Gary Kafer

Cohort Year: 2016
Research Interests: Surveillance studies; media materialism; theories of race, gender, and sexuality; contemporary art; biopolitics
Education: MA, Humanities, University of Chicago (2015); BA, Visual Studies and Cinema Studies, University of Pennsylvania (2014)


­Gary Kafer is a PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. His dissertation, "After Ubiquity: Atmospheres of Surveillance and the Technics of Social Difference," explores how racial, gendered, and sexual difference operate as fundamental technical relations within contemporary digital surveillance systems. Gary is co-editor of a special issue of Surveillance & Society on “Queer Surveillance.” His work has appeared in Contemporaneityqui parleDigital Culture & Society, and Jump Cut, as well as in the edited collection From Self-Portrait to Selfie: Representing the Self in the Moving Image (Peter Lang, 2019). His work is forthcoming in Queer Data (University of Washington Press).

Gary is a recipient of a Humanities Without Walls Fellowship (2016-18), an Arts, Science + Culture Initiative Fellowship (2019-20), and has been working at the Smart Museum of Art as an Academic Engagement Graduate Intern since 2019.


Teaching Experience

  • Surveillance Media (TAVE Fellowship course, cross-listed with Media Arts and Design), Lecturer - Autumn 2021
  • Film and the Moving Image, Lecturer - Autumn 2020
  • CMS Undergraduate Preceptor - AY 2019-2020
  • Advanced Seminar, Preceptor - Autumn 2019
  • Sound / Image Mapping, CA - Winter 2019