Foucault News

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

Alessandro Baccarin, Paolo Vernaglione Berardi, Archeoligia filosofica laboritorio. Un pò di storiaIl laboratorio, l’associazione, gli scritti, la collana editoriale

Tre anni fa abbiamo iniziato a ragionare intorno alla possibilità di rendere quello strano campo della ricerca filosofica che ha nome “archeologia filosofica”, un vero e proprio spazio di elaborazione.

Nasce così il *Laboratorio “archeologia filosofica”*, un laboratorio nomade che realizza incontri, seminari e testi sulla via aperta da Michel Foucault con L’ Archeologia dei saperi e percorsa da Enzo Melandri, uno dei grandi filosofi dimenticati del secondo Novecento.
L’archeologia risale agli apriori storici che hanno informato le epoche del pensiero per far emergere i rapporti tra saperi, poteri e soggettività.
Il metodo è genealogico, secondo l’accezione che ha in Nietzsche perchè scopre, alle spalle dei dispositivi di sapere-potere, i rapporti di forza, i conflitti, le convergenze e le tracce delle dislocazioni di valori in cui si compie il pensiero.
Giorgio Agamben ha dato al vasto campo di ricerca intorno ai dispositivi di sapere e alle soglie economico-teologiche della storia occidentale il nome di archeologia filosofica, indagando le figure dell’ homo sacer, della nuda vita, dell’uso dei corpi e dell’inoperosità come le più essenziali problematizzazioni filosofiche.

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Una storia inattuale. Recensione dei  libri di Ermanno Castanò e Tiziana Villani nel Quaderno XXIV (download pdf)
di Paolo Vernaglione Berardi

In una nota di preparazione alle tesi Sul concetto di storia Walter Benjamin esprime l’idea dell’animalità che solo nella modernità è diventata la questione dell’animale. Essa infatti è divenuta l’idea del rapporto dell’uomo con l’animale oggi degradata a discorso biologico, etologico, cognitivo sull’animale, e sull’animale umano alla fine della storia…

Le rovine selvagge (pdf)
di Stefania Consigliere

Levi- Strauss’ structuralism, with its fluctuating distinction between “hot” and “cold” societies, is both an apex and a turning point in the history of anthropology: refusing the hierarchies of progress while naturalizing human worlds, bringing reason to its further stretches while opening ways to narrative approaches. It seemed impossible, in his time, to appreciate diversity without falling into the conservative, or even reactionary, field. But things have changed: mixing present day Amazonia and ancient Greece into the landscape of ruins in  which we dwell, this paper explores the possibilities of reenchantment  that  open  up  when  –  overcoming  ancient  scotomas  –  we  make acquaintance with the ghosts of modernity…

La terra di nessuno. Droni, filo spinato e guerra ai migranti
di Alessandro Baccarin

Alla fine della guerra fredda, a ridosso della prima guerra del Golfo, negli ambienti intellettuali statunitensi legati agli ambienti militari e diplomatici venne elaborata una nuova dottrina bellica centrata sulle nuove frontiere tecnologiche e digitali che l’evento bellico in quegli anni si accingeva a toccare e superare…

Una questione di stile. Per Alessandro Fontana
di Paolo Vernaglione Berardi

Un’eredità senza testamento segna il limite del diritto pubblico fondato sul contratto. Un testamento senza eredità è la traccia dell’emergere di una scrittura senza soggetto in cui appare la distanza tragica di giustizia e diritto…

Orazio Irrera, La raison nègre et le corps d’extraction. Esprit, n. 450, décembre 2018, pp. 100-105.

En combinant le schéma marxiste de l’accumulation primitive et la biopolitique foucaldienne, Achille Mbembe propose une généalogie du sujet de race comme « corps d’extraction ».

Un des aspects les plus remarquables du projet annoncé par un ouvrage comme Critique de la raison nègre est la tentative de mettre en place un cadre conceptuel et historique large et cohérent aboutissant sur une généalogie du lien de sujétion raciale qui charpente notre modernité. Ipso facto, il serait trop restrictif de qualifier cette modernité d’européenne ou d’occidentale, et il conviendrait plutôt de la désigner comme globale, tout comme l’a été l’entreprise coloniale et impériale des puissances européennes, qui ont justement investi l’espace à une échelle transcontinentale[1].

Mais, à la différence d’Edward Said[2], qui considérait davantage l’orientalisme comme une sorte de matrice des rapports coloniaux et raciaux de pouvoir, l’angle d’attaque de Mbembe est plutôt ancré sur ce qu’il appelle la raison nègre, qui fait de l’Afrique le site géographique et géopolitique où puise son entreprise critique. C’est à partir de là que cette généalogie de la fabrication de sujets de race se précise dans toute sa spécificité historique, en se proposant de relier principalement trois moments majeurs : l’esclavage alimenté par la traite atlantique qui trouve dans l’espace de la plantation son foyer d’expérience privilégié ; la colonie, où l’assujettissement racial se remodèle en fonction de la mise en place d’institutions et de techniques de gouvernement liées à la constitution des grands empires coloniaux ; et enfin, l’apartheid, où les formes de ségrégation raciale amènent à une intensification ultérieure de l’expérience de soi comme sujet de race. Néanmoins, comme le point de départ de toute généalogie est toujours fixé dans et par le présent, la démarche généalogique de Mbembe s’organise autour du diagnostic d’un présent global marqué par ce qu’il qualifie de «devenir nègre du monde», qui se présente comme l’issue à la fois «de la planétarisation des marchés, de la privatisation du monde sous l’égide du néolibéralisme et de l’intégration croissante de l’économie financière, du complexe militaire post-impérial et des technologies électroniques et digitales [3]».

Orazio Irrera

\Maitre de conférences en philosophie de l’Université Paris 8, Orazio Irrera a récemment dirigé, avec Salva Vaccaro, La Pensée politique de Foucault (Kimé, 2017).
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Matko Krce-Ivančić (2018) Governing through anxiety, Journal for Cultural Research, 26 October

DOI: 10.1080/14797585.2018.1537587

ABSTRACT
This article examines anxiety, arguing that it is a systemic feature of neoliberalism which regenerates the economy and acts in a conservative manner, thereby effectively preventing social change. Anxiety is explored using psychoanalytic theory to extend Foucault’s conception of neoliberal governmentality as proposed in his lectures on neoliberalism at the Collège de France. Relying on Foucault’s notion of governmentality as an analytic perspective, this article does not present the economy or the state as the origin of power in neoliberalism. Rather, these are seen as mediums of power, whereas the anchorage point of power relations is understood to be a particular form of governmentality. In neoliberalism, this anchorage point of power is largely supported and strongly characterised by anxiety. While examining the psychic life of power in neoliberalism, I avoid positioning and thus analysing anxiety either on the individual or the macro level of society. Rather, showing that anxiety exposes the weakness of such clean divisions, it is argued that neoliberal subjects are nowadays governed through anxiety.

KEYWORDS: Anxiety, choice, Foucault, governmentality, neoliberalism, psychoanalysis

Marc Schuilenburg and Rik Peeters, Smart cities and the architecture of security: pastoral power and the scripted design of public space, City Territory and Architecture (2018) 5, 13

DOI10.1186/s40410-018-0090-8

Abstract
The architecture of security is often thought of in terms of situational crime prevention and defensible space. In this article, we argue that the emergence of smart cities and smart technology compel a broader conceptualisation of the design of security, which has the potential to transform the governance of our urban landscape. Drawing on the case of the city of Eindhoven’s “De-escalate” project—in which sound, smell and lighting programming combined with data analysis is used to reduce violence and aggression in the inner-city entertainment area—we show that the securitisation of urban space can also be pursued by positive triggers for behaviour. The case allows us to rethink the architecture of security in terms of pastoral power—Foucault’s notion of governing individuals and populations through care and protection. In sharp contrast with more hostile forms of situational crime prevention and defensible space, which seek to “design out” unwanted behaviour by closing of spaces, pastoral architecture is inclusive and provides “scripts” for desirable behaviour in public space. Moreover, this architecture is incorporated and designed into the existing built environment, operates through psychological triggers rather than physical ones, and is principally developed by private companies rather than the state.

Keywords: Smart city, Smart technology, Pastoral power, Architecture, Securitisation

Francescomaria Tedesco, Sovereign Excess, Legitimacy and Resistance, Routledge, 2018

Description
When talking about his film Salò, Pasolini claimed that nothing is more anarchic than power, because power does whatever it wants, and what power wants is totally arbitrary. And yet, upon examining the murderous capital of modern sovereignty, the fragility emerges of a power whose existence depends on its victims’ recognition. Like a prayer from God, the command implores to be loved, also by those whom it puts to death. Benefitting from this “political theurgy” as the book calls it (the idea that a power, like God, claiming to be full of glory, constantly needs to be glorified) is Barnardine, the Bohemian murderer in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, as he, called upon by power to the gallows, answers with a curse: ‘a pox o’ your throats’.

He does not want to die, nor, indeed, will he. And so, he becomes sovereign. On a level with and against the State.

Table of Contents
Preface

1. “Tell the bastards nothing!”. The ideology of the scaffold

2. Fault lines

3. That sovereign, a true Machiavellian

4. Machiavelli and Shakespeare

5. Sovereign excess. Death penalty and recognition

6. Hinneni

7. Tu es/Tuer

8. I will not consent to die

9. Conclusion

About the Author
Francescomaria Tedesco is assistant professor at the University of Camerino (Italy), where he teaches Political Philosophy.

Randell-Moon, H., 2018. Digital Cartography Enterprise: Neoliberalism, Governmentality and Digital Infrastructure. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 13(2), pp.77–95.
DOI:http://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.293

Abstract
The Gigatown competition (2013–2015) was a joint initiative between the telecommunications company Chorus and the New Zealand government to award a New Zealand town ‘the fastest internet in the Southern Hemisphere’ through a social media competition. In this paper, I argue the competition stimulated a range of activities that cohere with creative and smart city policies, the growth of information and communications technology (ICT) and immaterial labour, and the participatory turn in urban governance and planning. In its attempt to remake city-space as receptive for an imagined ICT future, the competition exemplifies what I call a Digital Cartography Enterprise. This term captures both the neoliberal and post-industrial spatial rationalities of urban planning and policy with respect to securing ICT-readiness as well as the governmentalised disciplining of the population to creatively subsidise such a venture through appeals to their entrepreneurialism in a social media competition.

Keywords: digital infrastructure, governmentality, neoliberalism, competitio, urban plannin, social media

 

materiali foucaultiani volume VI, number 11-12 (January-December 2017)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Le confessioni della carne  (pp. 3-6)

Laura Cremonesi, Orazio Irrera, Daniele Lorenzini, Martina Tazzioli

FULL ARTICLE

Michel Foucault et la subjectivation

Introduzione. Soggettivazione e assoggettamento, a partire da Foucault  (pp. 9-14)

  Laura Cremonesi, Orazio Irrera, Daniele Lorenzini, Martina Tazzioli

FULL ARTICLE

Subjectivité et normativité chez Canguilhem et Foucault  (pp. 15-38)

  Pierre Macherey

FULL ARTICLE

N’être personne ! Variations sur les usages critiques de la fonction-sujet  (pp. 39-48)

Guillaume le Blanc

FULL ARTICLE

Le gouvernement du désir. Foucault à l’épreuve du libéralisme  (pp. 49-62)

Miguel de Beistegui

FULL ARTICLE

Sulle parrhèsia(e) di Foucault  (pp. 63-81)

  Étienne Balibar

FULL ARTICLE

Regimes of Visibility

The Dis-Time of Security and Visibility in Contemporary Governmentalities. An Interview with Didier Bigo  (pp. 83-92)

  Didier Bigo

FULL ARTICLE

Seeing and Saying. Foucault’s Analytic of Knowledge Production  (pp. 93-117)

  Deirdre McDonald

FULL ARTICLE

Saggi

Foucault’s 1978 Lectures and the Archaeology of Probability and Statistics  (pp. 119-139)

  Laurence Barry

FULL ARTICLE

Foucault, 1978: The Biopolitics of Translation and the Decolonization of Knowledge  (pp. 141-172)

  Jon Solomon

FULL ARTICLE

Michel Foucault and China. A Missed Appointment  (pp. 173-193)

  Alain Brossat

FULL ARTICLE

Tyler King, The Hacker ‘Ethic:’ Digital Infrastructures as the Battleground of Conflicting Liberalism, Society and Space, 2018

[…]

Although increased internet security and greater public internet access may seem somewhat counterintuitive, both ideals were mobilized and justified through liberal means in order to promote this state agenda. Michel Foucault’s (1977-1978: 18-20) analysis of the development of traditional, physical infrastructures of mobility in the modern city serves as an analogy for Clinton’s liberal internet security and increased public access agenda. As described by Foucault in his collection of lectures titled “Security, Territory, Population”, modern towns needed a wide array of interconnected roads in order to ensure growth in trade, which simultaneously created more points of insecurity. This growth in insecurity also had the corollary effect of restricting the state’s ability to know or predict all that was happening (or would happen) within their jurisdiction. A new form of government rationality, what Foucault (1977-1978) originally called the “apparatus of security”, and later “governmentality”, was needed in order to successfully regulate the unpredictability that arose within the modern city.

Foucault also describes security in the liberal state as having three main traits: it deals with possibilities and probabilities (for example, through the development of statistics) rather than absolutes; it conducts cost-benefit analyses in order to determine courses of action; and it avoids binary markers of the accepted and the forbidden, instead electing to create a broader spectrum of the permissible (Gordon 1991: 20). Like the physical infrastructures of the modern city, the expansion of cyber space during the Clinton administration created similar tensions between the need for economic growth and the potential for increased points of insecurity. Furthermore, the lack of any “real” physical or spatially demarcated borders in cyber space undoubtedly created additional challenges for national security.[1]

Antonio Pele (2018) Human Dignity in the Renaissance? Dignitas Hominis and “Spiritual counter-subjectivity”: a Foucauldian Approach. Philosophy & Social Criticism

Doihttps://doi.org/10.1177/0191453718814874

Abstract:

The historical making of human dignity is usually understood either as a result of a progressive history of the recognition of the human being’s worthiness or as an upward equalization of ranks. The present article offers a novel and different analysis. It takes the Renaissance idea of dignitas hominis as an object of study and reframes it through Michel Foucault’s insights on ‘archaeology’, power and subjectivity. In doing so, the article demonstrates how dignitas hominis was produced within the so-called Renaissance episteme and as a result of what Foucault defines as the ‘pastorate counter-conducts’. Therefore, the article argues the dignitas hominis narrative aimed to debunk the authority of the ecclesiastical authorities and moulded other ways of ‘being conducted’ and of ‘conducting oneself’ in spiritual life. More radically, this narrative fashioned a ‘spiritual counter-subjectivity’ that removed confession as the main technique producing the Christian subject.

Progressive Geographies

EF21.jpeg

Just over two years ago, while I was having something to eat in Pasadena, before a conference on Early Modern Literary Geographies, I sketched out how a pair of books on Foucault’s work up until 1969 might look. I’ve been working on the earlier of the two books since, albeit with the detour of the Canguilhem study and the final work on Shakespearean Territories. Although The Early Foucault is far from finished, it’s come a long way in that time. The chapters have increased to nine and changed some of their arrangement, though it covers all of this and more, as I learn more about this period. Increasingly though I’m finding I’m gathering sources, making notes and thinking about the 1960s book.
The Early Foucault-Foucault in the 1960s

Term 1 is when I do most of my teaching, and the first half of the term is always the busiest time of year…

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