The James W. Carey Memorial Lecture committee presents - “Surveillance: Lessons from Popular Film”
- Dates: September 25, 2019
- Times: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Host: Grand Valley State University School of Communications
Venue: Grand Valley State University - Loosemore Auditorium
401 Fulton St. W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
- Category: Lecture/Education
- Price Per Person: Free
The James W. Carey Memorial Lecture committee presents - “Surveillance: Lessons from Popular Film” - Featuring J. Macgregor Wise from Arizona State University.
Networking and Snacks: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 7:00 p.m.
Surveillance is now a common part of everyday life. We not only expect to be monitored most of the time (from surveillance cameras in public areas to our phones tracking our locations throughout the day), we also participate by watching others, often for fun or entertainment (like on social media or reality TV). Surveillance is a consistent theme in much of our popular culture. But how do we understand surveillance? Analyzing films and television shows may provide a sense of how we imagine surveillance to be, and also point out the limitations of this understanding. For example, how may these films and shows shape our understandings of issues such as privacy? It is not that we take these shows to be accurate depictions of surveillance capabilities, but perhaps they shape what we think is possible or desirable regarding surveillance and our attitudes towards and feelings about these technologies. Surveillance is not simply an act of observation or control. Following James W. Carey’s work, could we say that surveillance is also a ritual that creates, reaffirms, and contests an understanding of social relations? It is important, therefore, to explore this cultural dimension of surveillance, analyzing the meanings we attach to surveillance and the stories we tell of it to further our understanding of the society in which we live.
J. Macgregor Wise is Professor of Communication Studies and Social Technology at Arizona State University. He is author of a number of books, including Surveillance and Film (2016), which won the Book Award for the Surveillance Studies Network. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU