Surveillance in its most basic definition is often understood as watching someone from above and has proven to be one of the most effective ways of exercising power in political communities since the Middle Ages. If it is true, as the surveillance scholar David Lyon writes, that cultures of surveillance develop differently depending on their political economies and post-authoritarian or colonial past, a focus on the global circulation of surveillance imaginaries then raises the question of how such local differences are narrated, visualized or imagined.
In this course, we will focus on the narrated differences within artistic and cultural expressions from Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America to explore how local surveillance practices shape, disrupt or create global imaginaries. Surveillance and the linkages between its diverging cultures, as one might argue, then become a part of the globalization processes themselves. Against this backdrop, a focus on the global imaginaries of surveillance promises a unique inquiry into how local attitudes towards information collection, beliefs in (mass) monitoring, or values and desires associated with social media surveillance translate, shape, and intervene with the global. In final projects students will have the opportunity to work on a (digital) humanities project that explores the themes of "Sharing is Caring," "Counter-Surveillance," and "(In)Visibility in Surveillance Capitalism."
Course Attributes: AS LCD; AS SSC; EN S; FA SSC; AR SSC