College of Humanities and Social Sciences to Present “Contexts,” the Ninth Annual Multidisciplinary Conference, Focusing on Topic of Surveillance in the ‘Land of the Free’ on October 22, 2020

—This year's virtual conference, titled “Who’s Looking at You: Surveillance in the Land of the Free,” features Albert Fox Cahn, founder and executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, as keynote speaker

Who’s looking at you in this new world of surveillance? A day-long multidisciplinary virtual conference presented by William Paterson University on Zoom will delve into that topic on Thursday, October 22, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. To register for the event, email Jim Miles at

“The Contexts conference series seeks to engage current topics using the disciplinary lenses found in the departments of College of Humanities and Social Sciences,” says Wartyna L. Davis, interim dean of the College. “William Paterson University as a stakeholder in the community is committed to creating a forum for critical engagement for the campus and the surrounding community.”

The virtual event is divided into two panel sessions and a keynote address.

The morning session, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., features “Surveillance, State Violence, Racial Boundary Making, and Local Policing.” This presentation will feature Natalie Byfield, professor of sociology at St. John’s University in New York City. It will also feature “Racialization as a Way of Seeing,” presented by Lyndsey Beutin, assistant professor of communication studies at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

The keynote session, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., “Pandemic Policing: Law Enforcement Access to COVID-19 Contact Tracing Data,” will be presented by Albert Fox Cahn, founder and executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.). He is a fellow at the Englelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at New York University School of Law.

The final conference session, from 2 to 3:15 p.m., is titled “The Myths and Truths of Facial Recognition in Education Settings.” Speakers include Brenda Leong, senior counsel and director of artificial intelligence and ethics at the Future of Privacy Forum; and Amelia Vance, director of Youth and Education Privacy Project at the Future of Privacy Forum.

For more information, contact Tia N. Cherry at