American Studies

Simone A. Browne

Affiliate FacultyPh.D., 2007, Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Associate Professor
Simone A. Browne



Simone Browne began her faculty position in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. She teaches and researches surveillance studies, biometrics, airport protocol, popular culture, and black diaspora studies. She is a member of the Executive Board of HASTAC.

Professor Browne's book , Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness, examines surveillance with a focus on slavery, biometric information technology, airports, borders, and creative texts. You can read the Introduction to Dark Matters here

In May 2015 she participated in the New Museum’s biennial Ideas City festival as part of a collaboration between New Inc and Deep Lab, a feminist research collective (video link)

Currently reading The Intimacies of Four Continents by Lisa Lowe


Select Publications


Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness

Simone Browne

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness
Duke University Press (2015)

You can read the Introduction to Dark Matters here

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Browne, S. "Everybody’s Got a Little Light Under the Sun: Black Luminosity and the Visual Culture of Surveillance." Cultural Studies 26(4), 2012: 542-564.

Browne, S. “Digital Epidermalization: Race, Identity and Biometrics." Critical Sociology 36(1), 2010: 131-150.

Browne, S. “Getting Carded: Border Control and the Politics of Canada’s Permanent Resident Card." Citizenship Studies 9(4), 2005: 423-438.

Browne, S. “Of ‘Passport Babies’ and ‘Border Control’: The Case of Mavis Baker v. Minister ofCitizenship and Immigration." Atlantis 26(2), 2002: 97-108.

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Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

French, M. and S. Browne. “Surveillance as Social Regulation: Profiles and Profiling Technology." Criminalization, Representation, Regulation: Thinking Differently About Crime. Eds. Deborah Brock, Amanda Glasbeek, and Carmela Murdocca. University of Toronto Press, 2014: 251-284.

Browne, S. “Race and Surveillance." Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies. Eds. Kirstie Ball, Kevin D. Haggerty, and David Lyon. Routledge, 2012: 72-79.

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Peer-Reviewed Journal Special Issue

The Obamas and the New Politics of Race. Special Issue, Qualitative Sociology 35(2), Eds. Simone Browne and Ben Carrington, 2012.

Download "Introduction" here.

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Peer-Reviewed Journal Special Issue in Progress

Race and Surveillance. Special Issue, Surveillance & Society, Eds. Simone Browne, Katherine McKittrick and Ronak K. Kapadia.

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Upcoming Talks + Past Presentations

BIOSurveillance Research Colloquium

May 27, 2016, University of California, Santa Cruz

MediaLive 2016: Corruption

May 17, 2016, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

The Color of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of the Black Community

April 8, 2016, Georgetown Law School

Dark Matters - Author Meets Critics at the AAG

March 31, 2016, San Francisco, CA

Red Emma's Bookstore

March 26, 2016, Baltimore, MD

Department of American Studies and Ethnicity

February 28, 2016, University of Southern Califonia

Digital Studies Workshop

February 11, 2016, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Open Score: Art and Technology 2016

January 30, 2016, The New Museum

Department of African American Studies

January 28, 2016, Yale University

Department of Film and Media Studies

November 19, 2015, University of California, Santa Barbara

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and Other Stories: A Conversation on Infrastructure, Intersectionality and Ideas (with Ingrid Burrington and Allison Burtch)

November 5, 2015, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Data, Democracy and the Human Story: A Conversation with Members of Deep Lab (with Ingrid Burrington and Allison Burtch)

November 5, 2015, Loyola University

Department of Information Studies

October 29, 2015, University of California, Los Angeles

Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association

October 10, 2015, Toronto Canada

States of Surveillance: New Directions and Empirical Projects Symposium

October 1-2, 2015, University of Kansas

America and it's "Unfit": Eugenics Then and Now Conference

September 25-26, 2015, New York University

‘Smile! You are being recorded’: CCTV and Other Tools of Surveillance

April 3, 2015, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Black. Life. Forms.

April 10, 2015, University of Pennsylvania

Surveillance, Style and Subversion: DIY and Other Responses to Biometric Data Collection

October 3, 2014, University of Michigan

Race and Surveillance: From Slavery to the Age of 'Big Data'

October 15, 2014,  Department of Sociology, Princeton University

When Blackness Enters the Frame: Surveillance, Biometric Technology and Subversion

October 16, 2014, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University

When Blackness Enters the Frame

November 16, 2014, This Isn’t About the Future: Black Digital Culture Now Conference. California Institute of the Arts

Dark Sousveillance: Surveillance, Race and Resistance

December 9, 2013, CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative Speaker Series. New York City




The Color of Surveillance 2016. Georgetown Law



Open Score: Art + Technology 2016. New Museum

Art in the Overseen World

The Lens in the Mirror: How Surveillance is Pictured in the Media and Public Culture

A Joint Open Society-BagNews Salon



Surveillant Anxiety

Surveillant Anxiety

NEW INC: What are the lived effects of surveillance? A panel moderated by Kate Crawford, with Simone Browne, Jade E. Davis, Biella Coleman, and Karen Levy.


Dark Sousveillance Race, Surveillance and Resistance

Dark Sousveillance Race, Surveillance and Resistance

Graduate Center, CUNY by the Digital Praxis Seminar and the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative


Media Appearances + Interviews

"New York City has been shining surveillance lights on its black population for the last 300 years" (link) Fusion (May 2016)

Imagine Otherwise. Episode 009 (link) (May 2016)

"The Surveillance of Blackness: From the Transatlantic Slave Trade to Contemporary Surveillance Technologies" (link) truthout (February 2016)

"‘The Lulz Continue’: The New Museum and Rhizome Co-Host the First Open Score Conference on Art and Technology" (link) Art News (February 2016)

"5 Questions: Dr. Simone Browne, Associate Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies" (link) (January 2016)

"Abuse of data comes as no surprise. A conversation with cyberfeminist research collective Deep Lab" (link). Impose Magazine (July 2015)

"Exploring feminist hacktivism with Deep Lab" (link). i-D Magazine (July 2015)


The University of Texas at Austin (select)


Chair, Recruitment and Retention Sub-Committee, Council for Racial and Ethnic Equity and Diversity, 2015-present

Member, Council for Racial and Ethnic Equity and Diversity, 2015-present

Departmental Representative, Institutional Research Board, 2015-present

Faculty Panel Member, Bridging Disciplines Program (Cultural Studies section), 2011-present

Member, Faculty Council (elected), 2013-2015, 2009-2011

Chair (elected), Recruitment and Retention Committee, Standing Committee of the General Faculty, 2014-2015

Co-Chair (elected), Recruitment and Retention Committee, Standing Committee of the General Faculty, 2013-2014

Faculty Advisor, Texas Feminists (undergraduate student organization), 2011-2014

Department of African and African Diaspora Studies

Graduate Admissions Committee 2015-present

Executive Committee (elected), 2014-2015

Department of Sociology

Executive Committee (elected), 2012-2013

Graduate Admissions Committee (elected), 2011-2012

Center for Women’s and Gender Studies

Chair, Graduate Admissions Committee, 2015-present

Chair, Graduate Admissions Committee, 2014-2015

Member, Graduate Admissions Committee, 2011-2012

Warfield Center for African and African American Studies

Executive Committee (elected), 2009-2011

Professional (select)

Executive Board Member. Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), 2014-present

Initial Judge. HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Competition, 2009, 2010, 2014

Steering Committee. HASTAC, 2008-2014