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Message posted on 06/11/2019

SSN 2020 Call for papers - Due 15 December 2019

Apologies for cross-posting


The 9th biennial Surveillance & Society conference of the Surveillance
Studies Network, hosted by Erasmus University Rotterdam on June 8-10 2020
in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, with keynotes by José van Dijck (Utrecht
University) on “Dataism and dataveillance in the age of AI”and Simone
Browne (University of Texas) on "The Ecologies of Surveillance
Technologies” and
award ceremonies of the SSN2020 Outstanding Achievement Award and the SSN
2020 Arts Prize

Visual acuity has historically been measured based on the normative value
of 20/20 vision. Yet by the year 2020, the clarity of vision regarding
surveillance practices and their implications remains clouded. The
metaphors of vision and optics are central – and privileged – components
surveillance research. This conference considers three interrelated lines
of sight to bring increased focus on understanding, evaluating and
responding to surveillance.

First, the benefits of hindsight call attention to surveillant antecedents
that inform or impinge upon current developments and practices. Excavations
into precursors of contemporary surveillance illuminate potential ideals
and expectations for emerging types of monitoring.

Second, new trajectories of (in)sight articulate how surveillance serves as
a means for the collection and mediation of a wide range of activities and
behaviours. Particularly digital forms of information gathering lend
themselves to the rapid collation and comparison of surveillance subjects
in ways that both render them increasingly visible and subject to various
unanticipated, unwanted and unjust interventions.

Third, the potentials of foresight allow a focus on the emergent character
of surveillance indicative of new modalities of power, flows of
information, and challenges to freedom, autonomy and action. Given the
penchant for increased forms of control alongside various forms of
resistance, the question of surveillance futures and its response remains
crucial for continued analysis as well as social and political forms of

These lines of sight prompt different sets of concerns across
(sub-)disciplines and approaches. We invite scholars, artists, and
practitioners from a wide range of (disciplinary) backgrounds to critically
engage with established and emergent surveillance practices, and the
various dilemmas, opportunities and ambivalences these represent.

Key tracks of the conference include but are not limited to:

- Re-envisioning surveillance histories
- Foreseeing futures
- Regulations, politics and governance of surveillance
- Science fiction and dystopian accounts
- 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
- Sensing beyond seeing
- Critiques of visual metaphors
- Listening and other kinds of sensing
- Intersecting concepts and concerns
- Racialization
- Gender and identity
- Families and children
- Politics and social justice
- Policing and security
- Privacy (and critiques thereof)
- Ethics (in relation to citizenship, design and/or research)
- Bodies and biometrics
- Households and neighbourhoods

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

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
presentations. Panel Proposals should consist of:

- Name(s) 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
- Name(s) and Affiliation(s) of all proposed panellists. 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:

Key dates:

- December 15, 2019: Submission of individual paper abstracts and
conference panels
- February 15, 2020: Decisions regarding paper and panel proposal
- March 15, 2020: Preliminary conference programme available
- May 1, 2020: Submission of full papers and extended abstracts
- June 7, 2020: Welcome and opening drinks
- June 8-10, 2020: Conference is held in Rotterdam

Special concerns or requests can be directed to the dedicated email address
for the conference:

More information about the Surveillance Studies Network can be found here: and about the Journal Surveillance &
Society here:

Organizing Committee

- Rosamunde Van Brakel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Chair)
- Jason Pridmore, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Local
conference Director)
- Daniel Trottier, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, The Netherlands
(Local conference Director)
- Ani E. Egwuchukwu, Renaissance University, Nigeria
- David Murakami Wood, Queens University, Canada
- Tessa Oomen, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Alana Saulnier, Lakehead University, Canada
- Emmeline Taylor, City, University of London, UK
- Dean J. Wilson, University of Sussex, UK
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