Spohrer, K.
Negotiating and contesting ‘success’: discourses of aspiration in a UK secondary school
(2015) Discourse, 15 p. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2015.1044423

The need to ‘raise aspirations’ among young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds has been prominent in UK policy debates over the last decade. This paper examines how this discourse is negotiated and contested by teachers and pupils in a Scottish secondary school. Interviews, group discussions and observations were analysed by drawing on Foucauldian discourse analysis. The analysis exposes contradictions and silences inherent in dominant discourses of aspiration, most notably the tension between the promise and the impossibility of ‘success’ for all. It is argued that attempts to reconcile this tension by calling on young people to maximise individual ‘potential’ through attitude change silence the social construction of ‘success’ and ‘failure’. The paper concludes with suggesting ways in which schools could embrace the contradictions underpinning dominant ‘raising aspiration’ discourses and adopt a more critical-sociological approach in working with young people.

Author Keywords
aspirations; discourse; education policy; Foucault; success; young people

Camargo, R., Ried, N.
Towards a genealogy of pharmacological practice
(2015) Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 10 p. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1007/s11019-015-9648-3

Following Foucault’s work on disciplinary power and biopolitics, this article maps an initial cartography of the research areas to be traced by a genealogy of pharmacological practice. Pharmacology, as a practical activity, refers to the creation, production and sale of drugs/medication. This work identifies five lines of research that, although often disconnected from each other, may be observed in the specialized literature: (1) pharmaceuticalization; (2) regulation of the pharmaceutical industry; (3) the political-economic structure of the pharmaceutical industry; (4) consumption/consumerism of medications; (5) and bio-knowledge. The article suggests that a systematic analysis of these areas leads one to consider pharmacological practice a sui generis apparatus of power, which reaches beyond the purely disciplinary and biopolitical levels to encompass molecular configurations, thereby giving rise not only to new types of government over life, but also to new struggles for life, extending from molecular to population-wide levels.

Author Keywords
Biopolitics; Disciplinary power; Genealogy; Molecular politics; Pharmacological practice

Continental Thought & Theory. A Journal of Intellectual Freedom

Call for Papers
Inaugural Issue

Both the ideal and pursuit of intellectual freedom are important components underpinning this journal. The unrestricted expression of ideas is a desire and challenge facing us all. Particular fields of Continental theory have attempted to embrace and pursue this ethic as acts of intellectual integrity. With this in mind, the journal’s inaugural issue posits the question: what does intellectual freedom mean today? Although this question speaks directly to the academy, it is not limited to scholars. People in other spheres of life also experience the shaping of and parameters to their ideas, sometimes to their chagrin. Continental theory invites a variety of responses to the question of intellectual freedom.

Closing date for submissions: 15 January 2016

Submissions: ctt-submissions@canterbury.ac.nz

Please refer to the instructions for contributors.

By publishing with Continental Thought and Theory, your paper will be automatically deposited in the University of Canterbury Research Repository and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY) license. For information on Creative Commons, please see www.creativecommons.org.

Epilogue 2/13: The Stakes of the Balibar-Ewald Debate

By Bernard E. Harcourt

[This article draws on a longer essay titled “Reading Penal Theories and Institutions”]

“Women, prisoners, conscripts, asylum patients, homosexuals have now begun a specific struggle of resistance against the particular forms of power, of constraint, of control that are exercised over them.”

Michel Foucault, in discussion with Gilles Deleuze, “Les Intellectuels et le pouvoir,” March 4, 1972, Dits & Écrits #106, Quarto I, p. 1183.

The second seminar gave rise to a productive disagreement between Étienne Balibar and François Ewald regarding a matter of central importance to the questions of power and of resistance to power: Can resistance operate through the existing institutions, mechanisms, and practices of power, or must we look elsewhere to find other means to counter “the particular forms of power, of constraint, and of control that are exercised over us”?

These questions preoccupied Foucault at the time of his 1972 lectures, and they confounded him. Most of his exchanges with others critical thinkers in the period—with Noam Chomsky in November 1971, with Benny Lévy and André Glucksmann in June 1971, with Gilles Deleuze in March 1972—revolved around the central question of resistance to power: whether to work within the judicial institution, whether to litigate, whether to mimic the judicial model and organize independent popular tribunals, whether to write or to militate, whether to lead or to allow others’ voices to be heard, whether to form committees of inquest, whether to reach outside and resist by other means—in sum, whether to focus on the state institutions or on power itself.

In these debates, Foucault was adamant, especially with Lévy and Glucksmann, that resistance had to avoid the judicial institutions (e.g. the model of the popular tribunal), precisely because of the historical functioning of justice: judicial institutions, on Foucault’s view, had always functioned to create divisions and contradictions within society. Tribunals had always had a “constitutive role in the divisions of our contemporary society.” (D&E, Quart I, p. 1224). The penal system served to fracture and divide popular resistance, to legitimate established power relations, to construct the figure of the common law “criminal.”

But the deeper problem, Foucault insisted, was that critical thinkers were still at a loss to understand how power functions in contemporary society. In conversation with Deleuze, Foucault would repeatedly emphasize this point:

“Our difficulty in finding adequate forms of resistance, doesn’t this all come from the fact that we still ignore what power really is? After all, we had to wait till the 19th century to know what exploitation is, but we still perhaps don’t know what power is. […] The theory of the state, the traditional analysis of state apparatuses, surely these do not exhaust the field of the exercise and the functioning of power. Today, the great unknown is: who exercises power? And where do they exercise it? “ (D&E Quarto I, p. 1180).

It is within this specific context that we must reread Foucault’s theoretical interventions, as well as his practical engagements at the time. It is in this light that we need to return, for instance, to the G.I.P. manifesto that Foucault read out-loud to the press on February 8, 1971: “It is not our task to suggest a reform of the prison. We only want to make known its reality. And to make it known immediately, day by day; because time is pressing. It is a matter of alerting public opinion and holding it in high alert. We will try to use every means of information: daily newspapers, weeklies, monthlies. We are thus appealing to every possible tribune.” (D&E, #86, Quarto I, p. 1043).

read more

Update on the Foucault 13/13 series

First seminar on youtube

RizzaMichael James Rizza The Topographical Imagination of Jameson, Baudrillard, and Foucault, Noesis/The Davies Group, 2015

Notice on author’s blog
An interview with the author, Michael James Rizza, in Hyperrhiz 12

This in-depth discussion of several canonical theorists — Fredric Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, and Michel Foucault — traces the trajectory of their ideas from one text to the next. It focuses on how these theorists attempt to avoid the problem of representation, as well as humanist subjectivity, even as they imagine the external situations that shape individual identity. Although the author offers in-depth overviews, he does not simply rehearse the theories, such as many introductions to theory do. Instead, he excavates the topographical imagination that results from seeking to constitute the subject from without, from its external situation. He draws forth the organizing figure of each theorist’s spatial thinking—Jameson’s Marxist dialectical levels, Baudrillard’s double spiral of the symbolic and the semiotic, and Foucault’s dual bar of exclusion—which provides readers an innovative way to approach complex ideas.

From the Back Cover

The Topographical Imagination of Jameson, Baudrillard, and Foucault is indeed, as Michael James Rizza argues, a collection of several tapestries: a study of three of the most important theorists of the postmodern period, whose individual trajectories are traced over the course of their careers; an exploration of the subject as it evolves from an original Enlightenment model; a consideration of the various organizing figures–system of levels, double-spiral, dual caesura–by which today’s projected worlds are imagined. In the end, readers are provided with an intellectual history that is as wide-ranging–from Spinoza and Kant to Debord and Lefebvre–as it is incisive. And because the theoretical is always informed by a command of literature that is breathtaking in its scope–from Cervantes to Milosz to Borges to Pynchon–the discussions are certain to appeal to an audience of quite varied tastes. Integrating all of this into a seamless whole is not the easiest of tasks, and it is to the book’s great credit that it does so and in such a way as to join clarity with acuity beautifully.

Stacey Olster, Professor of English, Stony Brook University

About the Author

Michael James Rizza (PhD, American Literature) is the author of the award-winning novel Cartilage and Skin, short fiction, and various academic articles. He teaches at Kean University in New Jersey.

École Doctorale de l’Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault IMEC

PDF flyer

14, 15 et 16 octobre 2015

Contacts :
Arianna Sforzini : arianna.sforzini@univ-paris-est.fr ; 0781684341 Judith Revel : jrevel@u-paris10.fr ; 0667320713

Mercredi 14 octobre :

Train Paris Saint Lazare-Caen, départ 8h45 Arrivée Caen : 10h53, transfert à l’IMEC


Après-midi, première séance

Clara Zgola : « Les formes de vie ‟autres” et la question urbaine » (CRAL/Pologne) Valentina Moro : « Parrêsia et lamentation : analyser la tragédie grecque avec Michel Foucault » (Université de Padoue, Italie)
Guilel Treiber : « Des contre-conduites à la résistance collective » (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgique)


Jeudi 15 octobre Matin, seconde séance

Frédéric Porcher : « Foucault et le renouveau de la théorie critique » (Université de Strasbourg, France)
Ivan Ponton : « Autour de Théories et institutions pénales : Foucault et le marxisme » (Université Lille 3, France)


Alex Feldman : « La seconde évaluation foucaldienne de Canguilhem : historicisation et matière étrangère » (Penn State University, USA)
Ivan Moya Diez : « La valeur de la vérité, la plus récente erreur de la vie. De Foucault à Canguilhem » (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France)


Après-midi, troisième séance :

Ismahène Chamki : « Les normes de l’intelligence, instrument du pouvoir disciplinaire en milieu scolaire » (Université de Nantes, France)
Alice Ancelle : « Modèle critique de relations de soins en EPHAD » (Université Lille 3, France)


Anderson Lima da Silva : « Michel Foucault, la philosophie, l’histoire » (Université de Sao Paulo, Brésil)
Daphné Le Roux : « Pratiques et subjectivation chez Michel Foucault : une réflexion critique » (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France)


Vendredi 16 octobre Matin, quatrième séance :

Ilaria Fornacciari : « Entre archive et critique: Foucault autour de Manet » (Université de Bâle/Université Paris 8)
Clara Mogno : « Foucault et l’image» (Université de Padoue, Italie/Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France)
Ester Jordana Lluch : « La question de la transformation chez Michel Foucault » (Université de Barcelone, Espagne)


Départ pour la gare
Train : départ Caen 14h56, arrivée Paris 16h47

En présence de (selon les sessions) : Frédéric Gros, Orazio Irrera, Judith Revel, Philippe Sabot, Arianna Sforzini


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,116 other followers

%d bloggers like this: