The recent intensification of gendered surveillance in the United States underscores how surveillance technologies continue to abet criminalization domestically while enabling the US to renew orientalist narratives of rescue with respect to its military interventions abroad. Building on the 2015 Feminist Surveillance Studies volume edited by Rachel E. Dubrofsky and Shoshana Amielle Magnet, this issue seeks to make a number of new interventions in the study of surveillance and gender. First, it calls for the incorporation of scholarship that approaches the US-led war on terrorism through the lens of gender and sexuality to develop a more refined understanding of how surveillance practices and contemporary imperial imaginaries overlap and inform one another. Second, it reconsiders the frame of carceral feminism by unpacking some of the assumptions around “carcerality” and “feminism.” Finally, it builds on the premise that existing black feminist scholarship has for some time theorized surveillance’s relation to gendered oppression. To do so, it considers how critical framings of hypervisibility and invisibility help us make sense of the racialized, gendered forms of surveillance deployed across the decades: from the mid-twentieth-century national security state to the contemporary neoliberal postfeminist regimes of the twenty-first century.


Surveillance; Gender; Womens Studies; Feminism; US policy

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Published : 2022-06-15

GeidelM., & SchnepfJ. (2022). Introduction. Review of International American Studies, 15(1), 17-29.

Molly Geidel
The University of Mancherster, UK  United Kingdom

Molly Geidel (Ph.D. Boston University) joined the American studies program in September 2015, having previously taught in the United States at Cornell University, Harvard University, Boston University, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She researches and teaches classes on the intersection of US foreign policy and visual and popular culture, as well as the broader history of film, popular culture, gender and sexuality studies, and social movements in the United States and Latin America. She welcomes inquiries from prospective postgraduate students in any of these areas. 

Her first book, Peace Corps Fantasies (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) is a cultural history of the 1960s Peace Corps. The book juxtaposes oral history accounts with readings of policy documents, popular fiction, and film in order to examine how the Peace Corps’ vision of heroic development work emerged from the masculine anxieties of Cold War policymakers and influenced radical movements across the Americas.

She is currently working on two new book projects. The first project, "Everyday Counterinsurgency," traces how the United States has envisioned counterinsurgency as a gendered project since the early Cold War, from Life magazine photographs of disgruntled miners disciplined by the Alliance For Progress to recent attempts to transform educated girls into weapons in the global War on Terror. The second book, "Seeing Like a Liberal Empire," is a history of the development film, which will track the production and circulation of pedagogical films that imagined international development programs and trajectories. Her journal articles have appeared or are forthcoming in American Quarterly, Feminist Studies, Photography and Culture, Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, and Journal of Popular Music Studies. Source: The University of Manchester website

J. D. Schnepf 
University of Groningen, the Netherlands  Netherlands

J.D. Schnepf is an assistant professor of American Studies at University of Groningen. She is working on a book about domestic cultures of US imperialism, gender, and digital media. Her writing has appeared in Contemporary Literature, Feminist Media Studies, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Media + Environment, Modern Fiction Studies, Public Books, Surveillance & Society, and other venues.

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