American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Conference
March 17-20, 2016 — Harvard University
Panel: The New Security State: Surveillance, Counter-Surveillance, and Strategies of Resistance
Organizers: Carlos Rojas (Duke University) and Belinda Kong (Bowdoin College)
Full panel description and submission guidelines can be found here: Deadline for paper submissions is Sept 23 2015
Papers with a foucauldian approach are welcome
Literature has long been closely imbricated with practices of surveillance. Not only does literary production necessarily rely on practices of observation (either at the level of the individual or a broader collectives, as with the close synergy between the rise of the modern novel and Western imperial projects), literature itself has often been the object of close scrutiny by the state and other corporate entities. In this respect, literary representation anticipates—and is symptomatic of—a broader array of technologically-based surveillance practices that have emerged in the modern period. As technological advances continue to enhance the ability of states and corporations to surveil the public, even as the public is also increasingly able to deploy similar technologies to its own ends—including efforts to surveil the operation of the surveillance apparatus itself. This latter practice of counter-surveillance is particularly evident in the ways that citizen videos (and the public circulation of videos originally produced by the state) have helped precipitate a national debate in the US over police brutality, but it also has much broader ramifications.
Our panel will examine some of the implications of these developments as they pertain to the new security state. We are interested not only in how issues of surveillance and counter-surveillance are addressed in literary works, but also how some of the discourses and visual archives generated by these surveillance practices may be approached as virtual literary works in their own right. Potential topics include examinations of state censorship regimes, social media and practices of collective authorship, surveillance video and found footage as a form of textual production, digital archives and shifting loci of identity, practices of exhibitionism and impersonation, selfies and confessional discourses, as well as advances in wearable technologies and cybernetic states.
Full panel description and submission guidelines can be found here: Deadline for paper submissions is Sept. 23 2015