Foucault News

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

Papastephanou, M. Of(f) Course: Michel Foucault, the Mobile Philosopher and his Dreamworlds (2019) Critical Horizons, Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/14409917.2019.1563994

Abstract
Foucault extolled the Iranian revolution and, anticipating the havoc that his public intervention in favour of the revolution would create, he wrote: “I can already hear the French laughing, but I know that they are wrong”. Examining Foucault’s (so unlikely) valorisation of certainty and the partisan affectivity it bestows upon knowledge and truth, I read his unusual engagement with the Iranian revolution against the grain. A major tendency is to approach Foucault’s Iranian writings as aberration; against this tendency, I read them as an effect of Foucault’s specific epistemic and utopian optics. Through a critical reading of neglected aspects of Foucault’s comments on Iran, I argue that much nuance is missing when damning critiques fail to see why and how Foucault’s interest in an active rather than folklore non-European political identity unveils deeper tensions of his own worldview and outlook on international politics and interrogates mainstream appraisals of Foucault’s political philosophy. © 2019, © Critical Horizons Pty Ltd 2019.

Author Keywords
history; Iranian revolution; knowledge; modernisation; parrhesia; utopia

2 thoughts on “Of(f) Course: Michel Foucault, the Mobile Philosopher and his Dreamworlds (2019)

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