Foucault News

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

Pride 2018: Demystifying Queerness and Sexuality – Talking Dog Productions Presents The History of Sexuality, BY SAMANTHA GOLDAUG 11, 2018, Forget the Box (Montreal)

The History of Sexuality is a play that is going to make you uncomfortable, but the reasons it will are the very reasons why you should see it.

Following a successful run at the Mainline theater in September 2017, it was selected as part of Pride 2018’s programming. Playwright, director, and producer Dane Stewart set out to write a play about queerness and power dynamics and the result is a piece that is visceral, heartrending, intellectual, sexy, and authentic.

The play revolves around a Master’s seminar about Michel Foucault’s book, The History of Sexuality taught by Marie, played by Renée Hodgins. It is through this seminar that the stories of the professor and her students are tied together. Though they have their own lives and relationships with power dynamics and sexuality, they always end up in class to talk about Foucault.

Progressive Geographies

9781350021112Spaces of Crisis and Critique: Heterotopias Beyond Foucault, edited by Anthony Faramelli, David Hancock, Robert G. White – Bloomsbury 2018. Unfortunately only hardback and expensive e-book.

In Of Other Spaces Foucault coined the term “heterotopias” to signify “all the other real sites that can be found within the culture” which “are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.” For Foucault, heterotopic spaces were first of all spaces of crisis, or transformative spaces, however these have given way to heterotopias of deviation and spaces of discipline, such as psychiatric hospitals or prisons.

Foucault’s essay provokes us to think through how spaces of crisis and critique function to open up disruptive, subversive or minoritarian fields within philosophical, political, cultural or aesthetic discourses. This book takes this interdisciplinary and international approach to the spatial, challenging existing borders, boundaries, and horizons; from Claire Colebrook’s chapter unpacking the heterotopic spaces of America and Mexico that lie

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‘Now the critique of knowledge I would propose does not in fact consist in denouncing what is continually – I was going to say monotonously – oppressive under reason, for after all, believe me, insanity (déraison) is just as oppressive. Nor would this political critique of knowledge consist in flushing out the presumption of power in every truth affirmed, for again, believe me, there is just as much abuse of power in the lie or error. The critique I propose consists in determining under what conditions and with what effects a veridiction is exercised, that is to say, once again, a type of formulation falling under particular rules of verification and falsification.’

Michel Foucault, (2008) [2004]. The Birth of Biopolitics. Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978- 1979. Tr. Graham Burchell. Houndmills and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 36

Progressive Geographies

12018-740x1024New Perspectives Issue 1/2018


  1. The World Is (Not) Heated

Benjamin Tallis

Special Section

  1. The Prague Agenda

Michal Smetana, Anastasia Kazteridis, Matthew Kroenig, Sadia Tasleem, Richard Price, Jeffrey Fields, Jason Enia, Angela Kane, Dieter Fleck

Research articles

  1. Writing Kafka’s Soul: Disciplinary Power, Resistance & the Authorship of the Subject

Nicholas Dungey

  1. History, Nationalism, and Democracy: Myth and Narrative in Viktor Orbán’s ‘Illiberal Hungary’

Michael Toomey

  1. The Fourth Generation: From Anti-Establishment to Anti-Systém Parties in Slovakia

Oľga Gyárfášová

Cultural Cut

  1. HHhH & The 7th Function of Language

Laurent Binet

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Returning to Reims by Didier Eribon review – can you escape your upbringing?
Steven Poole, The Guardian, Fri 3 Aug 2018


This book is also a touching memoir of sexual awakening, and a gallery of philosophical ideas and characters, as Eribon explains with passion what inspired him as a teenager about the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, and later those of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. He is terrifically, amusingly rude, meanwhile, about the conservative philosopher Raymond Aron, whom he once met: “The very moment I set eyes on him, I loathed his ingratiating smile, his soothing voice … he was a soldier in the service of those in power helping them to maintain their power.”

Marina Benjamin, Didier Eribon’s Returning to Reims is a potent memoir about the cost of changing class, New Statesman, 8 August 2018

It has taken Eribon 35 years to emerge from the “class closet” and acknowledge that spring-vaulting himself out of poverty into the starry heights of French intellectual life might have entailed losses. Thirty-five years – over the course of which he fashioned himself into a successful journalist; professor of sociology; friend, confidant and acclaimed biographer of Michel Foucault; and protégé of Pierre Bourdieu, famed theorist of how bound we are to our habitus, that social niche to which multiple signifiers peg us. In 2008, Eribon was awarded Yale University’s prestigious Brudner Prize for his work on “intellectual history, on homosexuality, on minoritarian subjectivities”.

10 artists to watch at SummerWorks 2018



One of the city’s original site-specific ensembles, this fiercely eclectic company – which now splits its time between Toronto and Brooklyn – always uses movement, text, design and setting in intriguing ways. Their latest, Café Sarajevo Episode 1, takes its inspiration from a debate between theorists Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky that aired on Dutch television in 1971. Whoa.

The show will use that year – in which the Vietnam War was raging, the Doors ruled the airwaves and people were taking psychedelic drugs and engaging in free love – to reflect on our own tumultuous times. The use of a smartphone app – the show is being billed as a live podcast experience – will add another fascinating layer to the experience.

August 11 to 19 at Toronto Media Arts Centre – Main Gallery

Progressive Geographies

EF18.jpegIt’s taken longer than anticipated for me to return to the work on The Early Foucault. The last update was back in April. Through the spring the book on Canguilhem was drafted, revised and then submitted to Polity Press on 4 May. Following the reader reports the revision was sent off on 13 July, and the book is now in production with a scheduled publication in early 2019. Much of the research time in May and June was taken up with work on Shakespeare, part for some summary pieces about Shakespearean Territories (here and here), and some the continuation of a side-project of putting Foucault and Shakespeare in relation. It was only in late July, following a holiday, that I was really able to return to the work on the early Foucault.

The materials I’d drafted were in fairly good shape, although some sections are more…

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