Foucault News

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

Progressive Geographies

9781138104372Ethics and Self-Cultivation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Matthew Dennis and Sander Werkhoven and published by Routledge (usual comments on pricing apply).

The aim of Ethics and Self-Cultivation is to establish and explore a new ‘cultivation of the self’ strand within contemporary moral philosophy. Although the revival of virtue ethics has helped reintroduce the eudaimonic tradition into mainstream philosophical debates, it has by and large been a revival of Aristotelian ethics combined with a modern preoccupation with standards for the moral rightness of actions. The essays comprising this volume offer a fresh approach to the eudaimonic tradition: instead of conditions for rightness of actions, it focuses on conceptions of human life that are best for the one living it. The first section of essays looks at the Hellenistic schools and the way they influenced modern thinkers like Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, Hadot, and Foucault in their thinking about self-cultivation. The…

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Britt Lorraine’s “Panopticon” Exhibition Formed Over 15 Years, Opens This Weekend | ArtSlut,, May 17, 2018

Free, Sat May 19, 7-10pm (on view through June 23 with additional performances to be announced), Sala Diaz, 517 Stieren St., San Antonio, Texas, USA (210) 972) 900-0047,

One of 19 local artists featured in the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s current exhibition “Right Here Right Now: San Antonio,” Lorraine’s latest endeavor takes shape in the solo show “Panopticon.” Prefaced by a text French philosopher Michel Foucault penned about the panoptic mechanism — essentially a strategically designed prison complex in which all inmates are visible at all times — the project arose from an image that popped into Lorraine’s head and stuck.

Hamilton, S.
The measure of all things? The Anthropocene as a global biopolitics of carbon
(2018) European Journal of International Relations, 24 (1), pp. 33-57.

DOI: 10.1177/1354066116683831

We are now told to welcome ourselves to the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch where humanity is ‘literally making’ the planet (Dalby, 2014). Yet, the underlying philosophical foundations of this human-made epoch remain relatively unexplored. This article makes a new contribution by problematizing the Anthropocene using the philosophies of Arendt, Foucault and Heidegger. It argues that the Anthropocene is a new and global form of biopolitics that asserts the essence of all (human) life and industry — the carbon atom — as the measure and centre of everything. When Nature is pre-reflectively projected, quantified and conceived as a calculable and carbonic human construction, then every thinkable object becomes related back to the human as its creator and steward. This is argued by tracing the entwining of computerized general circulation models, nuclear technologies and Earth system science, as well as by critiquing applicationist uses of biopolitics and governmentality in International Relations. What emerges in the Anthropocene, therefore, is an implicit yet powerful form of subjectivism ranging from atomic to global scales, or what is defined here as ‘relationality’. Echoing Heidegger (1977a: 27), in the Anthropocene, ‘It seems as though man everywhere and always encounters only himself’. Welcome, Anthropos, not to an epoch you are making, but to your new global biopolitics of carbon.

Author Keywords
Anthropocene; biopolitics; carbon; Earth system science; nature; subjectivism

Denise Mifsud, Professional Identities in Initial Teacher Education – The Narratives and Questions of Teacher Agency, Palgrave Macmillan,2018

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This book explores the perception, construction and performance of professional identities in initial teacher education (ITE). Drawn from a collection of narrative data from postgraduate students, the author explores these topics through school placement, career choice motivations, the attractiveness of the teaching profession, the presentation of personal and professional selves, and professional standards. The findings of this study can be applied across both European and global dimensions. The use of narrative methodology for data collection, in addition to the implementation of various theoretical frameworks, ensures that the book holds a wide appeal. Interweaving theory with personal experiences, this reflective book will appeal to students and scholars of ITE, as well as early career researchers and practitioners.

Denise Mifsud is the Gozo College Principal within the Ministry for Education and Employment, Malta, and an independent education researcher and consultant. She is also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Understanding Foucault, Understanding Modernism (Understanding Philosophy, Understanding Modernism) Edited by David Scott: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017

Michel Foucault continues to be regarded as one of the most essential thinkers of the twentieth century. A brilliantly evocative writer and conceptual creator, his influence is clearly discernible today across nearly every discipline-philosophy and history, certainly, as well as literary and critical theory, religious and social studies, and the arts. This volume exploits Foucault’s insistent blurring of the self-imposed limits formed by the disciplines, with each author in this volume discovering in Foucault’s work a model useful for challenging not only these divisions but developing a more fundamental interrogation of modernism. Foucault himself saw the calling into question of modernism to be the permanent task of his life’s work, thereby opening a path for rethinking the social.

Understanding Foucault, Understanding Modernism shows, on the one hand, that literature and the arts play a fundamental structural role in Foucault’s works, while, on the other hand, it shifts to the foreground what it presumes to be motivating Foucault: the interrogation of the problem of modernism. To that end, even his most explicitly historical or strictly epistemological and methodological enquiries directly engage the problem of modernism through the works of writers and artists from de Sade, Mallarmé, Baudelaire to Artaud, Manet, Borges, Roussel, and Bataille. This volume, therefore, adopts a transdisciplinary approach, as a way to establish connections between Foucault’s thought and the aesthetic problems that emerge out of those specific literary and artistic works, methods, and styles designated “modern.” The aim of this volume is to provide a resource for students and scholars not only in the fields of literature and philosophy, but as well those interested in the intersections of art and intellectual history, religious studies, and critical theory.

Table of contents

Series Preface
List of AbbreviationsIntroduction: Foucault’s Modernisms
David Scott, Coppin State University, USA

Part 1. Conceptualizing Foucault 
1. The Origin of Parresia in Foucault’s Thinking: Truth and Freedom in The History of Madness
Leonard Lawlor and Daniel J. Palumbo, Penn State University, USA
2. The Secret of the Corpse-Language Machine: The Birth of the Clinic and Raymond Roussel
David Scott, Coppin State University, USA
3. Intersections of the Concept and Literature in TheOrder of Things: Foucault and Canguilhem
Samuel Talcott, University of the Sciences, USA
4. Archeology of Knowledge: Foucault and the Time of Discourse
Heath Massey, Beloit University, USA
5. Carceral, Capital, Power: The ‘Dark Side’ of the Enlightenment in Discipline and Punish
Christopher Penfield, Purdue University, USA
6. Foucault’s History of Sexuality
Chloë Taylor, University of Alberta, Canada

Part 2. Foucault and Aesthetics 

7. Technologies of Modernism: Historicism in Foucault and Dos Passos
Christopher Breu, Illinois State University, USA
8. Thought as Spirituality in Raymond Roussel
Ann Burlein, Hofstra University, USA
9. Life Escaping: Foucault, Vitalism, and Gertrude Stein’s Life-Writing
Sarah Posman, Ghent University, Belgium
10. The Specter of Manet: A Contribution to the Archaeology of Painting
Joseph Tanke, University of Hawaii, USA
11. The Hermaphroditic Image: Modern Art, Thought and Expérience in Michel Foucault
Nicole Ridgway, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA

Part 3. Glossary 
Heath Massey, Beloit College, USA
The “Author-Function”
Seth Forrest, Coppin State University, USA
Chloë Taylor, University of Alberta, Canada
Steve Tammelleo, University of San Diego, USA
Samuel Talcott, University of the Sciences, USA
Brad Elliot Stone, Loyola Marymount University, USA
Brad Elliot Stone, Loyola Marymount University, USA
Daniele Lorenzini, University Paris-Est Créteil, France
Janae Scholtz, Alvernia University, USA
Marc De Kesel, Saint Paul University, Canada
Mark Murphy, University of Glasgow, UK

Sivenbring, J.
Making Sense and Use of Assessments
(2018) Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, pp. 1-12. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/00313831.2018.1434827

The present article is concerned with how Swedish students in the last year of comprehensive school make sense and use of educational assessments of their school performance. Based on interviews with 28 students in Year 9, “talk about assessments” is analysed using a discourse analytical approach inspired by Michel Foucault’s theories. The study shows that students find it difficult to both understand and make use of the assessments given by their teachers due to the overly complicated language. To receive the grades they need to apply for upper-secondary school, the students use other strategies to stand out and be perceived as “good students,” thus the assessment discourse is effective in the construction of adjustable subjects. © 2018 Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research

Author Keywords
assessment language; Assessments; equality; student perspective

UMP | University of Minnesota Press Blog: Foucault in the Contemporary Archive, December 2017

Professor of art history, visual art, and theory at the University of British Columbia

Last spring, I was in Paris as a Visiting Researcher at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, with a beautiful office just steps from the “old” Bibliotèque Nationale de France (BnF), newly renovated and now containing virtually the entire national collection of art books and manuscripts. I was given access to this unparalleled repository of materials on European art and culture and the privilege of a desk in the Salle Labrouste, memorable for its newly restored ironwork arches and painted landscape lunettes. It was in this reading room that Walter Benjamin had labored on the citations that he collected in The Arcades Project, writing, “nothing in the world can replace the Bibliothèque Nationale for me.” Foucault might have said the same. This place surely fulfilled the art historian’s desire for inspiration for a new research project.

Just before I left California in mid-March I had completed the copyediting of my new Minnesota book, Foucault on Painting. I thought I was prepared to begin a fresh research project concerned with “expressivity” in art over the long 20th century, a topic in which both Paris and the BnF play central roles. But unexpectedly and as it turned out, fortuitously, Foucault continued to occupy me.

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‘Research has become the scientific and practical raison d’être of psychology, the social and historical raison d’être of the psychologist. From the moment you become a psychologist, you research. What? What other researchers allow you to research, because you don’t (re)search in order to find, but to research, in order to have researched, to be a researcher. Go ahead and conduct research, research in general, research on the man in the street, on the neuroses of rats, on the statistical frequency of vowels in the English version of the Bible, on the sexual practices of the provincial woman (exclusively in the lower middle class), on the cutaneous resistance, blood pressure and respiratory rates of those listening to the Symphony of Psalms.

Michel Foucault, (1994) [1957] ‘La recherche scientifique et la psychologie’. In Dits et Ecrits vol. I. Paris: Gallimard, p. 156. [This passage translated by Clare O’Farrell]

Progressive Geographies

Miguel de Beistegui interview with 3am – Who are we today? Foucault: Proust: Deleuze

Miguel de Beistegui specialises in 20th century German and French philosophy, and has published books and articles in the following areas: ontology, metaphysics, aesthetics, ethics and politics. Initially specialising in the thought of Martin Heidegger, and in phenomenology in general, he has become convinced that philosophy needs to resist extreme specialisation and develop the conceptual tools to engage with our time. This means that it needs to bring together the various branches of philosophy, but also establish a dialogue between philosophy and the other disciplines, in the social as well as the natural sciences. Here he discusses Foucault and desire from a genealogical perspective, why ours is a civilisation of desire, aesthetics after metaphysics, metaphor, the hypersensible, the philosophical Proust, Deleuze and immanence, and Delueze and Heidegger.

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Discourse Theory: ways forward

Brussels, Belgium
​7 & 8 February 2019

Paper proposals deadline: 30 May 2018

DESIRE, the centre for the study of Democracy, Signification and Resistance is happy to invite you to submit paper proposals for the colloquium ‘Discourse Theory: Ways Forward’. The colloquium will take place on 7-8 February 2019 in Brussels. The colloquium starts on Thursday 7 February at 9.00 and ends on Friday 8 February at 17.30.

​The aim of the colloquium is to critically and constructively consider where Discourse Theory is at this moment, and to reflect on ways forward for discourse theoretical approaches to society, politics, communication and media. In particular, the colloquium will focus on five topics:

-The discursive and the material

-Discourse theoretical perspectives on political economy -Discourse theoretical perspectives on health, ageing, and the body -Populist discourses and discourses about populism -Discourse theory and visuality

We invite paper proposals on any of these five topics that are based on a post-structuralist or post-foundationalist discursive approach, broadly defined.

The deadline for paper proposals is 30 May 2018.

Please send an abstract of around 300 words to

Please indicate clearly which of the five topics indicated above your paper fits with. ​If accepted, full papers of maximum 6000 words are expected by 20 December 2018.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University/University Vienna) and Michael Freeden (Oxford).

Other confirmed speakers are Nico Carpentier (Uppsala), Benjamin De Cleen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Edina Doci (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Fani Giannousi (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Jason Glynos (Essex), David Howarth (Essex), Giorgos Katsambekis (Loughborough), Pieter Maeseele (Universiteit Antwerpen), Thomas Siomos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Yannis Stavrakakis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki),  Savvas Voutyras (Essex), Laurens van der Steen (Universiteit Antwerpen), Ilija Tomanic-Trivundza (Ljubljana), Andreja Vezovnik (Ljubljana), and Jan Zienkowski (Université Saint Louis Brussel).

The colloquium program committee consists of the chairs of the five institutional members of DESIRE: Benjamin De Cleen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, colloquium coordinator), Nico Carpentier (Uppsala University), Ilija Tomanić Trivundža (University of Ljubljana), Jason Glynos (University of Essex), Yannis Stavrakakis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki).

The local organizing committee consists of Benjamin De Cleen (coordinator), Karel Deneckere and Jana Goyvaerts (Vrije Universiteit

Brussel) and Pieter Maeseele (Universiteit Antwerpen).

For PhD students, a masterclass is organized on Wednesday 6 February 2019. See

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