Foucault News

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

Conference at Harvard University on Foucault’s Confessions of the Flesh

5 December 2019

In February 2018, the fourth and final volume of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality project—Confessions of the Flesh—was published for the first time in French by Éditions Gallimard. This is an extraordinary publishing event since the book was not supposed to have been printed at all. This one-day conference will assess the reception and impact of this missing volume of Foucault’s History of Sexuality. It will highlight the text of Confessions of the Flesh, its place in Foucault’s oeuvre, the context in which he wrote, and the contemporary relevance of this new work. It is far enough away from the Foucault-overload of past decades that it is now possible to freshly examine the enduring value of this influential thinker—a re-examination inspired by the belated publication of his final book.

Organizers
Julian Bourg (Boston College)
Annabel Kim (Harvard University)

Breakfast | 9:00 am-9:30 am

Opening Remarks | 9:30 am-9:45 am
Annabel Kim (Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University)
Julian Bourg (History Department, Boston College)

Panel 1 | 9:45 am-11:15 am
Confessions of the Flesh and Foucault’s Oeuvre
Bernard Harcourt (Law and Political Science, Columbia; EHHSS, Paris)
Manon Garcia (Society of Fellows, Harvard University)
Comment: Annabel Kim

Panel 2 | 11:15 am-12:45 pm
The Christian Optic
James Bernauer, S.J. (Philosophy, Boston College)
Agustín Colombo (Postdoctoral Researcher, Boston College)
Comment: Edward McGushin

Lunch (for participants only) | 12:45 pm-2:00 pm

Panel 3 | 2:00 pm-3:30 pm
Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
Mark D. Jordan (Divinity School, Harvard University)
Lynne Huffer (Department of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Emory University)
Comment: Durba Mitra (Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University)

Coffee break | 3:30 pm-4:00 pm

Panel 4 | 4:00 pm-5:30 pm
Foucault After the Confessions
Rey Chow (Literature, Duke University)
Austin Sarfan (Literature, Duke University)
Comment: Julian Bourg

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