ICA Preconference Washington

Surveillance is a key feature of modernity and a well-established topic of communication research. Since the 1980s communication scholars have studied a broad range of surveillance-related technologies, from databases and CCTV to biometrics and big data, highlighting their implications for the future of privacy and civil society. This research, however, has focused almost exclusively on “new” media. Such presentism is understandable given the speed and stakes of recent developments, but it has also limited our understanding of larger historical forces and global historical perspectives. In short, the study of surveillance needs a history to understand where we are, how we got here, and where we might be headed. 

This ICA preconference is dedicated to bringing together scholars from diverse research traditions and from around the world to illuminate the long history of modern surveillance. Submissions are invited to consider the full breadth of past surveillance techniques and regimes, in any geographic or national context, prior to the current moment. The scope includes empirical research and comparative studies, historically-informed theory, intellectual histories of the field, and methodological reflections. We especially welcome submissions that address histories of surveillance from transnational and/or de-Westernized perspectives.

The full CFP is available at https://communicationhistory.org/preconference/

Abstracts of 300 words (maximum) should be submitted no later than 30 November 2018. Proposals for full panels are also welcome: these should include a 250-word abstract for each individual presentation, and a 200-word rationale for the panel. Send abstracts and any queries to: Josh Lauer (josh.lauer@unh.edu).