Eurograd message

Message posted on 27/02/2020

EASST/4S panel #205: Unpacking the Foundations of the Current Biometric Moment

Dear all,

Ranjit Singh (Cornell) and I hope you'll consider submitting abstracts to
our open panel at this year's EASST/4S conference: "205. Unpacking the
Foundations of the Current Biometric Moment."

Please see below for more details and feel free to contact us with any

Best wishes,

Michelle Spektor
PhD Candidate
Doctoral Program in History | Anthropology | Science, Technology, and
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Submit your abstracts at
Conference Website:
Travel Grants:

Deadline: 29 February

205. Unpacking the Foundations of the Current Biometric Moment
Michelle Spektor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ranjit Singh,
Cornell University

From unlocking smartphones to verifying financial transactions, from
boarding airplanes to clocking in at work, and from issuing national IDs
and passports as tools of data-driven governance, the use of digital
biometric technologies that rely on fingerprints, facial recognition, iris
scans, and other metrics have increasingly become part of everyday life in
the 21st century. While the proliferation of biometrics-based digital
identities might be new, the use of biometrics – techniques of measuring
the human body – to identify and/or classify individuals and groups has a
much longer history.
This open track panel explores how individuals, states, and institutions
have used biometrics to define individual and collective identities
transnationally, and how those subjected to biometric identification
experience it, accept it, or resist it. By bringing together papers that
address how biometric identification encapsulates politics of identity in
both the past and present, the panel aims to illuminate how past biometric
systems inform the technological and socio-cultural features of the current
biometric moment. Broadly, it inquires into how biometric identification
(re)configures relationships among and across citizenship, migration,
borders, and national belonging; race, gender, class, and disability;
policing, surveillance, and criminality; labor, bureaucracy, and
imaginaries of technological progress; power, subjectivity, and the body;
social security, national security, and global development. It welcomes
papers that address how STS tools and concepts can be leveraged to unpack
the ways conceptions of identity shape and are shaped by biometric
identification infrastructures in the past, present, and future.
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