Thursday, November 7, 2013

CFP: The politics of surveillance

Here's an interesting workshop in Canada for surveillance studies focusing on activism. This might be a good opportunity for STS/surveillance scholars working on public engagement issues. There also seems to be an opportunity to publish a paper.
Call for Papers
The Politics of Surveillance: Advancing Democracy in a Surveillance Society
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON – May 8-10, 2014

Event Sponsor: The New Transparency, a SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiative
Event Host: University of Ottawa

Though civil society advocates, politicians and surveillance scholars have been debating the issue for years, the revelations of Edward Snowden have brought public attention to a powerful yet questionable international surveillance apparatus. The extraordinary growth of this system appears in conjunction with the expansion of our online and mobile device-driven lives. How can users and citizens protect themselves in the face of a surveillance system that is both concealed and omnipresent? To what extent can the surveillance apparatus be resisted or democratically determined? Facilitating and achieving democratic oversight of an international surveillance system is a considerable challenge, and one that raises old questions about the role of representative governance, now revisited in the context of digital terrorist networks and the ‘Internet of things.’

This workshop will debate the various political, legal, social and technological strategies for challenging the surveillance apparatus in Canada and internationally. The workshop focuses on means and strategies, rather than threats and risks. It coincides with the publication of the report “Transparent Lives: Surveillance in Canada.” For further information see the Politics of Surveillance website:

The workshop will discuss significant examples of advocacy and activism and address some of the most important questions facing surveillance activists, such as:
  • To what extent can we render surveillance activities more transparent?
  • How can the media contribute to surveillance activism?
  • Is current law an effective advocacy tool?
  • What makes a good privacy education initiative?
  • How can we promote usable/effective privacy-enhancing/anti-surveillance ICTs?
  • What makes a good anti-surveillance campaign?
  • To what extent can the surveillance apparatus be democratically governed?

Concrete outcomes of the workshop will include:
  • Sharing lessons about effective counter-surveillance advocacy strategies, and
  • Strengthening an emerging network of Canadian and international surveillance activists and scholars

Call for Papers

The organizers are seeking written paper contributions from scholars and activists who are working in areas closely related to the question of how the governmental and corporate surveillance might best be challenged, regulated, resisted or reversed.

Abstracts of 300 words (maximum) should be submitted no later than 10 January 2014. Send abstracts to: Jonathan Obar at Authors will be informed regarding acceptance/rejection for the workshop no later than 1 March, 2014. Each abstract should describe the focus of the paper, and its explicit connection to the broad theme of the workshop, the “politics of surveillance”, as well as to at least one of the panel themes.

The authors of selected papers will be included in the interdisciplinary workshop program that will also involve non-governmental organizations, media representatives, privacy professionals and others. There are limited funds to support participants to present the results of their research at this workshop. Plans for the publication of the selected papers are dependent on levels of interest, and available resources

For informal queries, please contact Andrew Clement,
(via the surveillance studies mailing list)

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