Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson (Stockholm School of Theology) writes of her recent visit 8-18 April 2015 to collaborate with me on our ‘Surveillance & Religion Network’ project.
“To get the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks in St Andrews was terrific. The lovely surroundings and Eric Stoddart’s exceptional role as my host gave the right atmosphere for creative research and meetings with colleges at St Mary’s College. The visit was a combination of three things.
First, Eric and I had the opportunity to develop and work on an application for funding of workshops in the international and interdisciplinary network Religion & Surveillance. We believe we have found an area of research that is not much developed, but that is vitally important in relation to religious communities, existential questions and human rights.
Second, I was invited to give two lectures related to surveillance. The themes were “To See the World as it Appears. Vision, the Gaze and the Camera as Technological Eye” and “Mirror, mirror on the wall – self-images and objectification”. It was most valuable for me to discuss one of my published articles and one work in progress, with students and researchers in other fields of theology. We broadcasted the second lecture on the new Twitter-tool Periscope, as a test in line with our surveillance studies. Around 200 people participated from different parts of the world (although, to be honest, we aren’t able to tell how many of them connected for more than few minutes – but hopefully they did). Of course we also had an audience in St Andrews.
Thirdly, in the spare time, between the meetings and lectures, I had the chance to work on some of the articles I have not found the time to do back in Stockholm. The library at St Mary’s and the librarian were fantastic. I adore these spaces where I can feel I am just a part of hundreds of years of academic traditions and thoughts. And I hope to be back soon!” SWY