2015 and 2016 Surveillance Book Prizes

The winners of the 2015 and 2016 Surveillance Studies Network Book Prize for the best surveillance monograph published in the previous calendar year have been announced.
 
The 2015 prize, for books published in the calendar year of 2014, was jointly awarded to the following two books:
 
Staples, William G. 2014. Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life. 2nd ed. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

McCahill, Michael, and Rachel L. Finn. 2014. Surveillance, Capital and Resistance: Theorizing the Surveillance Subject. New York: Routledge.

For 2016, for the best book published in the calendar year 2015, the winning book is
 
Browne, Simone. 2015. Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness. Durham: Duke University Press.
 
 
Congratulations to all the winners, from two very strong shortlists! The committees made the following comments about the winners:
 
 
Staples, William G. 2014. Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life. 2nd ed. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Accessible and engaging, Staples’ ‘Everyday Surveillance’ is an excellent introduction to surveillance studies. It provides insight into the micro-politics of ‘postmodern surveillance practices’ in everyday life, noting the sheer volume of techniques that now envelop even those who might have previously been immune. Staples breaks down some of the taken for granted frameworks and concepts in the field, and applies them to an impressive range of examples and scenarios to expose the often hidden mechanisms and consequences of ‘everyday surveillance’. 


McCahill, Michael, and Rachel L. Finn. 2014. Surveillance, Capital and Resistance: Theorizing the Surveillance Subject. New York: Routledge.

Moving beyond Orwell and Foucault, ‘Surveillance, Capital and Resistance’ offers new frames and concepts for grappling with the ways in which surveillance is experienced, contested and resisted. Drawing upon Bourdieu’s forms of capital, McCahill and Finn provide alternative readings of surveillance, and although careful not to ‘claim to speak on behalf of the surveillance subjects’ that appear in the book, they provide vital insights into the lives of individuals who ‘find themselves at the heart of the “field of struggle”’ (p.9). Such individuals include protesters and offenders who are subject to enhanced surveillance from a variety of public and private entities.


Browne, Simone. 2015. Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness. Durham: Duke University Press.

The committee found that Browne’s book stood out for the following reasons: The writing is elegant, simple, straightforward. We felt it a benefit that she brings a critical humanities and intersectional approach to surveillance studies. Perhaps most important are the timely interventions Browne performs: She insists we look at the ways in which race has informed surveillance practices. She makes the incredibly important argument that surveillance is a racial practice, and insists we begin to theorize and account for this in our work within the field. Finally, Browne's book is timely and relevant, particularly in the US with black lives matter, police brutality and the increasing surveillance of black and brown bodies.

 

Note of apology: normally, we announce these prizes in the middle each year, but a hiatus in the position of Book Review Editors at the journal led to a delay in the consideration of the 2015 prize.