tech anguish

resisting crisis surveillance capitalism in academic libraries

I had the pleasure of working with three fine fellow Library Freedom Project members on this paper, published last week in the peer-reviewed open access Canadian Journal of Librarianship. This was the first time I’ve written anything for an academic journal, and it was a delight. Thank you, Zotero group libraries!

In this paper, we consider what we identify as crisis surveillance capitalism in higher education, drawing on the work of Naomi Klein and Shoshana Zuboff. We define crisis surveillance capitalism as the intersection of unregulated and ubiquitous data collection with the continued marginalization of vulnerable racial and social groups. Through this lens, we examine the twinned crisis narratives of student success and academic integrity and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic further enabled so-called solutions that collect massive amounts of student data with impunity. We suggest a framework of refusal to crisis surveillance capitalism coming from the work of Keller Easterling and Baharak Yousefi, identifying ways to resist and build power in a context where the cause of harm is all around and intentionally hidden.

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