Preconference: The Long History of Modern Surveillance: Excavating the Past, Contextualizing the Present


Paper Downloads [password-protected]

Schedule – Friday, 24 May

Location: Gunston (Washington Hilton, Terrace Level)

Sponsor: ICA Communication History Division

Organizers: Josh Lauer & Nicole Maurantonio

8:30 – 8:40 AM: Introduction

8:40 AM – 9:55 AM: Panel 1: Ubiquitous Intelligence


  • Carolyn Levy, “Benevolent Intentions: Prison Matrons and the Role of Women’s Surveillance in Nineteenth-Century Prisons”
  • Piotr Szpunar, “The Informant as a Surveillance Medium: Memoirs of the Cold War and War on Terror”
  • Carol Stabile, “The FBI, Toxic Masculinity, and 1950s Television”
  • Elena Egawhary, “Kroll Associates: The Business of Commercial Surveillance”

Respondent: Derek Vaillant

9:55 AM – 10:10 AM: Coffee

10:10 AM – 11:25 AM: Panel 2: Visualizing Bodies


  • Annie Rudd, “Constructing the Candid: Surreptitiousness and Studio Photography, 1880-1900”
  • Rob Heynen, “Walter Benjamin, History, and Theories of (Counter-) Surveillance”
  • Nora Draper, “Surveillance in an Instant: Polaroid’s ID-2 System and the Commercial Politics of Identification”
  • Midori Ogasawara, “Bodies as Risky Resources: Japan’s Identification Systems as Surveillance, Population Control and Colonial Violence in Occupied Northeast China”

Respondent: Sharrona Pearl

11:25 AM – 12:15 PM: Lunch

12:15 AM – 1:45 PM: Panel 3: Borders, States, & Citizenship


  • Michael Fuhlhage, “Yankee Reporters and Southern Secrets: Journalists and the Legibility of the Secession Movement, 1860-61”
  • Jacob Vrist Nielsen, “Liberation Censorship: Mass Surveillance of Transnational Telecommunications in Denmark in the Year of Liberation, 1945”
  • Jose Luis Ortiz Garza, “Contextualizing Early Telegraphic Surveillance on the Mexican Border (1914-1920)”
  • Matthew Guariglia, “Surveillance, Race, and the Legibility in the Progressive Era”
  • Jing Wang, Li Hongmei, and Xian Xu, “Imagining a Credit Society: Discourses of the Social Credit System in Chinese Media“

Respondent: James Hay

1:45 PM – 3:15 PM: Panel 4: Seeing Consumers & Risk


  • Richard Popp, “Subscriptions as Surveillance: Selling Magazines and Fleshing Out Readers at Time Inc, 1945-”
  • Alexander Monea, “Uniquely American Biopower: Correlational Targeting, Racialization, and Segregation in the U.S.”
  • Caroline Jack, “Normalizing Consumer Surveillance in the 1990s American Business Press”
  • Meg Leta Jones, “Revisiting Cookies”
  • Elizabeth Ellcessor, “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up: A Pre-History of Surveillant Medical Technologies”

Respondent: Stephanie Schulte

3:15 PM – 3:30 PM: Coffee Break 2

3:30 PM – 4:45 PM: Panel 5: Emotional Surveillance


  • Luke Stark, “After the Clinic: Jurgen Ruesch, Weldon Kees, and Psychology’s Cybernetic Media of Surveillance, 1950-1960”
  • Jeff Nagy, “Making Feeling `Big’: Psychological Metrics and Emotional Big Data”
  • Kira Lussier, “Personality Data: A Prehistory of Psychographics”
  • James Hay, “On the Watch — Rewinding the Long History of Self-tracking in Regimes of Self-Governance”

Respondent: Fred Turner

4:45 PM – 5 PM: Concluding Remarks