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Jennifer G. Tucker
Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT 06459-3208)
Caught on Camera: A History of Photographic Detection and Evasion

A book-length study of the development of photographic detection, surveillance, and evasion from the 19th century to the present.

"Caught on Camera" will chart the historical transformation of photographic detection, surveillance, and evasion from the 19th century to today. It spans photography's early uses in the capture of facial likenesses through the rise of today's sophisticated facial recognition systems. The book explores how the threats to individual privacy and identity posed by corporate and state surveillance techniques were confronted by earlier generations. From the mugshot to Big Brother, from the family album to the selfie, photography has served both as a source of empowerment and social control. Written in an accessible style for a general reader, the book will demonstrate how study of the past can shed new light on contemporary debates over a topic of public concern. It will contribute to the humanities by integrating modes of analysis that are often disparate, combining the history of science and technology with political history, legal studies, social and cultural history, and visual studies.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
Cultural History; History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; Law and Jurisprudence

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016