Although Foucault and Orwell have conceptualized surveillance as integral to modernity, surveillance has been racialized in a manner that they did not foresee: today’s seeing eye is white. Current discussions on surveillance mainly center on the ways, the citizen (often cast as a white male) is targeted by state surveillance, ranging from the NSA-revelations by Edward Snowden to the discretionary grip on personal data by the monopolies of social media and advertising companies such as Facebook and Google. Within the academe, surveillance studies often focus on the qualitative shift taking place in surveillance after 9/11, leaving the complex that enabled the post-9/11 surveillance-complex absent. Thus in this seminar, we will revise literature on surveillance and state power with the aim of placing questions of colonialism, race and empire at the center of analysis. Going back to the rich archive of surveillance studies in this political moment, we critically engage, rework, and perhaps resituate some of the key concepts of Critical Surveillance Studies. Charting this alternative genealogy of (state) surveillance disrupts the claim of newness often attributed to surveillance technologies and makes clear that surveillance culture often upholds strategies that first accompanied European colonial expansion that sought to structure social relations and institutions in ways that privilege capital accumulation and whiteness. By reading and discussing key texts from Critical Surveillance Studies, Black Surveillance Studies, and Race Critical Media Studies, students of this seminar will gain a deeper understanding and reflect upon some of the canonical thought undergirding cultural theory and history. Concerning methodology, we engage a set of crucial methodological tools established in the field: cultural and historicist analysis, visuality as method as well as a theoretically inflected perspective on technologies as cultural practices.