Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

SLST Speaker Series – Ghostly Affect and Spectral Photography: On the Absence of Body Worn Camera Images

Professor Amanda Glasbeek

S 701 Ross (light refreshments will be served)   

Monday, February 13, 2023 from 2:30 – 4 pm


Abstract:  What does it mean to have no visual evidence of police wrong-doing in a visually saturated world? In this presentation, I take up this question through an exploration of the relevance of a ghost methodology for sociolegal surveillance studies. Drawing on a 2020 case of a police-involved death of a racialized woman in Toronto, I consider the haunting absence of images that are usually called upon to offer evidence what ‘really’ happened. Against the desire to make this death empirically knowable through visual capture, a ghost method asks us to live with the ‘eerie’ remnants of violence as palpable presences that require of us a reckoning. I argue that, viewed in this way, the spectral presence of Regis Korchinski-Paquet challenges the persistent demand for more transparency through visual ‘proof’ and can, instead, lead us to a form of redress consistent with abolitionist ways of seeing.


Bio:  Amanda Glasbeek is Associate Professor in Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies at York University. Her teaching and research interests lie in the intersections of feminism, abolitionist criminology, and surveillance studies, with a recent focus on CCTV and body-worn cameras in Canada. Published works include: “The Haunting of Surveillance Studies: Seeing, Knowing, and Ghostly Apparitions” (2022); “He Said, she said, we watched: video evidence in sexual assault trials” (2021); “Seeing and Not-Seeing: Race and Body-Worn Cameras in Canada” (2020, with Katrin Roots and Mariful Alam); and, “Time, Postcolonialism, and Body-Worn Cameras” (2019, with Katrin Roots and Mariful Alam).  She is also currently working with Timothy Bryan (U of T) on a project considering the subverted racial politics of contemporary police “reform.”

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 969 3830 8661 | Passcode: 093341



Feb 13 2023


2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
QR Code