Michel Foucault, Language, Madness, and Desire. On Literature, University of Minnesota Press, 2015
Edited by Philippe Artières, Jean-François Bert, Mathieu Potte-Bonneville, and Judith Revel
Translated by Robert Bononno
As a transformative thinker of the twentieth century, whose work spanned all branches of the humanities, Michel Foucault had a complex and profound relationship with literature. And yet this critical aspect of his thought, because it was largely expressed in speeches and interviews, remains virtually unknown to even his most loyal readers. This book brings together previously unpublished transcripts of oral presentations in which Foucault speaks at length about literature and its links to some of his principal themes: madness, language and criticism, and truth and desire.
The associations between madness and language—and madness and silence—preoccupy Foucault in two 1963 radio broadcasts, presented here, in which he ranges among literary examples from Cervantes and Shakespeare to Diderot before taking up questions about…
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It’s time to stop talking about photography. It’s not that photography is dead as many have claimed, but it’s gone.
Just as there’s a time to stop talking about girls and boys and to talk instead about women and men so it is with photography; something has changed so radically that we need to talk about it differently, think of it differently and use it differently. Failure to recognize the huge changes underway is to risk isolating ourselves in an historical backwater of communication, using an interesting but quaint visual language removed from the cultural mainstream.
The moment of photography’s “puberty” was around the time when the technology moved from analog to digital although it wasn’t until the arrival of the Internet-enabled smartphone that we really noticed a different behavior. That’s when adolescence truly set in. It was surprising but it all seemed somewhat natural and although we experienced a…
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‘Unfortunately, when we teach morality, when we study the history of morals, we always analyze the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and do not read [Colquhoun], this character who is fundamental for our morality. The inventor of the English police, this Glasgow merchant … settles in London where, in 1792, shipping companies ask him to solve the problem of the superintendence of the docks and the protection of bourgeois wealth. [This is a] basic problem …; to understand a society’s system of morality we have to ask the question: Where is the wealth? The history of morality should be organized entirely by this question of the location and movement of wealth.’
These thirteen lectures on the ‘punitive society,’ delivered at the Collège…
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Women for Refugee Women have published a depressing report on conditions in Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, which houses immigrants who are either waiting to have their claims assessed, or – more often – waiting to be removed after their claims have been unsuccessful. It’s not clear that detaining people as if they were criminals is an appropriate course of action. The government has repeatedly come under fire from refugee groups for detaining people who are survivors of sexual abuse, pregnant women, and children (to name just three groups). But even setting that issue aside, it is abundantly clear that detained people should be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately – and no doubt, unsurprisingly, given what we know about human nature, power and corruption – that isn’t happening. According to the report, women detainees have been racially abused. There are some reports of sexual assault. The women are also repeatedly…
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The full text of the 2015 SWIP-UK conference call is here. From Rosie Worsdale:
The aim of this conference is to explore the possibilities for enriching philosophy through exposure to its many ‘Others’.
Possible themes for papers might include, but are not limited to:
- Feminist epistemology and standpoint theory
- What is it to exclude? What is it to include? Strategies and practices of inclusion/exclusion and their effects
- Philosophy of race
- Critical approaches to philosophical methodology, including pedagogical method
- Philosophy and disability
- Philosophy and heteronormativity
- Non-western philosophy and its relation to western philosophical praxis
- Identity politics
- Political philosophy and ‘others’
- Justice and injustice
- Critical theory
- The concept of ‘rigour’ and its place in philosophy
- The object/subject distinction
We invite proposals for 20-25 minute papers on any topic relating to the theme. We would like, if possible, to have both a postgraduate panel and a panel concerning practical issues relating to the…
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As ISIS slaughters its way though Syria and Iraq, it became inevitable that we’d hear from the apologists who claim that ISIS is not in fact “true Islam,” and that its depredations are due to something other than religious motivation. Those motivations, say the apologists, are political (usually Western colonialism that engendered resentment), cultural (societal tradition), or anything other than religion.
These apologists, of course, which now include President Obama, are motivated by two things. The first is the desire to avoid criticizing religion at all costs—expecially Islam, some of whose proponents have a nasty history of retaliating with extreme violence. And, in America, criticizing religion is political suicide. Further, the apologists cling to a double standard, whereby Middle Eastern Muslims are not expected to behave according to the same standards, as, say, Israel. They are treated like little children whose tantrums are simply fobbed off on their age, or, in this case, their…
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