Numer 15 (1/2022)
Gender and Surveillance
Redaktorzy: Molly Geidel, J.D. Schnepf
Spis treści
Strony
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Paweł Jędrzejko
Gaze. An In/Sight
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.12505
5 – 15
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International American Studies Association |Surveillance |liberty |Gender

Streszczenie

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.


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Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach

Molly Geidel,
J.D. Schnepf
Introduction
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.13762
17 – 29
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Surveillance |Gender |Womens Studies |feminism |US policy

Streszczenie

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.


INFORMACJE O AUTORACH


Molly Geidel
University of Manchester, UK


J.D. Schnepf
Uniwersytet w Groningen, Holandia

Emily Raymundo
The Monster Minority: John Yoo’s Multicultural Instruction and the “Torture Memos”
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.12642
31 – 49
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Asian American Studies |Model minority |John Yoo |war on terrorism |torture memos

Streszczenie

In the aftermath of 9/11, the United States declared a war on terrorism that would come to rely on legal memoranda to justify the surveillance, detention, and torture of “terrorists” held at the Guantánamo Bay Military Prison. Analyzing the language of these 2002 “Torture Memos,” this article contends that the memos discursively produced not only the racial formation of the terrorist but also the emergent figure of the “monster minority,” embodied by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General, John Yoo. Defined in this essay as a patriotic, individualistic, and exceptional racialized subject who works on behalf of counterterrorism, the monster minority plays a central role in the legal construction of the terrorist precisely because of his exemplary status within US society. While Asian American studies explains the formation of the model minority that accounts for Yoo as a beneficiary of elite multicultural education, and post-9/11 studies of U.S. imperialism elucidate the formation of the terrorist-as-monster, this essay puts these fields in conversation to establish how Yoo’s particular brand of Asian American masculinity consolidates both the racialized enemy and the racialized agent of the US security state.

Patricia Stuelke
Feminist Conspiracies, Security Aunties, and Other Surveillance State Fictions
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.12453
51 – 68
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US surveillance state |feminism |antisocial theory |the commons |Aunty work

Streszczenie

This article investigates two recent fictional representations of the feminized US surveillance state and its “security feminists” (Grewal), with an eye towards limning what visions of social transformation and political life such representations make possible. It first examines Gish Jen’s 2020 novel The Resisters, considering how the novel’s characterization of the US surveillance state as a snoopy suspicious Aunt maintains American liberal fantasies about the value of productive work and institutionally-sanctioned responses to state violence, even as the novel attempts to find grounds for reinvigorating a democratic commons. Jeff Vandermeer’s 2021 novel Hummingbird Salamander, in contrast, is suspicious of democratic visions of the social. Instead, the novel unravels the privatized figure of the “security mom” (Grewal) in order to experiment with how a queer antisocial orientation might confront environmental and institutional collapse and reimagine the idea of “security” itself.


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Dartmouth College, USA

Keegan Cook Finberg
"What activism can learn from poetry": Lyric Opacity and Drone Warfare in Solmaz Sharif’s LOOK
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.12446
69 – 87
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Surveillance |Solmaz Sharif |Drones |Recognition |Opacity |Lyric

Streszczenie

The essay explores whether concealing humanness or emphasizing humanness is a more effective strategy for anti-drone activism that seeks to disrupt the conventional epistemologies of militarized surveillance. Building on Édouard Glissant’s decolonizing philosophy of relation and more recent theories of gender and surveillance such as Rachel Hall’s notion of “animal opacity,” the essay argues that poetry is one place we might find an answer to what seems like a binary problem of seeing versus unseeing humanity in technologically mediated aerial warfare. I illustrate that the 2016 poetry collection LOOK by Solmaz Sharif intervenes to suggest activism that steers readers away from the logics of recognition and toward the ethical potential of concealment. LOOK garners formal elements from lyric and experimental poetry traditions to employ a strategy of resistance-looking based in multiple valences of opacity.multiple valences of opacity.


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University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA

Kiara Sample
Seeing Shadows: The FBI Surveillance of Louise Thompson Patterson
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.12448
89 – 106
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Black women's history |FBI surveillance |Black communism |Black women's activism

Streszczenie

This article explores the ways gender and race influenced the FBI’s surveillance of Black women activists. Previous scholarship has covered the role of surveillance in repressing revolutionary movements and neutralizing radical organizations. Historically, within many social movements, Black women have been marginalized, silenced, or reduced to only their gender because of patriarchal leadership. As a result, the persistence of sexism within these Black movements has affected Black women’s visibility within movement organizations. This piece asks, how does gendered marginalization impact their surveillance by and visibility to the FBI? It seeks to understand the influence of race and gender on the FBI’s surveillance of Louise Thompson Patterson. By examining the language and narrative components of her FBI file, the article provides an analysis across gender and across time to theorize the dynamics of surveillance, race, and gender. Based on a close analysis of Patterson’s FBI file, I argue that the tension between hypervisibility and invisibility deriving from gendered stereotypes resulted in the Bureau’s vague understanding of her personal life and political ideology.


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University of California, Berkeley, USA

Heena Hussain
The Surveillance of Blackness in the Kardashians' Wellness Empire
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.12748
107 – 125
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Surveillance |Reality Television |Social Media |Health and Wellness |The Kardashians

Streszczenie

Keeping up with the Kardashians depicts the lives of the Kardashian clan through reality television. The unparalleled success of five sisters managed by their mother has only continued to increase over time along with their participatory self-surveillance through their formidable use of social media. In recent years, a focus on health and wellbeing has led the sisters to endorse products for weight loss and health, using their bodies as spaces of commodification and advertisement online. The family’s interaction with the camera, and the aesthetics of their social media cross-promotions combine to present an open “honest” front promoting the replication of their success and beauty for their audiences. The sisters engage with blackness in a way that bolsters their claims of capacitating and beautifying white feminine subjects, engagements now commonly termed “blackfishing.” This article analyzes how the Kardashians have created an intense regime of self-surveillance, even dabbling self-consciously in the carceral state's techniques for surveilling blackness, to construct themselves as both uncommonly, exotically sexual ('baring all') and respectable enough (white or white passing) to sell various remedies with dubious health value.


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University of Manchester, UK
Rabiatu B. Mohammed
Anti(Hijab)Bodies: An Auto-Ethnography
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.12452
127 – 141
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Surveillance |US Security |US-Mexico Border |hypervisibility

Streszczenie

Using the metaphor of the biological organism fighting foreign invasion with its antibodies, I analyze some of the problems associated with the “scapegoating” of foreigners in sites of surveillance. In this essay, I assess the portability of this metaphor, not only in the sites associated with US security and surveillance like the airport and other ports of immigration, but also in sites of everyday interactions/transactions like the streets, stores, and classroom. My analysis and assessments are based on an auto-ethnographic study of my experiences with the sites of everyday surveillance. From my experiences as a foreigner in the US, I have realized that the fact that I am a Black woman with hijab in the US/Mexico borderlands region has compounded my hypervisibility which in turn results in the hyper-surveillance of my body. In order to cope with the problem of surveillance, I catalog how I perform self-surveillance in order to evade surveillance antibodies.


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New Mexico State University, USA

Mena Mitrano
“All-Electric” Narratives: Time-Saving Appliances and Domesticity in American Literature, 1945–2020 by Rachele Dini (A Book Review)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.13577
143 – 148
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Rachele Dini |Domesticity |American Literature


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Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, Włochy

Angelo Arminio
Sin Sick: Moral Injury in War and Literature by Joshua Pederson (A Book Review)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.13585
149 – 154
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trauma |trauma theory |war literature |moral injury

Streszczenie

Joshua Pederson’s Sin Sick: Moral Injury in War and Literature proposes the use of moral injury – a psychological concept describing the affliction of those who break their moral code when committing despicable acts – as a framework through which war narratives of the American War on Terror can be productively read without resorting to the controversial idea of perpetrator trauma, which seems to excuse veterans as victims of the war.

Pederson provides the reader with a clinical overview of the condition as well as a first literary theory of moral injury as a manifestation of various forms of excess through a genealogical reading that includes analyses of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Camus’ The Fall. Sin Sick appears as a step in the right direction as it addresses in a timely manner a blind spot in trauma theory using a concept that more accurately describes a specific type of suffering. In the author’s mind the very term “moral injury” entails an acknowledgement of the soldiers’ wrongdoing, and this allows him to defend contemporary war writers from critics accusing them of using a narrow point of view that focuses on the pain of the American protagonists and hides the suffering of their victims.

Ultimately, the study introduces readers to a fresh way to understand the psychological pain of perpetrators and seeks to inaugurate a new branch of studies that can run in parallel with trauma theory.


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Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach
Sapienza Università di Roma, Włochy

Matters of Life: Human Scapes and Scopes - IASA 10th World Congress 2022 (Call for Papers)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.13764
161 – 173
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International American Studies Association |IASA World Congress |Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University

Streszczenie

Matters of Life: Human Scapes and Scopes - Call for Contributions to the 10th World Congress 2022 of the International American Studies Association organized in the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India, 22nd to 24th November, 2022, and post-conference workshop Matters of Life: Human Shades and Scapes to be held between 25th and 27th November, 2022 in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

IASA Stands with Ukraine
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31261/rias.13763
175 – 179
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International American Studies Association |War in Ukraine |Support for Ukraine

Streszczenie

As a world-wide community of compassionate humans, the International American Studies Association unequivocally condemns the Russian Federation’s barbaric invasion of sovereign Ukraine. Calling upon the Governments of all peace-loving nations to work together towards the immediate cessation of hostilities, we simultaneously encourage all IASA members to donate a fraction of their incomes to the organizations saving lives in the fighting Ukraine or helping the Ukrainian refugees throughout Eastern Europe and world wide. Preferring action to empty verbiage, we therefore ask all of the compassionate human beings to consult the list below. Based on the U.S. news guideline on “How to Help Ukraine,” the list collects organizations and institutions that will appreciate every penny we can spare. IASA stands for peace, and therefore IASA stands with Ukraine. Join IASA.

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International American
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ISSN 1991-2773
Studies Association
e-ISSN 1991-2773