Gaze. An In/Sight
Desired and abhorred, wished for and fought against, protective and oppressive, surveillance is older than the hills. Since the times immemorial, humans would pray to all-seeing gods in hope that the immortals would watch over them and protect them against perils. Divine protection, however, has always come at a price. Irrespective of the religion, the promise of the deliverance from (variously construed) evil hinges upon the believer’s readiness to dutifully observe gods-given laws. Defiance, impossible to hide from the all-seeing eye, does not only strip one of the “protected” status—it also dooms one to (inevitable) punishment. Why then would anyone choose to transgress? Why not entrust oneself to surveillance if there is nothing sinister to hide? What could be wrong about abiding by the laws? Revisiting some of the essential notions of surveillance studies, this editorial proposes a shift from the concepts explored by Jeremy Bentham and Michel Foucault to Deleuzoguattarian, post-humanist, perspective on surveillance studies.
International American Studies Association; Surveillance; liberty; gender
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