Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765
Professor Cindi Katz (SUNY) to give talk
Thu, February 26, 2009 • 5:15 PM - 6:45 PM • Lady Bird Johnson Room, CMA 5.160
A mobius strip of fear threads between home and 'homeland,' weaving anxiety to military technology it twists around security. In security's name people have acquiesced to a public environment that is monitored, bunkered, and conspicuously patrolled while they remake their homes as fortresses. The stepped up militarization of everyday life--to say nothing of the sprawling 'war on terror'--is routinized in the apparatus of fear. Children, as vulnerable subjects and as emblems of a fraught future, both embody the insecurity and provide an alibi for its technologies. In this presentation I will argue that the regime of parental hypervigilance has much in common with that of the homeland security state. The parallels in tactics, strategies, and effects between the two scales of 'domestic' security are as chilling as they are revealing. Looking at their effects on the body and the spaces of the home, the city, and the public environment more broadly, I will argue first that the material social practices of security at these two scales feed off of and help justify one another to reconfigure daily life and legitimate practices unthinkable even a decade ago, and second that as these strategies are increasingly domesticated they soften us as subjects of surveillance.