In this panel we explore the convergence of technologies and tactics aimed at solving crime (forensics) and technologies of control and oversight of population (surveillance). Doing so, our goal is to provoke a conversation between STS and Surveillance studies, about this assemblage in practice.
This panel explores the convergence between forensics and surveillance. Papers will focus on the traffic of technologies of crime-solving (forensics) and technologies for managing the population (surveillance), allowing for a conversation between STS and Surveillance studies.
Technologies such as fingerprinting and DNA profiling are increasingly part of border management regimes, and can simultaneously be mobilized to investigate crime. Surveillance practices based on large data collection and data mining have become part and parcel of crime solving. We invite contributions that draw on material and empirical cases to help unpack the normativities and technologies and tactics across the fields of surveillance and forensics.
What happens when the logic of population management converges with that of crime solving? How does this affect the categories of people that these technologies are aimed at? Can we, given the pervasiveness of 'crime' as a matter of concern in science and society, speak of a criminalization of everyday life? These are urgent questions in the contemporary situation in Europe, with its contested border management regimes and its dealings with refugees and immigrants. But they are equally important in more mundane practices of oversight, where large datasets about populations can become part of crime solving or processes of incriminating certain categories of people.
Rather than assuming that technologies do the same kind of job everywhere we take inspiration from STS to open up the black boxes of forensic and surveillance technologies to examine the kind of interferences that come about once these technologies are put to use.