Surveillant spaces - Examining subjective experiences of being under surveillance

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2020
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Capitol Ballroom 1, Hyatt Regency, Fourth Floor
Organizers: Hille Koskela
Chairs: Thomas Behrndt


Surveillance, understood as detailed attention to personal data, is increasingly incorporated into everyday life and peoples’ mundane activities. And, while there is much research on societal, political, geographical and economic impacts of surveillance policies and technologies, research on the experiences of being monitored and the ways in which monitoring can affect peoples’ behavior is scarce and spread to various disconnected fields. Privacy, and in particular the idea of losing one’s privacy, has been the key concept in investigating effects of intensive surveillance on its subjects. However, many surveillance scholars have recognized that privacy as a concept, and the policies it generates, are inadequate in explaining the sometimes quite fundamental experience of being surveilled. New concepts are needed to fully grasp the experience and meaning of being under surveillance, as is detailed research looking into that experience and previous research on it from various disconnected fields. A related phenomenon which requires further study in this context is the increasingly automated character of surveillance. While the algorithmic character of the surveillant sort is widely recognized, we yet know too little about the subjectivities algorithmic surveillance produces.

This session aims to engage scholars to discuss concepts, methodology of research and novel theoretical approaches to examining subjective experiences of being under surveillance. Presentations may focus on one or more of the following issues or expand on these:
- Case studies on subjective surveillance experiences based on empirical data
- Theoretical approaches to analyzing and classifying various surveillance experiences
- Research looking into cultural, cinematic and artistic approaches to private surveillance experiences
- Methodological presentations on how to examine surveillance experiences
- Research aiming to conceptualize or to analyze experiences of algorithmic surveillance


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Viviana Echavez Molina*, University of Campinas, The feeling of being watched, first-person documentary on surveillance 15 9:35 AM
Presenter Marcella Siqueira Cassiano*, University of Alberta, Hukou: The Backbone of China’s Surveillance Networks 15 9:50 AM
Presenter Silvana Pedrozo*, University of Neuchâtel, Drones and public utility: A controversial acceptance 15 10:05 AM
Presenter Thomas Behrndt*, University of Turku, Coming to terms with algorithmic surveillance 15 10:20 AM
Presenter Megan Olinger Sweeting*, , Facial (re)cognition: re(con)figuring citizenship 15 10:35 AM

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