Thursday, 28 February 2013

Results for my Poetics of Surveillance module

I received a really good 1st for my Poetics of Surveillance module!! I'm so happy, my hard work payed off!
I think that writing this blog really helped me, in getting a sense of the topic of Surveillance as a whole, and in being able to write down and organize myself and my ideas. I'm very proud of myself! :)

Monday, 17 December 2012




American Civil Liberties Union. "Will Increasing Surveillance Change Fiction?." N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec 2012. [].

Barker, Nicola, Clear: A transparent novel, (Harper Perennial), (2004)

Bennett, A. and N, Royle, Elizabeth Bowen and the dissolution of the novel: still lives, (Basingstoke, Macmillan Press), (1995), (PP Xiii-101)

Boone, Joseph A., ‘Depolicing Villette: Surveillance, Invisibility, and the Female Erotics of "Heretic Narrative’, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, 26, (1 ), Autumn, (1992), (PP 20-42)

Brontë,C,Villette, (London, Oxford University Press,1853)

Brooks, P. Troubling Confessions, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), (2000)

Bowen, Elizabeth, The Heat of the Day, (Vintage Books, London), (1949)

Chesterton,G,K, The Man Who Was Thursday, (Penguin Classis),(1908)

Debord, Guy, ‘The Culmination of Seperation’, The Society of the Spectacle, (London, Rebel Press), (2008), (PP 7-9)

Deleuze, G (1995) ‘Postscript on The Society of Control’ in Negotiations 1972- 1990,(New York: Columbia UP), (PP 177-82)

Ellmann, M. Elizabeth Bowen: the shadow across the page.  (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press), (2003)

Foucault, Michael, Discipline and Punish, (London, Penguin), (1975)

Glatzer, Nahum, Franz Kafka’s The Complete Stories, (Schocken Books), (1971)


Hennelly, Jr., Mark M., ‘The "Surveillance of Désirée": Freud, Foucault, and Villette’, in Victorian Literature and Culture, Vol. 26, (2), (1998), (pp. 421-440)

Hier, Sean P, The Surveillance Studies Reader, (Maidenhead : Open University Press), (2007)

Hogg J, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, (London, Oxford University Press,1824)

Ishiguro, Kazuo, Never Let Me Go , (Faber and Faber),(2005)


Jung, Sandra, ‘Curiosity, Surveillance and Detection in Charlotte Brontë’s Vilette’, Brontë Studies, 35, 2, July 2010, (PP 160-71)

Lassner, Phyllis, ‘Remaining the Arts of War: Language and History in Elizabeth Bowen’s The Heat of The Day and Rose Macaulay’s The World My Wilderness’, Perspectives in Contemporary Criticism 14, (1988), (PP 30-8, P 30)  

Lyon, D, Surveillance Studies: An Overview, (London: Polity), (2007)

McEwan,Ian,The Innocent, (Vintage) (2005)

Orwell, George, ,1984,(Penguin), (1949)

Parsons, Deborah, “Wandering the London Wasteland” in Streetwalking the Metropolis, (New York, Oxford University Press), (2000), (PP 188-208)

PCWorld. "Don’t fall for the Facebook privacy notice hoax | PCWorld." N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec 2012. [].

Pickles, Nick. "Is the use of CCTV cameras in schools out of hand?." N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec 2012. [].


Quinn, Ben. "Man who defaced Tate Modern's Rothko canvas says he's added value." N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Dec 2012. [].


Raban, Jonathon, Surveillance, (Picador),(2006)

Sage, V, Horror Fiction in the Protestant Tradition: ‘Criminals and Christians: The Paradox of the Internalised Conscience.’ (Macmillan Press, London, 1988, pp 70-126)

Shuttleworth, S, Villette: “The Surveillance of a Sleepless Eye’, (1952, pp 108-129)

The Guardian. "Smoke and minors." N.p., 2011. Web. 17 Dec 2012. [].

Wolff, Janet, ‘The Invisible Flâneuse: Women and the Literature of Modernity.’ in Theory, Culture, and Society, November 1985, 2:37-46

Woolf,Virginia, Mrs Dalloway, (London Hogarth Press),(1925)


YouTube (Accessed 16th December 2012) P!nk - Stupid Girls. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 16 Dec 2012].


YouTube. "and a new earth." N.p., n.d.. Web. 17 Dec 2012. [].

Zizek, S, ‘Big Brother, or, the Triumph of the Gaze over the Eye’ in CTRL SPACE, Levin, T (ed.), (2004), (PP 224-27)



I have come to the end of my Poetics of Surveillance module, and I have come away with a whole view of the poetics of surveillance, which is not as fragmented as before taking the module. During the module I felt paranoid and very much aware that I was being watched, by a higher being, the government, CCTV cameras and by others. I was aware of my changing perception of myself, as I knew I was being watched, which thus made me internalise my conscience.  Obviously I wasn’t doing anything wrong, but the idea that I was being watched, and didn’t know when or where made me nervous. I now have an understanding of the use of surveillance in society, and personally do not feel that the government is being oppressive in its use of surveillance. I believe it is very much needed in society. My time at court for jury service has also proved this, as in my cases the criminals knew where the CCTV cameras where, and still they were not deterred. This goes to show how in society, the need for surveillance and a government who watches you is necessary.  I do not understand why people feel that the government is spying on them, as a negative thing, as it can only be negative if you are actually doing something wrong, and thus feel guilty for it. I have come away from this module of the poetics of surveillance, with the idea that in society, we all have a sense of self-scrutiny, and surveillance.

Will Increasing Technology Change Fiction?

Never Let Me Go

After subsequent readings of Kazuo Ishiguro’s, Never Let Me Go, (2005) I find the novel to be extremely bleak in its view of humanity. It’s a disturbing novel. Especially at the end, with Kathy’s metaphor of the rubbish wasting away. For example when she says, “I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of old stuff caught along the fencing.” (282) which suggests that she is literally the old plastic bag, being used as a body to hold its contents, merely being a vessel for genes, being used as an instrument for the use of someone else. What is more shocking, however, is the form of surveillance that runs throughout the novel. The surveillance of the students (clones) and their art. The surveillance is shown through the value and importance placed on art by the figures of authority, the Guardians.  The revelation at the end of the novel, of the real reason for the production of the art is cruel, as throughout the novel, the students where given a false sense of hope, of being told and not told, and they put their hopes into the dream of having a normal life, or into the rumour of deferring for true love,  which would never come true. The real reason for the art, was used to determine whether the students have souls and are actually human. This raises questions of scientific and anthropocentric concern of their personal identifies. Miss Emily states, “We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put 9t more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.” (255) This therefore questions the clones and thier sanctity of life and if they have equal rights and liberties to life as every other human being. Ishiguro thus creates a satirical self-reflection of the world. For example, when the delivery men say, “sweetheart” (41) it is ironical as it makes the reader self-criticize themselves, making them look inside themselves and observe.

Society of Control After 9/11

Jonathan Raban’s novel, Surveillance, (2006) questions the society of control in a post 9/11 world where the state has control over its people. For example, in staging these preventative accidents, the government is trying to discipline its people into taking precautions, for when it happens in reality. In Raban’s novel, there are elements of the Foucaldian disciplinary society of control. It can be argued that while the government is trying to make people more aware it seems that the state is trying to control people. The government is not interested in people’s freedoms or liberties, but interested in a society of control. On a personal level, we see in the book that new technologies make it easier for people to survey others. This can be seen when Lucy says, “Look at the way people Google their prospective dates. Everybody does it. Everybody’s trying to spy on everyone else.” (225) This can also be seen in the use of Google maps, which even I have used to Google my own street. I have even seen myself in the Google maps street view, which seems to be taken years ago. It’s rather spooky. Because this technology is so widely used by everybody, does it then make it acceptable to use for spying on others? I admit it’s useful, however, when put into the wrong hands; somebody may use it for unethical and immoral reasons. Personally, I don’t mind the state having such intrusive access to my life, if they use their powers for good. The minute they abuse their powers, for example, taking somebody’s personal identity or fraud, then it is wrong. But the line seems very blurred. It seems hypocritical to say that it’s okay if I use technology as a form of surveillance to spy on my neighbour, let’s say, but its wrong when the government spy on us. In my opinion of the people who feel so strongly about the government spying on us, it may just be that they have something to hide.

City and Perception

In Virginia Woolf’s, Mrs Dalloway, (1925) Woolf comments on the city and its perception. Woolf seems to argue that surveillance is positive in its attribution to an organic city of London that is pure and natural. Can surveillance be a positive thing? Or is it too overpowering in its gaze?

Woolf shapes her readers way of seeing in the novel and challenges her readers to deconstruct a cognitive process of thinking. This can be seen in the 3rd person narration, which shows an unbroken stream of consciousness. For example, in the opening of the novel we are introduced to Clarissa Dalloway, “What a plunge! […] with a little squeak of the hinges, […] she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air.” (5) Here the windows are seen as being open to the stream of consciousness, which opens up her memories and her perceptions of things in the past. Woolf suggests that everyone in the city is being watched, thus having no privacy. All the characters seem to know one another, or know each other’s business, which shows a connectedness, attributed to the function of Victorian Literature. This can be seen in the novel through the organic and natural imagery, which is woven into the world of connectedness. For example, this can be seen as, “a single spider’s thread after wavering here and there
attach[ing] itself to the point of a leaf” (144) which shows the nature backdrop against the city environment showing spider webs of surveillance. This seems to suggest that there is a positive and natural element to surveillance.