SSC Seminar Series: Alix Johnson (Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, Queen's University)

Watched Waters: Emerging Regimes of (Spatializing) Arctic Surveillance

Wednesday, January 16, 2018

1:00 – 2 pm
 (Note time change)

Mackintosh Corry Hall D411


In recent years, the Arctic Ocean has emerged as a flashpoint, its melting waters increasingly marked by military tensions, resource extraction, and commercial development. Less publicly, the Arctic is also increasingly monitored by surrounding states’ surveillance tools. From revived Cold War sonar systems to cutting-edge experiments in quantum radar, these overlapping efforts take different targets, but together figure the Arctic as a site of anticipation – and projected intervention from the outside. This talk charts an emerging program of research on the social and particularly spatializing effects of surveillance in the Polar North. Dr. Johnson contends that the Arctic is being constituted as a multiply-claimed region by policies and practices of surveillance that are at once cutting edge and deeply entangled with imperial histories.

About the Speaker:

Alix Johnson is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen's University. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research examines digital networks as a lens on questions of sovereignty, identity and imperial power, and her work has appeared in American Ethnologist, Culture Machine, and Allegra Lab

Everyone welcome!