The biopolitics of China’s “war on terror” and the exclusion of the Uyghurs
(2018) Critical Asian Studies, 50 (2), pp. 232-258.
This article provides an overview of People’s Republic of China (PRC) counter-terrorism policies targeting Uyghurs since 2001 when the state first asserted that it faced a terrorist threat from this population. In reviewing these policies and their impact, it suggests that the state has gradually isolated and excluded Uyghurs from PRC society. Drawing on the writings of Michael Foucault, it articulates this gradual exclusion of Uyghurs as an expression of biopolitics where the Uyghur people as a whole have come to symbolize an almost biological threat to society that must be quarantined through surveillance, punishment, and detention. Rather than suggesting that these impacts of China’s “war on terror” coincide with the intent of state policy, the article argues that they are inevitable outcomes of labeling a given ethnic population as a terrorist threat in the age of the Global War on Terror. © 2018 BCAS, Inc.
biopolitics; China; Islam; terrorism; Uyghurs
ethnic group, Islamism, nation state, policy approach, regional politics, security threat, social exclusion, terrorism, war; China
Travelling like locals: Market resistance in long-term travel
(2018) Tourism Management, 67, pp. 297-306.
Market resistance has been studied in relation to ecological and ethical tourism, while lifestyle-based resistance has received less attention. This study examines a group of long-term travellers, the ‘global nomads’ who avoid the tourism industry by making long-term lifestyle changes, engaging in voluntary simplicity and non-monetary exchange. They seek authenticity by interacting with locals, representing an increasing trend. More conventional tourists also seek similar experiences, posing challenges to the tourism industry. Analysed with Foucauldian theories, global nomads’ market resistance is shown to be contradictory as it also reinforces the market. However, even if partial, global nomads’ resistance reminds us that tourism is not just an industry. It is also negotiated between private individuals, with or without intermediaries, which calls for rethinking of the concept of ‘tourism’. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
Anti-consumption; Authenticity; Consumption practices; Foucault; Market resistance; Power; Tourism
Student voice in an age of ‘security’?
(2018) Critical Studies in Education, pp. 1-18. Article in Press.
As student voice has become popularised as a school reform strategy, it has been critiqued as another instrumental strategy that schools may use to govern students’ speech, bodies and subjectivities. What necessitates further analysis is the relation between student voice and regulatory modes of governance entwined with geopolitical attention to security in and beyond disciplinary institutions. In this article, ethnographic accounts from students at a comprehensive coeducational public secondary school where student voice was adopted as a school reform strategy are read with and through a policy context concerned with security (in particular, the Australian Government’s Schools Security Programme and the Living Safe Together policy strategy), and Foucault’s problematisations of ‘security’ in lectures published in Security, Territory, Population. It is argued that student voice is entwined with contemporary security policies and practices; securing the material borders of the school is inextricable from limits placed on the discursive articulation of feeling in and beyond school gates. © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Foucault; governmentality; security; student voice; surveillance
Matthew MacLellan, “Indigenous Infopolitics: Biopolitics as Resistance to White Paper Liberalism in Canada.” Theory and Event, vol. 21, no. 4 (2018): 914-936.
This article argues for a reading of biopolitics as a mechanism of political empowerment under conditions in which the state perpetuates exclusion by paradoxically affirming the political equality of marginalized individuals or groups. After differentiating Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of biopolitics from its conventional interpretation in Giorgio Agamben, I show how the Canadian state counterintuitively perpetuates Indigenous exclusion through an inclusive liberalism that re-affirms Indigenous persons as full and equal citizens. I then conclude the article by showing how a statistics or information-based discourse of population – an Indigenous infopolitics – has concomitantly become an indispensible means of Indigenous resistance in Canada today.
Mike McClelland, Foucault at the Movies: by Michel Foucault, Patrice Maniglier and Dork Zabunyan, Spectrum Culture, 9 October 2018.
An attractive, tidily organized collection of famed French philosopher Michel Foucault’s writing about film as well as scholarly reflections on that writing, translator/editor Clare O’Farrell’s Foucault at the Movies is a necessity for film scholars and philosophers alike. Filled with writing about Foucault and by Foucault himself, Foucault at the Movies is an effectively translated and admirably assembled work of film scholarship and philosophical history. Though the book would be a suitable text for a university course on philosophy, film or both, it is also readable enough to serve as entertainment as well.
Foucault at the Movies is split into two parts. The shorter opening section contains a chapter by Dork Zabunyan, a professor at the University of Paris, and a chapter by Patrice Maniglier, a lecturer at the University of Paris – Nanterre. The second part is devoted to work by Foucault himself. Zabunyan’s chapter is titled “What Film Is Able to Do: Foucault and Cinematic Knowledge” and Maniglier’s chapter is “Versions of the Present: Foucault’s Metaphysics of the Event Illuminated by Cinema. Together, the two scholars place Foucault’s fim writing within the philosopher’s wider body of work, particularly regarding history, and also outline the ways in which Foucault and his philosophies were influenced by film and influenced film.
Black Hawk Hancock, Michel Foucault and the Problematics of Power: Theorizing DTCA and Medicalized Subjectivity, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine, Volume 43, Issue 4, 9 July 2018, Pages 439–468.
This article explores Foucault’s two different notions of power: one where the subject is constituted by power–knowledge relations and another that emphasizes how power is a central feature of human action. By drawing out these two conceptualizations of power, Foucault’s work contributes three critical points to the formation of medicalized subjectivities: (1) the issue of medicalization needs to be discussed both in terms of both specific practices and holistically (within the carceral archipelago); (2) we need to think how we as human beings are “disciplined” and “subjectivated” through medicalization, as discourses, practices, and institutions are all crystallizations of power relations; and (3) we need to reflect on how we can “resist” this process of subjectification, since “power comes from below” and patients shape themselves through “technologies of the self.” Ultimately, Foucault’s work does not merely assist us in refining our analysis; rather, it is essential for conceptualizing medicalization in contemporary society.
carceral archipelago, Foucault, gaze, medicalization, technology of the self
BY JOHN L. TRAN, AUG 13, 2017
Editor’s note: old news
After very successful runs in Rome and London, “The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945,” an exhibition of maquettes, photographs, plans and drawings, is now in the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
For providing an extensive look at varied and eclectic forms that architects have created in postwar Japan, the price of admission is fully justified, but the exhibition is more than that. The design of Japanese houses is explored here as a series of inquiries and arguments as to how life may be defined or transformed by the space of the home.
It’s not, however, the story of how the majority of Japanese people live. One of the main objectives of the exhibition is to celebrate the awkward and contrary, the exceptions that collectively provide an inverse image of postwar mass society in Japan. As MOMAT curator Kenjiro Hosaka puts it in his catalogue essay “On the Geneologies of the Japanese House after 1945,” “Japanese houses criticize.” Taking the term “geneology” from Michel Foucault, who in turn took it from Friedrich Nietzsche’s dismantling of Christian morality and Western philosophy, the exhibition as a whole is presented as an extended exploration of the house as a form of discourse, with propositions, rebuttals, anecdotes and jokes.
Through a filtered lens: unauthorized picture-taking of people with dwarfism in public spaces
(2018) Disability and Society, 33 (2), pp. 218-237.
People with dwarfism often encounter discrimination in their daily interactions with strangers. Staring, harassment and infantilization are some of the behaviours they have reported to encounter. Through two qualitative research studies conducted in 2013 and 2015/16 it was revealed that people with dwarfism also experience strangers taking unauthorized pictures of them. This article explores this phenomenon in depth, utilizing the perspective of individuals who have experienced it first hand and analysing the relevant socio-historical influences. These include the history of the photographic exploitation of ‘abnormal’ bodies, and the cultural construction of a ‘dwarf’ as an object of entertainment. This article engages gaze theories in gender and race and ethnicity studies as well as a discussion of Foucault’s interpretation of the ‘panopticon’, positing that the advent of the cell-phone camera in the twenty-first century has altered how ‘abnormal’ bodies are recorded within oppressive ideological beliefs. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
abnormality; culture; disability; Dwarfism; gaze