Sophia GoodfriendThe ethics and impact of new surveillance technologies
I am a PhD candidate at Duke University’s Department of Cultural Anthropology and Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellow. Currently based in Jerusalem, my academic work examines the ethics and impact of new surveillance technologies.
Alongside my academic work, I work as an independent researcher with civil society organizations in the region and as a freelance journalist. My writing on warfare, automation, and digital rights has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Baffler, +972 Magazine, The Boston Review, among other outlets. Before begining my PhD, I recieved a Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a BA in American Studies (summa cum laude) from Tufts University. My inbox is open for commissions.
The ability of governments and companies to surveil everyday life has never been greater. Digital surveillance, biometric monitoring, and smartphone tracking enable the state and corporations to mine personal data, often at the cost of fundamental civil liberties. My dissertation asks what drives the expansion of surveillance as such, and examines how these technologies impact everyday life across diverse communities in Israel/Palestine.
My multi-sited ethnographic research takes place among digital rights activists and communities subjected to intensive tracking as well as engineers, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers developing and implementing biometric and digital surveillance. As a cultural anthropologist, I ask how technological systems affect lived experience. I strive to understand what makes people, and the institutions they compose, invest in or contest these technologies.
My research has practical and theoretical implications. Ethnographically, I am concerned with the kind of humanity at stake in new surveillance regimes. Practically, my research aims to help policymakers implement biometric and digital monitoring ethically, without eroding essential civil and political rights.
A Street View of Occupation: Visual Anthropology Review, Fall 2021
Getting Around Hebron on Google Maps
Forthcoming Spring 2022
Drone Warfare's Redemptive RefrainsDrone Aesthetics: War, Culture, Ecology
London: Open Humanities Press
Israel’s Far Right Could Escalate Drone Warfare Against PalestiniansForeign Policy
Point. Click. Occupy.The Baffler
How the Occupation Fuels Tel Aviv’s Booming AI SectorForeign Policy
Cyberespionage with BenefitsBoston Review
When Palestinian Political Speech Is “Incitement”
Online Webinar, March 2022
Online Webinar, December 2021
Whose watching: Surveillance in Jerusalem and the west BankIr Amim-City of Nations
Online Webinar, November 2021
Welcome to the panopticonThe Institute for Middle East Peace
Washington D.C. (moved online), October 2020
Middle Eastern Studies Association Annual Meeting
Prague, CZ (moved online), August 2020
Big Data’s Shadow ArchiveSociety for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting
Sheffield, UK, February 2021
BioPower’s PromiseThe Aesthetics of Drone Warfare,
An International Research Conference at the University of Sheffield
New Orleans, USA November 2019
A Street View of HebronMiddle Eastern Studies Association Annual Meeting
Berlin, Germany August 2019
Everyday Affects of Surveillance3rd <Interrupted=cyfem and queer> a convergence curated by the Creamcake Collective
Chicago, IL, May 2017
Affective Interruptions on Birthright IsraelMaster’s Program in Social Sciences Graduate Student Research Conference
Milwaukee, WI, May 2017
The Big No-A Center for 21st Century Conference
at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Medford, MA October 2015
Jewish American Identity/Politics
Tufts University American Studies Shapiro Award Reception
Medford, MA, August 2014