“Surveillance, Race, Culture”

Panel Proposal

We are seeking papers from academics interested in taking part in a panel on “surveillance, race, culture” at the joint British Association of American Studies/European Association of American Studies Conference in April (4th – 7th) 2018.

In keeping with the conference theme of ‘Environment, Place and Protest’, the issue of surveillling identity seems to be paramount. Recent movements such as Cop Watch; events in the Middle East and Syria (drones, the ‘war on terror’); and our increasing reliance upon personal technology, all point to an era of multiple gazes. In such an environment, our place appears to be firmly rooted within view of the camera eye. Our place (and therefore, our identity) is therefore often determined as binary signifiers: either submissive or dominant, powerful or powerless. The effect of the camera eye is therefore two-fold – to create identity (as watched) and to refuse identity (as an individual) – as such, our place within such an environment gives rise to protest, rebellion and the desire for freedom. This panel seeks to investigate the manner in which our daily lives are interconnected with these technologies, and how these interconnections are shored up across the humanities. This panel brings together papers which question our relationship with surveillance technologies and expose the ways in which cultural narratives of race are constructed by the act of being watched. Offering multidisciplinary readings of surveillance, this panel demonstrates how culture is intertwined with race relations, and in doing so, how these are bound to surveillance technologies.

If you are interested in presenting a 20-minute paper, please send a 250 word abstract and short biography to Dr Antonia Mackay (antoniamackay@brookes.ac.uk) and Dr Susan Flynn (S.flynn@lcc.arts.ac.uk) by 25th of September.