Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Hickey, C., Mooney, A.
Challenging the pervasiveness of hypermasculinity and heteronormativity in an all-boys’ school
(2018) Australian Educational Researcher, 45 (2), pp. 237-253.

DOI: 10.1007/s13384-017-0249-4

There is a rich, albeit chequered, history around single-sex schooling providing an educational option for nurturing the particular educational interests and needs of boys. While all-boys’ schools continue to position themselves at the forefront of contemporary masculine endeavour, they are simultaneously forced to fend off accusations that they are proverbial hot beds for the reproduction of gendered hegemony. Whereas some boys’ schools appear content with their ‘masculine’ profile, others appear more eager to present themselves as projecting tolerant and inclusive environments wherein respectful gender relations are actively encouraged. Situated within a wider case study, this paper examines how one all-boys’ school sought to foster gender inclusivity through a strategic initiative to increase the number of female teaching staff and the appointment of a female deputy principal. The data presented here focus on qualitative research interviews undertaken with key members of staff around 5 years after the initiative was introduced to the school. Our interpretation of the data draws largely on selected works of Michel Foucault to explore the discourse-power relations that sustain enduring hypermasculine and heteronormative values within the school. This lens provides a framework to interrogate how gendered constructions of professional identity are framed within such a context, and the spaces that exist for them to be challenged. © 2017, The Australian Association for Research in Education, Inc.

Author Keywords
Boys’ schooling; Culture change; Heteronormativity; Hypermasculinity

McKeown, A., Glenn, J.
The rise of resilience after the financial crises: A case of neoliberalism rebooted?
(2018) Review of International Studies, 44 (2), pp. 193-214.

DOI: 10.1017/S0260210517000493

This article critically examines recent works on resilience. In so doing, it argues that rather than representing some radical rupture with current practices heralding the dawn of a new era, as David Chandler claims, the emphasis on individuals as resilient subjects simply represents a new phase in the neoliberal shift from the state as provider to state as enabler and promoter of self-reliance. Indeed, our present preoccupation with complexity, uncertainty, and resilience can best be understood as reflecting the consequences of neoliberal policies Moreover, the article further argues that there is an attendant danger that resilience thinking may further promote neoliberal forms of governmentality and encourage a degree of political passivity. The emphasis on resilience is in danger of depoliticising highly political choices, shifting attention toward ex-post policies of survival and recovery rather than challenging the current economic order and resisting the further imposition of neoliberal policies on already beleaguered populations. This article therefore argues for shifting our emphasis towards a Foucauldian analysis of power and resistance. © 2017 British International Studies Association.

Author Keywords
Financial Crises; Foucault; Neoliberalism; Resilience; Resistance; Uncertainty

Charlier, J.-É., Panait, O.M.
Resistances to global educational prescriptions in the Global South: theoretical considerations through Michel Foucault’s lenses
(2018) British Journal of Sociology of Education, 39 (3), pp. 348-364.

DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2017.1351865

This article proposes an inquiry into Foucault’s approach of subjectivation, extending it to the institutional actors and individual subjects in the educational field in the Global South. The article takes Senegal as a case study and examines the reactions of these categories of actors to the Education for All global policy and to the national policies drawn from it. The article focuses on the resistance practices without ignoring the conformity dimension. The theoretical extension proposed is based on the complementary association of Foucault’s works on ‘resistance’ with the theoretical models of Hirschman, of Bajoit and of Le Bourhis and Lascoumes. This enables the development of a typology of forms of reactions to global educational prescriptions, going from a variety of resistance practices to conformity attitudes. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Author Keywords
global educational prescriptions; Global South; individual subjects; institutional actors; Resistance

Machado, E.V.
Hyperidentity and orientalism: The case of the sieges of diu in Portuguese texts
(2018) South Asian Studies, 34 (1), pp. 6-16.

DOI: 10.1080/02666030.2018.1440056

The Portuguese representations of the sieges of Diu have been produced over the span of five centuries. My main argument is that, in these texts, Diu served as a pretext to reaffirm the glories of Portugal in Asia during the sixteenth century, as well as to establish an ontological and epistemological distinction between the West and the East. Such representations stem from what Eduardo Lourenço calls ‘Portuguese hyperidentity’, a notion which helps us understand how the discourses about Diu articulate knowledge and power. The relevance of establishing a connection between Edward W. Said’s theory of Orientalism and Lourenço’s viewpoint lies in the fact that both the ‘Western conceptions of the Orient’ and the affirmation of Portuguese identity and belonging participate of what Michel Foucault called the ‘regime of truth’. © 2018 The British Association for South Asian Studies.

Author Keywords
Diu; Hyperidentity; Islam; Knowledge and power; Orientalism; Portugal

Brown, C., Carr, S.
Education policy and mental weakness: a response to a mental health crisis
(2018) Journal of Education Policy, pp. 1-25. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2018.1445293

Educationalists have been concerned with the labelling and treatment of children with mental health difficulties in the education system in England for some time. These concerns have centred on the role of policy in ‘othering’ such students as deviant learners. The unprecedented number of children suffering from mental illnesses, has forced policymakers to address children’s mental health difficulties. This has involved the identification of a sub-set of the school population experiencing ‘less-severe’ mental health issues, to be addressed through a suite of policy interventions delivered by whole-school approaches, but targeted towards children situated as mentally ‘weak’. Drawing upon a Foucauldian theory of governmentality that addresses children’s behavioural motivations, an in-depth analysis of a number of educational policy initiatives related to mental health is conducted, that it is argued are fundamentally flawed. This analysis is followed by a discussion of the performative culture of High Stakes Testing in contributing to children’s mental health difficulties. Here it is argued that a narrative of mental weakness serves to justify a neoliberal rationality towards the treatment of children for whom the performative logic assumed to motivate all learners, fails. © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Author Keywords
Foucault; high stakes testing; Mental health; school children

Foucault and Parrhesia

Rhetoric 200 Seminar
10/02/2018, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Daniele Lorenzini

Please contact Prof. James Porter to attend this session of Rhetoric 200.

Daniele Lorenzini is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie ‘Move-in Louvain’ Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre Prospéro (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles) and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Critical Thought (Columbia University). He is the author of Jacques Maritain e i diritti umani [Jacques Maritain and Human Rights] (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2012), Éthique et politique de soi [Ethics and Politics of the Self] (Paris: Vrin, 2015), and La force du vrai [The Force of Truth] (Lormont: Le Bord de l’Eau, 2017). He is the editor, with Henri-Paul Fruchaud, of Michel Foucault’s lectures About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015), Qu’est-ce que la critique? suivi de La culture de soi (Paris: Vrin, 2015; English edition forthcoming with The University of Chicago Press); Dire-vrai sur soi-même (Paris: Vrin, 2017; English edition forthcoming with The University of Chicago Press), Discourse and Truth (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2019).

Hewson, D.
Pregnant with risk: biopolitics, neoliberalism and the 2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum
(2018) Irish Political Studies, pp. 1-20. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/07907184.2018.1445999

This article augments and elaborates on existing research conducted on the 2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum by outlining the role played by neoliberal rationalities in shaping discourses crucial to initiating the Referendum and securing a yes vote. The article employs Michel Foucault’s theory of biopolitics alongside various media sources and existing research in order to outline and analyse how the figure of the asylum seeker came to be constructed and understood as unpredictable, un-securable and as such incompatible with dominant neoliberal conceptions of prosperity. In making its case, the article draws upon discourses articulated by key public and political figures to highlight how asylum seekers in Ireland were constructed as a drain on resources and a risk to prosperity in order to legitimise their exclusion and reconstitute the Irish population. © 2018 Political Studies Association of Ireland

Author Keywords
2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum; asylum seeker; biopolitics; Foucault; neoliberalism; risk

Anderson, A.
Toward a genealogy of the liberal government of youth
(2018) Journal of Youth Studies, 21 (4), pp. 461-477.

DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2017.1394993

While discourses that define and demarcate young people such that they become legitimate targets of negative practices of marginalisation and exclusion have not disappeared, these are no longer the dominant discourses and modes of governing youth. Constructions of youth as self-determining subjects and empowerment polices of youth participation increasingly animate contemporary approaches to governing young people throughout the West and beyond. Until recently, the dominant critique of such developments consisted of accusations of failed attempts to realise certain principles in practice or of their ideological functions. There is however an emerging critical youth studies literature that analyses such developments drawing on the work of Beck and Foucault’s notion of ‘governmentality’. In this paper, I argue that while these studies challenge some of the assumptions upon which such developments rest, they are yet to challenge the extent to which these contemporary ways of constructing and governing youth are new. Using Foucault’s genealogical method my research traces an unacknowledged nineteenth century history of these common ways of constituting and governing youth today. To conclude I consider the strategic usefulness and ramifications of these findings for critical youth studies and policies of youth participation. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Author Keywords
empowerment; genealogy; governmentality; Liberalism; youth participation

Index Keywords
drawing, empowerment, genealogy, government, human, human experiment, juvenile, rest

Bailey, A.J., Drbohlav, D., Salukvadze, J.
Migration and pastoral power through life course: Evidence from Georgia
(2018) Geoforum, 91, pp. 97-107.

DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.02.023

This article advances critical migration theory by exploring how pastoral power works through relational life courses. Extending governmentality accounts, we posit and trace the circulation of use, exchange, and surplus values across the life courses of migrants from the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Field evidence shows how practices of migration, remitting, and familyhood are associated with dependent social relations and concealment, and negotiated through tests of truth of prayer, biographical management, and family remitting. This conduct of everyday life simultaneously invokes life courses as registers of resources and possibilities and subjects of the multiple governmentalities associated with recent discourse and European and Georgian migration policy initiatives, including “Safe Migration” and migration management systems. We conclude that studying how pastoral power works through relational life courses expands understanding of migration and, in the case of Georgia, highlights the importance of gender, family, and religious organisations for contemporary migration issues. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Author Keywords
Foucault; Georgia; Governmentality; Life course; Migration; Religion

Progressive Geographies

Return to Foucault’s “What is an Author” – Gordon Hull at New APPS

I’m teaching a Foucault seminar this term, and one of the things I’m trying to do is get better on the doxography of his essays.  That led me to a discovery about “What is an Author” that I’m going to share on the (hopefully not hubristic) assumption that other folks didn’t know it either.  The essay has been of interest to me for a while, largely because of my work on intellectual property.  There, the link between copyright and the juridico-political function of authorship Foucault identifies is fairly clear, and has been ably explored in the context of trademark by Laura Heymann.

What I didn’t know is that Foucault’s essay was originally presented as a seminar (Feb. 1969) – with responses from the likes of Lucien Goldmann and Lacan.  The version translated into English and that makes…

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