Foucault News

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

Thomas Skorucak, Le courage des gouvernés. Michel Foucault et Hannah Arendt, Paris: CNRS Editions, 2019

En ces temps marqués par la grande désillusion des citoyens face au politique, alors même que l’action collective est plus que jamais nécessaire, n’est-il pas urgent de réactualiser la notion de courage ? Mais comment penser ce courage loin de l’image d’une posture héroïque, apanage exclusif des puissants et des natures exceptionnelles, représentation à laquelle nous l’avons trop souvent cantonné ?

Ce courage des citoyens, cette vertu des gouvernés, Thomas Skorucak la met en scène dans des procès emblématiques où s’affrontent l’autorité et la vérité. Procès de Socrate et Galilée où le vrai s’est progressivement imposé comme source unique de l’autorité. Procès des criminels nazis où est patente la difficulté à s’affirmer face au pouvoir de sujétion de la vérité et à la démultiplication des régimes d’obéissance.

Comment dès lors élaborer une forme de courage qui serait une élaboration quotidienne et patiente de soi par soi, résistante à l’emprise du pouvoir sur notre conduite ? La question n’a rien de rhétorique. Michel Foucault et Hannah Arendt ouvrent la voie, revenant tous deux à l’Antiquité et à la figure tutélaire de Socrate. Ils permettent de penser un courage sans référence à aucune transcendance, comme fidélité à soi-même, ou comme stylistique de l’existence.

Une tentative de désassujettissement, dont l’actualité n’est pas à démontrer.

Thomas SKORUCAK
Docteur en philosophie politique, spécialiste de Michel Foucault, Thomas Skorucak exerce aujourd’hui au sein de l’Institut d’Études Occurrence comme directeur d’études

Editor: I just came across this. A competition for a picture of Foucault for a website. There are 35 entries. The competition was run by Kai Erikson who runs the Diiple site

GTA-style cover illustration about Michel Foucault

Contest Brief

We are a new lifestyle brand that designs high-quality and exciting americana-inspired casual wear for socially aware young adults. Initially, the target group consist mainly of university students. In addition to our online store, we are developing interesting infographics for our coming website. The intention is to create a website in which many contemporary figures and concepts from the different fields of theory and culture are given a short surveys in the form of data visualization. Although the information given is fact-based and researched specifically for this purpose, the visual presentation will be rather playful, colorful and fun.

Now, what we would like to get is a cover illustration about the French philosopher Michel Foucault.

VII Coloquio Latinoamericano de Biopolitica
Ontologías del presente

PDF – Full information and details
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PRESENTACION´
Con el objeto de potenciar el desarrollo del pensamiento crítico en América Latina, se convoca, con el apoyo y patrocinio de diversas universidades chilenas, a los investigadores e investigadoras interesados a presentar trabajos al VII Coloquio de Biopolítica: Ontologías del Presente, a realizarse entre los días 30 de septiembre y 3 de octubre de 2019 en Santiago de Chile

Art and craft: Sinquefield Prize winner combines history with theory and simplicity By Elena K. Cruz, Columbia Daily Tribune
Posted Dec 21, 2018

[…]
Schroeder won for his composition “genealogy I.” Although he has a history with rock ‘n’ roll, the piece’s restraint made it stand out, said Jacob Gotlib, Mizzou New Music managing director and a judge for the first of two rounds of submissions.

“We were very impressed by the level of detail in the music and the way he focused on the quality of the instrumental sounds and the sensitivity that he had toward the individual sounds of each instrument and how they combined with each other,” Gotlib said.

“He had a very detailed and sensitive ear, I thought particularly, and so we thought that was very strong and very sophisticated.”

Schroeder’s piece was written for piano, violin and cello, and took influence from folk music, philosopher Michel Foucault and an observation of colonialism’s impact on history, Schroeder said.

“What he was doing was challenging the norms of the power structures of history, which is something that Foucault loved to do. But he proposed a problem but not a solution because it’s so unviable to do these sorts of things,” Schroeder said. “What the piece aims to do is try to start from these points of little blips of history that come into history, these unconnected events, and merge them into some sort of narrative that’s not linear or directional or all these things that are problematic about archaeology.”
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Rosie Hastie: Pendulous, Art Guide Australia, 16 January 2019

Bett Gallery
18 January—9 February 2019

Tasmanian artist Rosie Hastie exploits the photographic medium like an illusionist. To create her work, Hastie combines skillfully placed lighting with wads of crumpled paper to produce the impression of a fantastical landscape. Conjuring lo-fi special effects made with a mixture of bicarb and dry ice to add atmosphere and depth, Hastie’s landscapes challenge our sense of what is reality and what is imagined.
[…]

Pendulous is loosely based on the ideas behind Michel Foucault’s Heterotopia, a theory investigating parallel spaces and worlds within worlds.

Is the medium the message in post-digital architecture? Archpaper.com, By MAX KUO • February 15, 2019

Possible Mediums
Edited by Kelly Bair, Kristy Balliet, Adam Fure, and Kyle Miller
Actar
$34.95 MSRP

Possible Mediums, a volume edited by four xennial American architecture professors, documents the formal experimentation of the recent post-digital turn in architecture. The book glimpses a generation paradoxically invested in using obscure methods to make charismatic forms. Unlike other postmodern camps (pomo, deconstructivism, parametricism), this generation eschews stylistic cohesion, instead claiming diversity and eclecticism as its hallmark. Inspired by philosopher Michel Foucault’s reading of a fictional Chinese encyclopedia in The Order of Things (the incoherence of which undermines Western epistemology itself), Possible Mediums’ preface essay, “Notes from the Middle,” relishes pluralism and how “the delightfully weird work of…colleagues challenged preconceived notions of order.” However, by deliberately withholding a theoretical framework, the editors leave their uninitiated readers to wonder whether the volume marks a new architectural movement or is simply a yearbook filled with the signatures of well-wishing friends. Whether Possible Mediums is a yearbook or Oriental arcana, the book’s format is infectious and invites casual, nonlinear, and occasional reading. In the same spirit of the volume’s meandering musings, this review will proceed as a loose collection of entries.

[…]

Gary P. Radford, “Torture is Putting it Too Strongly, Boredom is Putting it Too Mildly”: The Courage to Tell the Truth in the Late Lectures of Michel Foucault, Human Studies: A Journal for Philosophy and the Social Sciences, First Online: 18 February 2019

DOI: 10.1007/s10746-019-09494-7

Abstract
The name of Michel Foucault is most commonly associated with words such as power, knowledge, discourse, archaeology, and genealogy. However, in his final public lectures delivered prior to his death in June 1984 at the Collège de France from 1981 to 1984 and at the University of California at Berkeley in 1983, Foucault turned his focus to another word, parrhesia, a Greek term ordinarily translated into English by “candor, frankness; outspokenness or boldness of speech” (“Parrhesia” in Oxford English Dictionary, 2017. http://www.oed.com). The parrhesiastes is the one who uses parrhesia, i.e., the one who speaks the truth. This paper is about Foucault’s choice of parrhesia as the topic of his final lectures and what the articulation of these lectures tells us about truth telling in a specific academic context. It will consider Foucault’s treatment of parrhesia with respect to the specific practice of Foucault’s articulation of this work in the specific formal settings in which it occurred at the Collège de France and the University of California at Berkeley. The objective here is to consider Foucault’s lectures as potential examples of parrhesia and address the question of whether or not is possible to “speak the truth,” in the Greek sense of the term, within the institutional constraints of academic discourse.

Keywords
Michel Foucault Parrhesia Academic discourse

Matt McManus, Michel Foucault: Arch-Leftist or Subversive Conservative?  Areo magazine, 25 February 2019

Michel Foucault is one of the great thinkers of (post) modern thought, and arguably the most influential figure in the humanities and social science from the second half of the twentieth century. He is also widely regarded as a beacon of leftist thought—hailed by outlets such as the Guardian and Aeon; and reviled by pundits, such as Jordan Peterson and Stephen Hicks, and right wing magazines such as the National Review. Foucault has been characterized as everything from a genius to a nihilistic pedant, the heir to Kant and Nietzsche and a largely uninteresting bore. In the pages of this magazine, too, he has received a fair amount of attention: he has been accused of ruining the West, on the one hand, and, on the other, defended as a figure who can help us understand our troubled age.

But understanding the underlying message of Foucault’s thinking remains a serious challenge. One of the most interesting recent accusations to be resurrected is that—despite the vitriol directed against him by the Right—Foucault was actually a closet conservative. These accusations have been around since the 1960s, when he was ridiculed by Marxists for his lack of dedication to—or interest in—the cause of class conflict, and persist to the current day, when Foucault is accused—not entirely unfairly—of providing intellectual support for the project of neoliberalism. Perhaps the most classic accusation was made by seminal critical theorist Jürgen Habermas in a series of scathing articles and books published in the 1980s. In his 1981 paper “Modernity versus Postmodernity,” Habermas accuses Foucault and other postmodern writers of being “young conservatives,” who abandoned the modernist project of emancipation and equality in favor of aestheticizing cultural and political concepts and traditions. As he puts it at the climax of the paper:

[…]

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