Call for Papers: "Surveillant Geographies"; deadline 20 January 2012

Royal Geographical Society-Insitute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Annual Conference, Edinburgh UK, 3-5th July 2012. Sponsored by the Surveillance Studies Network / Surveillance & Society

"Surveillant Geographies"

Convened by David Murakami Wood (Queen's University, Ontario) and Steve Graham (Newcastle University)

In this era of risk and security, surveillance is intensifying, expanding, rescaling and reterratorializing. New organisational practices, new technologies and new spaces of surveillance are replacing, adding to or overlaying existing forms. Surveillance is becoming something that is far removed from the binaries of State/Citizen, Public/Private or Self/Other. Surveillance is both being globalized and at the same time enables neoliberal economic globalization and military power projection. But beyond this there is a complex and contingent spatiality and temporality to surveillance. Nation-states and national cultures still matter, however, the most significant differences are not national. Surveillance is increasingly not only targeted at the unwilling masses, but is something embraced by a mobile global elite to ensure the predictability and safety of in the spaces in which they live and work. Specialized marketing combined with revanchist redevelopment are generating material and virtual sociospatial forms that come with surveillance ‘built in’. At the same time, globalization means a shift to more fragmented, uneven and dangerous spaces for many, where what is not seen matters as much as what is. There is an emerging geography of secure and surveilled enclaves counterposed to spaces of exclusion and disappearance, at every scale. Surveillance is also becoming a feature of everyday interpersonal practice through social media and consumer culture, and this too has complex relationships with the construction of space.

We invite submissions on any aspect of the geographies of surveillance. Key topics could include:

  • The globalization, reterritorialization and rescaling of surveillance
  • Critiques of dominant theorizations of surveillance, and new directions from / in geography
  • Comparative studies of surveillance
  • The political economy of surveillance
  • Surveillance, intelligence and the 'war on terror'
  • Emerging geographies of surveillance, e.g. social networks, online gameworlds etc.
  • Historical geographies of surveillance
  • Surveillance and culture(s)
  • Reaction and resistance to surveillance
  • Geographies of openness, transparency and exteriority
  • Geographies of closure, privacy and interiority

Please send a title and short abstract (max. 250 words) by Friday 20th January 2012 to the session organisers, David Murakami Wood (dmw[at] and Steve Graham (steve.graham[at]