‘After Surveillance’ is a network of people whose work involves imagining and developing alternatives to problematic visibility & surveillance in higher education. Starting with a series of online meetings in 2019, its aim is to foster conversations, collaborations and exchanges; develop new projects; and serve as a point of connection for work in this area.
Questions to address:
- What are the trusting digital futures we want to see in higher education? What forms of resistance to surveillance are being enacted, and being imagined?
- What do institutions that foreground trust look like? What could they look like?
- How do we begin to develop strategies in higher education that account for and work with pedagogical goals and values?
Our starting position (offered for context, analysis, disagreement, amendment and addition):
- We can surveil students and staff in ever more depth and detail, but this has an inverse relationship to trust. Trust and surveillance are antithetical to one another.
- It is vitally important to counter the ‘surveillance as care’ rhetoric.
- Staff and students are both subject to distrust in the contemporary university, and the effects of surveillance are highly problematic for both.
- Overemphasis on the authentic space of trust as the small, physical classroom, and on massive or mediated courses as inherently untrustworthy, is unhelpful.
- The intelligent campus, online proctoring, learning analytics, plagiarism detection, and attendance monitoring need to be carefully examined for their effects on relationships within the university – and antidotes developed where needed.