CFP: Global Perspectives on Surveillance (Jump Cut)
Global Perspectives on Surveillance
Call for Papers
Special Section of Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media (editor-in-chief Julia Lesage)
Section Editor: Gary Kafer (University of Chicago)
This special section of Jump Cut seeks original research and review essays that examine the global circuits of surveillance that increasingly mark contemporary social and political life.
Towards the end of the twentieth century, surveillance studies scholars proclaimed the arrival of a “surveillance society” (Marx 1985; Gandy 1989; Lyon 1994), which soon became global by the turn of the century following the attacks on 9/11 and the War on Terror (Lyon 2004; Murakami 2009; Ström 2020). In many ways indebted to the emergence of novel digital and communication tools, such critiques called attention to increasing levels of tracking practices by national governments and corporations to preempt threats and safeguard capital. No doubt, the global parameters of surveillance were put on full display with the Snowden leaks of 2013 as the world became cognizant of The Five Eyes intelligence alliance (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States), which was soon followed by media coverage of China’s Digital Silk Road Initiative.
And yet, even as these developments exposed the globality of surveillance systems, such frameworks tend to maintain the ‘global’ as simply a reference point for the ‘Global North’ and its centers of data accumulation and exchange. Such narratives are troublesome, not in the least for the way that they ignore how surveillance has historically always been transnational in scope, such as in the development of biometrics and identification documents in chattel slavery and penal colonies across colonial and imperial regimes (Browne 2015; Heynen and van der Meulen 2019). At the same time, some global frameworks ignore how many surveillance devices are first developed and tested in sites of settler colonial and capitalist violence—often in the Global South—before being distributed by international defense industries for use elsewhere, such as in Israel’s occupation of Palestine (Halper 2015) or the repression of indigenous communities at the borders of settler states (Schaeffer 2022).
Following suit, this special section of Jump Cut explores how the global remains a fraught, if not necessary, framework to grapple with the contemporary politics of surveillance. We invite research that approaches such issues from the fields of media studies, film studies, visual studies, communication studies, and related disciplines to consider how surveillance is a global process located within historically situated cultural, political, and social practices. Such research can address concerns in the twenty-first century as well as longer histories of surveillance. Potential topics include (but are not limited to):
- Technologies of border security
- Biometrics – past, present, future
- Internet infrastructures
- Ecologies of resource extraction
- Platforms and outsourced labor
- Militarization of police
- Counter-practices to surveillance
- Global surveillance and documentary aesthetics
- Representations of global surveillance in entertainment media
- Social media in the Global South
- Algorithms and discrimination
We welcome a range of submissions including article length essays, short reflection papers, opinion pieces, book reviews, and film reviews.
Submissions will undergo a peer-review and revision process prior to publication. Submissions should be original work, neither previously published nor under consideration for publication elsewhere. All references to previous work by contributors should be masked in the text (e.g., “Author 2020”). Please submit your document in a MS Word-compatible format.
Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com by January 15, 2024. Please put “JC – Global Surveillance” in the subject line.
Decisions will be communicated by the end of March 2024.
Final revisions will be due June 1, 2024.
The special section will be published in a forthcoming issue of Jump Cut in the winter of 2024.
Browne, Simone. 2015. Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness. Durham: Duke University Press.
Gandy, Oscar. 1989. “The Surveillance Society: Information Technology and Bureaucratic Social Control.” Journal of Communication 39: 61–76.
Halper, Jeff. 2015. War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification. London: Pluto Press.
Heynen, Robert, and Emily van der Meulen (eds.). 2019. Making Surveillance States: Transnational Histories. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Lyon, David. 1994. The Electronic Eye: The Rise of the Surveillance Society. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Lyon, David. 2004. “Globalizing Surveillance.” International Sociology 19: 135–49.
Marx, Gary. 1985. “The Surveillance Society: The Threat of 1984-style Techniques.” The Futurist 6: 21–6.
Murakami Wood, David. 2009. “The ‘Surveillance Society’: Questions of History, Place and Culture.” European Journal of Criminology 6(2): 179-194.
Schaeffer, Felicity Amaya. 2022. Unsettled Borders: The Militarized Science of Surveillance on Sacred Indigenous Land. Durham: Duke University Press.
Ström, Timothy Erik. 2020. Globalizing Surveillance. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.