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Message posted on 17/11/2021

Call for papers 9th biennial Surveillance & Society conference of the Surveillance Studies Network

Apologies for cross posting cfp: SSN 2022, Rotterdam

The 9th biennial Surveillance & Society conference of the Surveillance Stud= ies Network, hosted by Erasmus University Rotterdam on June 1-3 2022 in Rot= terdam, The Netherlands


The conference is organised by the international, interdisciplinary open ac= cess journal Surveillance & Society ( hp/surveillance-and-society/) and the Surveillance Studies Network, which i= s a registered charitable company dedicated to the study of surveillance in= all its forms, and the free distribution of scholarly information (https:/= /

Emerging blinking into the post-pandemic sunlight, the world=92s longest-ru= nning surveillance studies conference is back, offering a famously welcomin= g, constructive atmosphere and three ways forward for thinking about survei= llance:

  1. TARGETS: Who is under surveillance? How are they affected, protected or = harmed? Which individuals, communities or groups benefit and profit from su= rveillance, and which ones lose and are excluded?

  2. TRACKS: How does surveillance happen =96 technologically, socially, poli= tically, culturally etc.?And how is surveillance governed, controlled, regu= lated and prevented? What flows and what is blocked? What trajectories are = emerging? What possibilities are there for critique, opposition, reform, re= sistance, struggle and destruction?

  3. TRACES: What is left behind?How are trajectories and pathways (re)constr= ucted across individual, collective and societal histories?

These themes will inspire a range of interventions across (sub-)disciplines= and approaches. We invite scholars, artists, and practitioners from all ba= ckgrounds to engage critically with historical, current and emergent survei= llance practices, performances, policies, patterns, plans and proposals, an= d the various dilemmas, opportunities and ambivalences these represent.


We are delighted to already confirm two superb keynote speakers:

  • Simone Browne, Associate Professor, in the Department of African and = African Diaspora Studies University of Texas (US)
  • Elizabeth Joh, Martin Luther King Professor of Law, UC Davis (US)


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
  • Machine-learning

Sensing beyond seeing

  • Critiques of visual metaphors
  • Listening and other kinds of sensing
  • Bodies, biometrics & haptics
  • Affective surveillance

Law, Justice & Surveillance

  • Policing, intelligence and security
  • Surveillance in the courts
  • Surveillance and human rights
  • Privacy and Surveillance

Surveillance and Social Relations

  • Racialization
  • Gender and identity
  • Families and children
  • Households and neighbourhoods

Surveillance culture(s)

  • Surveillance art
  • Performing surveillance
  • Surveillance film and television
  • Writing surveillance
  • Science fiction and dystopian accounts

Politics and Philosophy of Surveillance

  • Surveillance politics
  • Surveillance and social justice
  • Philosophy of Surveillance
  • Ethics and Surveillance
  • Regulations, politics and governance of surveillance

There will also be two sponsored special sessions on the following themes:

Special Sessions: Surveillance and Smart Cities *

The smartification of cities has been the primary concern of many local mun= icipalities. Collecting data from citizens=92 movements within the city and= interactions with city infrastructure has become increasingly important fo= r municipal planning. Together with technological intermediaries, local gov= ernments have implemented a myriad of cameras, sensors, and other data coll= ecting technologies in various urban spaces and contexts. Additionally, cit= ies routinely ask citizens to voluntarily participate by urban smartificati= on measures by donating their own personal data to city data repositories f= or ongoing analysis. Whether the city actively monitors its citizens or ask= s for their voluntary participation in urban initiatives, these approaches = raise several surveillance and privacy concerns in the smart city. We invit= e papers that explore the diverse issues of surveillance in smart cities, r= anging from its democratic foundations, citizen resistance and participatio= n, post-covid smart city surveillance, stakeholder interests and platform i= nfluence, and other related topics.

  • Sponsored by the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities: https://www=

Special Sessions: Social implications of AI supported surveillance #

As the adoption of machine-learning algorithms becomes widespread, the impa= cts of the broad set of technologies commonly labelled as Artificial Intell= igence (AI) also pervade an increasing number of contexts, develop new face= ts, and shift everyday practices. We invite papers that explore the interse= ctions of surveillance and AI, exploring this from a wide range of perspect= ives, including technical, legal, ethical, and economic considerations, amo= ng others, framed within the scope of social impacts. Papers that focus on = core research areas of AI in arts and culture, communication and change, he= alth care policy and management and work and labour are of particular inter= est. The definition of AI for this special session includes not only machin= e learning algorithms, but also perceptions and popular understandings of A= rtificial Intelligence and their perceived, potential and actual impacts.

Sponsored by the Societal Impact of AI Erasmus initiative: https://www.eur=


Submission criteria:

Interested conference participants are invited to submit abstracts for this= proposal. Due to the limited number of sessions, authors are limited to on= e first author submission for a paper and organisation of one proposed pane= l. Authors can be second author on other papers, but should not be the (pri= mary) presenter.

Paper Proposals

Paper sessions will be composed by the Organising Committee based on the in= dividual 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

For those who are unable to participate in person, selected panels will off= er the possibility to present remotely. As there will be limited spaces, ap= plicants will be asked to provide a motivation why they are unable to trave= l to Rotterdam.

Panel Proposals

Panels are sessions that bring together a group of presenters with contribu= tions on a topic related to the conference themes. The session format shoul= d engage the panellists and audience in interactive discussions and prefera= bly 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 and maximum o= f five presentations. Panel Proposals should consist of:

  • Name(s) and email address(es) 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 p= anel is of interest to the conference, and the proposed format of the panel= .
  • Name(s) and Affiliation(s) of all proposed panellists including a cha= ir. NB: Organisers must secure the agreement of all proposed panellists bef= ore submitting the Panel Proposal.

Submission process and information:

All paper and panel proposals should be submitted through the Easy Chair su= bmission system:

For further information, please visit our website at: /eshcc/research/ssn-2022

If you have any additional questions, please contact us at: ssn2022@eshcc.e=

Key dates:

  • December 15, 2021: Submission of individual paper abstracts and confe= rence panels
  • February 15, 2022: Decisions regarding paper and panel proposal accep= tance
  • March 15, 2022: Preliminary conference programme available
  • May 1, 2022: Submission of full papers and extended abstracts
  • June 1, 2022: Welcome and opening drinks
  • June 1-3, 2022: Conference is held in Rotterdam

Forthcoming request for artistic submissions

Within this conference, we wish to engage with artists working with various= media to enhance our understandings and experiences of surveillance resear= ch and contexts. The conference organisers are working with local artists a= nd the SSN Arts Prize Committee to ensure artistic inclusion at SSN 2022. I= n the coming months, more details about how to participate will be forthcom= ing.

Prof. Dr. Rosamunde van Brakel Associate Professor Cybercrime, TILT Tilburg University, https://www.tilbur= Assistant Professor Chair in Surveillance Studies, LSTS, Vrije Universiteit= Brussel, Co-director Surveillance Studies Network, https://www.surveillance-studies.= net

New publications: Van Brakel, R. (2021) How to watch the watchers? Democratic oversight of al= gorithmic police surveillance in Belgium, Surveillance & Society, 19(2): 22= !-240. Van Brakel, R. (2020) Rethinking Predictive Policing : Towards a Holistic F= ramework of Democratic Algorithmic Surveillance in M.Schuilenburg & R. Peet= ers (eds.) The Algorithmic Society, Routledge

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