CFP: Surveillance: Through media, by media, in media

Call for submissions to Northern Lights, Volume 16 – Theme issue on:

Surveillance: Through media, by media, in media

Volume editors: Göran Bolin and Anne Jerslev

Following the spread of digital media, the interdisciplinary field of surveillance studies has raised a prominent agenda, engaging scholars from the humanities and the social sciences alike. Although surveillance as an activity presupposes the involvement of media technologies and images and often involves media organizations, the specific role of the media in these activities has not been sufficiently dealt with.

The increased opportunities for corporate businesses and state administrations to monitor customer and citizen behavior around the clock raise a range of media-related questions of ethical, legislative and political nature, concerning privacy, citizenry, power and individual rights vs. the common good included in an open digital information architecture. However, surveillance is also present in the media, aesthetically and thematically. The increased possibility of surveillance and the many levels of monitoring made possible in society are critically examined and challenged in contemporary media practices. What could be labeled a ‘surveillance aesthetics’ seems to be part and parcel of communicative strategies and audiovisual experiments in photography, film and television series – from constructions of different panoptic points of view to embodied, subjective points of view – just like surveillance is prominent as theme, discourse and narrative structure in a range of programs on diverse platforms as well as in news media.

For this issue of Northern Lights, we invite articles that critically analyze and discuss the role of media in various forms of monitoring and surveillance in society. This includes issues regarding the ways media technologies both enact and facilitate surveillance and how different media genres, platforms and technologies facilitate monitoring such as the corporate monitoring of media audiences, media users and customers through various forms of (big) data. Moreover, articles may discuss one or more of political and ethical themes raised by mediated surveillance on different levels from discussions of national and transnational privacy protection laws to discussions of everyday practices within an environment characterized by ubiquitous surveillance technologies. Finally, articles may discuss how surveillance functions as (audio)visual practices.

Themes include (but are not restricted to):

  • Surveillance aesthetics in (audio)visual media
  • Surveillance and privacy
  • Surveillance and social media platforms
  • Media historical perspectives on monitoring and surveillance
  • Analyses of systems of monitoring and surveillance in relation to digital media
  • Distinctions between audience analysis and surveillance
  • Media coverage of surveillance post-Snowden
  • Analysis of attitudes to surveillance and monitoring by different groups of new media users
  • Sousveillance and the critique of power
  • Panspectric practices in marketing
  • The role of big data in surveillance systems

Please send an extended abstract of 500-600 words to volume editor Professor Göran Bolin:

Deadline for abstract submission: 3 April 2017
Notification to authors: 21 April 2017
Final article submission: 1 September 2017
Publication: Spring 2018

Additional information about the journal is available on Intellect’s website:,id=143/view,page=2/


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