Foucault News

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

Bjelić, D.I.
Toward a Genealogy of the Balkan Discourses on Race
(2018) Interventions, 20 (6), pp. 906-929.

DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2018.1492955

The ongoing racist reception of immigrants by post-communist states previously known to be class conscious, internationalist, and egalitarian naturally raises the question: how is racism possible in societies with no colonial or interracial experience? It is fair to state that the critical discourse on race barely exists and is historically and theoretically alien to postsocialist historiography on the grounds that Eastern Europe and the Balkans did not have and never were colonies. An attempt to engage the postsocialist presence with postcolonial analysis and to introduce race into the postsocialist context remains for the most part foreclosed by postsocialist historiographies. And yet every one of these postsocialist countries had racial laws during World War II and readily shipped Jews to concentration camps; as soon as real socialism collapsed, class consciousness morphed overnight into rabid nationalism coupled with racist practices. So, race must have always been–in some capacity–part of Eastern European, and particularly of Balkan, history. Informed primarily by Michel Foucault’s genealogy of race discourses, I will interrogate the ways in which the Balkans instrumentalized class and ethnicity as race in the struggle over sovereign space. This essay examines the Balkans “racial formations” in relation to war, revolution, the science of eugenics, the serology of “blood type,” procreation, and the Marxist discourse on race. Rather than a “thing” of nature, the Balkan “race” is a “thing” of discourse. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Author Keywords
class; ethnicity; Foucault; Michel; race; war

Progressive Geographies

Kant.jpgThankfully, this book manuscript has been the main focus again of work over the past month.

I’ve been continuing to work on Foucault’s relation to Dumézil, on Foucault’s time in Warsaw and Hamburg, and other things in the later 1950s. I had a couple of days in Paris where I was able to resolve a lot of small issues with texts that I can’t access in the UK, as well as return to a box of materials at the archive. Work included rechecking material on microfilm and newspapers, tiny details that perhaps cumulatively add up to something. Following up a reference in one of Didier Eribon’s studies led me to a text that isn’t in any of the Foucault anthologies and which I’d previously not known about. No UK libraries seem to have a copy, but I found a second-hand copy online, so that’s on the way.

For the last…

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Papastephanou, M.
Michel Foucault’s limit-experience limited
(2018) Educational Philosophy and Theory, 50 (4), pp. 390-403.

DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2017.1367661

Educational philosophy has not discussed Foucault’s publications on the Iranian Revolution and the related controversy. Foucauldian concepts are applied to education, though his only writings which ‘sidetracked’ him from exploring power within the state, namely, his journalistic accounts of his visits to Iran, remain unexplored in our field. Against moralist accusations of Foucault’s views on Iran as ‘singularly uncritical’, and beyond standard postcolonial charges of Foucault with exoticism and orientalism, I examine how the writings in question reveal ambivalences and limits of Foucauldian philosophy and complicate the glorification of limit-experience in educational theory. © 2017 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.

Author Keywords
Islamophobia; knowledge; power; resistance; Utopia

A look at just some of the work displayed at the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art, Toronto Life, Jean Grant | Photography By Gabby Frank | September 25, 2019

The Toronto Biennial of Art is a brand-new, totally free contemporary art exhibit that’s running at various waterfront venues, from now until the beginning of December.

Neon sign, from Parisian artist Laurent Grasso

Jocelyn Silver, Watch A$AP Rocky Getting His Life at Gucci, Paper Magazine, 22 Sept 2019

Today, Sunday, in Milan, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele delivered a sanitarium-inspired show, and a statement on capitalism and sanity and whether or not the two can actually co-exist. The show notes (written by Michele’s partner Giovanni Attili, an urban planning professor) quoted Michel Foucault and questioned the purpose of the fashion industry itself.

“Can [fashion] offer itself as an instrument of resistance?” Attili wrote. “Can it suggest experimental freedom, ability to transgress and disobey, emancipation and self-determination? Or [is] fashion itself [at risk] to become a refined device of neo-liberal government that ends up imposing a new normativity, turning freedom into a commodity and emancipation into a broken promise?”

It’s probably the latter. But as great and gutsy as the show was (we love a Girl, Interrupted moment) Gucci is still a business that needs to sell things, and so there were tons of celebrities in the front row.

See also The Fashion Press Release Has Become the Manifesto. GQ

“that microphysics of powers that permeates our existences”!
A few designers are bucking the cliches. That microphysics quote came from Gucci, which created a stir on social media during its Sunday show with its brief, almost inscrutably dense press release. It also name-dropped the French social theorist Michel Foucault and proposed fashion as a tool of self-expression—a tool “to let people walk through fields of possibilities, giving hints and evoking openness, cultivating promises of beauty, offering testimonies and prophecies, sacralizing every form of diversity, feeding indispensable self-determination skills.” The militant intellectual, it seems, is the new influencer.

See also this article in Pink News by Josh Milton

this article in The Guardian

The New York Times

In the welcome note emailed to attendees, the designer had name-checked Michel Foucault (source of Erterotopia or, in English, Herterotopia, and refers to Foucault’s worlds within worlds) and his theory of “biophysics” and the way the power of the dominant social group that “imposes conducts and paths, that prescribes thresholds of normality.”

And from 2018
Gucci put turbans on white models and explained it with cyborgs and Foucault 02.23.18

Sandro Chignola, Foucault’s Politics of Philosophy, Power, Law, and Subjectivity. Routledge, 2018

Oriented around the theme of a ‘politics of philosophy’, this book tracks the phases in which Foucault’s genealogy of power, law, and subjectivity was reorganized during the 14 years of his teaching at the College de France, as his focus shifted from sovereignty to governance. This theme, Sandro Chignola argues here, is the key to understanding four features of Foucault’s work over this period. First, it foregrounds its immediate political character. Second, it demonstrates that Foucault’s “Greek trip” also aims at a politics of the subject that is able to face the processes of the governmentalization of power. Third, it makes clear that the idea of the “government of the self” is – drawing on an ethics of intellectual responsibility that is Weberian in origin – an answer to the processes that, within neoliberal governance, produce the subject as an individual (as a consumer, a market agent, an entrepreneur, and so on). Fourth, the theme of a ‘politics of philosophy’ implies that Foucault’s research was never simply scholarly or neutral; but rather was characterized by a specific political position. Against recent interpretations that risk turning Foucault into a scholar, here then Foucault is re-presented as a key figure for jurisprudential and political-philosophical research.

Michel Foucault, Folie, langage, littérature
Édition établie par H.-P. Fruchaud, D. Lorenzini et J. Revel. Introduction par J. Revel. Vrin 2019

La folie, le langage et la littérature ont longtemps occupé une place centrale dans la pensée de Michel Foucault. Quels sont le statut et la fonction du fou dans nos sociétés « occidentales », et en quoi se différencient-t-ils de ce qu’ils peuvent être dans d’autres sociétés? Mais également : quelle étrange parenté la folie entretient-elle avec le langage et la littérature, qu’il s’agisse du théâtre baroque, du théâtre d’Artaud ou de l’œuvre de Roussel? Et, s’il s’agit de s’intéresser au langage dans sa matérialité, comment l’analyse littéraire s’est-elle elle-même transformée, en particulier sous l’influence croisée du structuralisme et de la linguistique, et dans quelle direction évolue-t-elle?

Les conférences et les textes, pour la plupart inédits, réunis ici illustrent la manière dont, à partir des années 1960 et pendant plus d’une décennie, Foucault n’a eu de cesse de tisser, de reformuler et de reprendre ces questionnements. Éclairant d’un jour nouveau des thématiques que l’on croyait connaître, ils permettent également de percevoir l’étonnant regard de lecteur que Foucault portait par exemple sur La Recherche de l’Absolu de Balzac, ou sur La Tentation de saint Antoine et Bouvard et Pécuchet de Flaubert.

Pang, B., Hill, J.
Representations of Chinese gendered and racialised bodies in contemporary media sites
(2018) Sport, Education and Society, 23 (8), pp. 773-785. Cited 1 time.

DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2018.1489226

Social media are influential sociocultural forces that construct and transmit information about gender, health and bodies to young people in the digital age. In health and physical activity, Chinese people are often represented and positioned differently to other (minority) ethnic groups. For example, Black young people are often understood as having low academic motivations and aspirations but as ‘natural’ athletes; in contrast, Chinese young people, seen as the ‘model minority’ who excel in STEM subjects, are fragile, reserved and disinterested in physical movements. These public forms of representation may sit in opposition to the young people’s embodied identity. When these misrepresentations are internalised, issues such as micro-aggression and racism may have an impact on Chinese young people’s health and wellbeing. This paper aims to examine how Chinese bodies are gendered and racialised in contemporary social media sites (e.g. Google News, LiveJournal, Medium, WordPress). Drawing on critical discourse analysis and Foucault’s concepts of normalisation and discursive practice, the paper will problematise the often taken-for-granted gendered and racialised stereotypes related to Chinese physicality and health on social media sites. Implications for developing future research and teaching resources in critical media health literacy for young people on issues related to gender and equity will be provided. The results affect how we understand, represent, and discuss Chinese (young) people on social media sites, thereby how Chinese young people engage, construct, and perform their embodied identities in Western, English speaking societies. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Author Keywords
Chinese bodies; critical discourse analysis; critical media health literacy; gender; race; social media

Index Keywords
aggression, article, Chinese, discourse analysis, drawing, female, gender, health literacy, human, identity, male, organization, racism, social media, speech, stereotypy, teaching, wellbeing

de Toledo e Toledo, N., Knijnik, G., Valero, P.
Mathematics education in the neoliberal and corporate curriculum: the case of Brazilian agricultural high schools
(2018) Educational Studies in Mathematics, 99 (1), pp. 73-87.

DOI: 10.1007/s10649-018-9825-4

The pedagogical principle learning by research guides the current curriculum in agricultural high schools in Brazil. A problematization of the principle shows how (1) it feeds into current neoliberal and corporate agendas in the education sector, and (2) it associates mathematical formalism and abstraction as necessary conditions for the production and use of biotechnology. Data consists of official national and institutional policy documents, as well as interviews conducted with nine former students, along with their school notebooks and tests. The theoretical and methodological framework draws on the work of Michel Foucault. It is argued that neoliberal market values are embedded in the mathematics education, through the articulation of abstract and formal reasoning with techno-scientific knowledge, for the purpose of competitive production. The learning by research principle shapes students’ subjectivities to desire becoming techno-scientificized individuals. The ethical question of the subordination of the value of mathematics education to a neoliberal, predominantly marketized logic is raised as a challenge to the role of mathematics in contemporary cultures. © 2018, Springer Nature B.V.

Author Keywords
High school agricultural education courses; Mathematics education; Mathematics education and subjectivation; Mathematics in agricultural education

Zoellick, J.C.
Lock them up! Lock them up? A critique of the prison mosaic
(2018) Futures, 101, pp. 1-9.

DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2018.04.010

Incarceration has become the routine response to severe criminal offence and is presented as the most humane form of punishment. Yet, multiple biases combine to form a discriminatory criminal justice system targeting poor men of colour. Drawing on Michel Foucault, Loïc Wacquant, and Angela Davis the development of prisons to the hegemonic form of managing misconduct and ultimately poverty is analysed. These include analyses of the prison-industrial complex as a close connection between incarceration and industry, as well as the role of neoliberal ideology and agenda in transforming the state based on discipline and control as responses to social ills. Following Castoriadis’ “decolonisation of the imaginary” these fundamental critiques are connected with alternatives to incarceration. Finally, exemplary alternatives to the neoliberal state complete the mosaic of social injustice and provide a broader picture on this important debate. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Author Keywords
Alternatives to incarceration; Decolonisation of the imaginary; Degrowth; Neoliberalism; Restorative justice; Transformative justice

Index Keywords
crime, decolonization, hegemony, neoliberalism, poverty, social justice, theoretical study

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