English 187A - Spring, 2016

Topics in Literature & Media

    Topic: Surveillance Cultures

Class Information

Instructor: Boluk, Stephanie
CRN: 42619
Time: TR 3:10-6:00
Location: 248 Voorhies


    From surveillance to sousveillance to dataveillance, this course will investigate how societies of control are shaped through governmental, legal, cultural, technological, and economic forms of monitoring. We will survey theories ranging from Bentham's "Panopticon," Orwell's "Big Brother," Deleuze's "Societies of Control" and Galloway and Thacker's "Protocological Control" in order to think about our current moment of financialization, securitization, and big data. How has the "googlization of everything" affected models of privacy and public space? What does it mean to live a life tracked through social media in which attention economies expropriate the human senses and monetize the labor of millions of users? How do PRISM, XKeyscore, Stingrays, biometrics, ultrafast algorithmic trading, black swan events, darknets, Wikileaks, and cryptographic currency shape contemporary subjectivity? We will examine a range of media from Steve Mann's wearable computing to Papers, Please: A Dystopian Document Thriller. Students will draw from the readings and research in order to realize a project of their own on the topic of surveillance.




    1984: A Novel, Orwell