations are welcome.

For further information, please contact Susan Cahill, Arts Editor of Surveillance & Society at  and include the heading “SSN Arts Prize”.

*Submission forms are hosted by Google. For a PDF version, please send a request to with the heading “SSN Arts Prize form—PDF request”.

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.

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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 ( 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! 

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 (, 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.

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Early Career Researcher Awards 2021

The Surveillance Studies Network is pleased to announce the winners of the Surveillance Studies Network’s 2020 “Early Career Researcher Awards” for publications in Surveillance & Society

The winning papers are…

Congratulations to the winners!!! Please check out their papers (again)!

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” (, 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 Within the Value Sensitive Design field, Nathan, Klasnja, and Friedman’s “Value Scenarios: A Technique for Envisioning Systemic Effects of New Technologies” ( may also be of interest.  


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 and

  • 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)


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

  • 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:

Additionally, any questions can be directed to either Daniel Trottier ( or to our team at: .

Winner SSN 2020 Book Award

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.