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Asymmetrical Transparency: The Global Politics of Risk Management

Lecture Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

Rachel Carey Hall

Rachel Carey Hall

The cultural performance of contemporary security practices mobilizes the aesthetics of transparency. To appear transparent, passengers must perform innocence and display a willingness to open their body to routine inspection and analysis. Those who cannot — whether because of race, immigration and citizenship status, disability, age or religion — are deemed opaque, presumed to be a threat and subject to search and detention. The talk demonstrates how the aesthetics of transparency has been used to moralize a discriminatory global politics of mobility.    


Rachel Hall is Associate Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. She is currently working on two book projects: Children Under Surveillance: The Performative Geographies of Child Safety and Crafting Experience: Making and Sharing Home via DIY Cultures and Digital Media Platforms. Her other publications include Wanted: The Outlaw in American Visual Culture (University of Virginia Press, 2009), and articles in Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Performance Research, Women’s Studies Quarterly, The Communication Review, Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture and Media Studies and Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy.


WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103

Assigned Reading

Rachel Hall, The Transparent Traveler: The Performance and Culture of Airport Security (Duke University Press, 2015)


5 p.m. at the UNE Art Gallery (Portland campus)

Asymmetrical Transparency: The Global Politics of Risk Management event poster
6:00 PM
WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public