Foucault News

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

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

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