Archive for the ‘Calls for papers’ Category

will-to-know-book-jacketOrigins of Truth: Foucault’s Lectures on the Will to Know

February 21-22, 2014
Stony Brook Manhattan
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

A conference presented by The Foucault Society and the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University

In celebration of the publication of Michel Foucault’s Lectures on the Will to Know: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1970-1971 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), we invite participants to a conference in New York City.

As the first of Foucault’s annual courses, Lectures on the Will to Know set an agenda for his intellectual journey of the 1970s and 1980s. Its publication in English translation opens up new directions for research into power, knowledge and the “formation of discourses.”

This conference gathers a group of established and emerging scholars to analyze Lectures on the Will to Know – its sources, themes and intellectual, historical or political contexts. What are the multiple ways that “truth” and “origins” are developed in Foucault’s work? How do philosophy and history intersect in this text? What is “will” in a Foucaultian context and how can we think of “the will to know” without reinstalling sovereign subjectivity? How do Foucault’s encounters here with Aristotle, the Sophists, Nietzsche, Deleuze – indeed, with the possibility of an origin of Western knowledge — complicate our understanding of his genealogical approach?

Keynote: Todd May, Clemson University: “Michel Foucault’s Will to Know”
Guest Speaker: Eduardo Mendieta, Stony Brook University

Paper Presentations:

Bernard Gendron, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:
“Foucault in 1971: Turbulence, Discontinuity, Uncertainty”

Verena Ehrlenbusch, University of Memphis:
“Foucault’s History of Sovereignty”

Neil Brophy, Villanova University:
“Will, Knowledge and Truth in Aristotle, Nietzsche and Foucault”

Johan Boberg, Uppsala University:
“Writing the History of Truth: Foucault & Heidegger”

Maxime Lallement, Manchester Metropolitan University:
“Justice, Judgment, Positivity and Discourse in Michel Foucault’s Lectures on the Will to Know“

Daniel Schultz, Yale Divinity School, and University of Chicago:
“The Will to Know: The Ethics of Genealogy”

Kerem Eksen, Istanbul Technical University:
“The ‘Event’ Called Philosophy: From the Lectures on the Will to Know to Hermeneutics of the Subject”

Abubakr Khan, State University of New York–Binghamton:
“To Will the Event: Nietzsche, Foucault & Deleuze”

Corey McCall, Elmira College:
“Foucault’s Faust and Saint Anthony”

Dean Casales, Kean University:
“A Third Way of Knowing: A Critique of Foucault’s ‘Oedipal Knowledge’”

Wai Kit Choi, California State University, Los Angeles:
“Theorizing Money and Modernity: Implications from Foucault’s Lectures on the Will to Know“

Peter Macapia, Pratt Institute:
“Distributions: Ceramics, Money, and Events”


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CFP, Itineration, Special Edition

Call for Projects: Itineration: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Rhetoric, Media, and Culture Special Edition: Privacy and Dataveillance Due February 1, 2014

You may view the video and full version of the text-based CFP at this link: http://itineration.org/node/45

The special edition, Privacy and Dataveillance

Itineration: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Rhetoric, Media, and Culture invites projects that engage questions of data collection and dataveillance. Some possible areas of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

* Foucault’s metaphor of the panopticon and its relationship to questions concerning dataveillance
* The rhetorical means companies use to promote dataveillance tracking
* The concept of anonymity within social networks, social applications, or other data gathering endeavours (such as medical and financial fields)
* Means, implications, and consequences of subverting and resisting data-mining online
* Emergent needs of identity protection online from tracking technologies
* Public rhetorics concerning security and privacy
* The political and social implications of increased observational structures (online or not) and the resulting decrease in privacy
* Issues of legal and educational advocacy for greater privacy protection
* Technical communication regarding how terms of service and end user agreements discuss tracking technologies along with privacy and anonymity
* How data mining and advertising customization leads to assumptions about the attitudes and beliefs in geographical areas
* The roles of embodiment and disembodiment connected with gender and identity/privacy and anonymity
* The relationship between decreased privacy and anonymity online and boutique and big data practices.

Interested parties are invited to submit multimedia projects of varying style, form, and content. We are especially interested in projects that push the boundaries in their composition and presentation. In short, please experiment. Play. Learn a new trick. To that end, please note that Itineration no longer publishes text-based articles (“traditional” essay format). Please send any questions concerning project design, format, technical specifications, etc. to Senior Editor and Technical Specialist, Gerald Jackson, at geraldsjackson@gmail.com

Submissions should be emailed directly to Special Edition editor, Estee Beck, at esteenbeck@gmail.com.

Deadline for submissions is February 1st, 2014. Submission accepted for publication will be published on a rolling basis upon completing the editorial process.

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Call for Papers

Michel Foucault: Ethnography and Critique
Convenors: Orazio Irrera & Martina Tazzioli

Bergamo, June 5-7, 2014
Deadline: February 17, 2014

Conference Website and contact details

Since the Sixties, Michel Foucault had described his work in ethnographic terms, stressing that for him it was a question of situating outside of the culture we belong to, in order to critically show the way in which this latter was built. Foucault’s perspective, far from representing only an historical analysis of the nexus between powers and knowledges, as a genealogy was firmly anchored to the analysis of the present; and it was also grounded on the ethical and political necessity to understand the present as the threshold that splits up what we have become from what we are no longer, in order to open some possibilities to think ourselves differently from what we are.

On the one hand, ethnography appears for sure among the human and the social sciences that on the one hand are susceptible of the critique addressed by Foucault, but on the other in the last decades it seemed to be able to take the critical solicitations produced by the French philosopher. For this reason, it seems useful to question the way in which today –a present which is certainly different from the present of Foucault – ethnographic practices still succeed in making operatives some of the conceptual tools offered by Foucault tool-box. However, the uses of these tools are not limited to a mere application: rather, the application itself becomes a moment of test, of experimentation and of theoretical and methodological innovation, extending further the Foucaultian trajectory beyond the lines of research undertaken by him.

Therefore, we will welcome contributes able to show how ethnographic practices have adopted and re-elaborated analytical strategies and categories which come out from Foucault’s texts, both  in relation both to the construction of a specific fieldwork, both regarding to the changing and productive relationships that who does an ethnographic work established with it. Concerning this last point, we refer to the way in which Foucault could be used also “reflexively”, to grasp the transformations that specific ethnographic practices generate on those who conduct ethnographic researches, modifying epistemologically and/or ethically the relationship that one has with oneself and with the others.

We are particularly interested to contributions both in English and in Italian on the following themes:

  • Ethnographic practices in relation to the nexus space-knowledge (Urban studies, migrations)
  • Ethnographic practices in relation to governmentality, biopolitics and neoliberalism
  • Ethnographic practices and normalization/medicalization of societies (racism, gender issues, education)
  • Ethnographic practice and production of subalternity
  • Ethnographic practices and discursive analysis
  • Ethnographic practices and forms of reflexivity (transformation of the point of view of the ethnographer in relation to the construction/observation of the ethnographic field)

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CFP: Theoria: The Police and the Theory of the State

Submission deadline: Friday, February 28 2014

The editors of Theoria: A journal of Social and Political Theory invite contributors to interrogate contemporary political and social theory through the lens of policing, with the view of connecting politics and policing. Well documented reflections based on a variety of case studies would be welcomed, with a non exclusive privilege given to the ‘Global South’.

No government can maintain the rights of the citizens without a rigorous police force; but the difference between a free regime and a tyrannical one is that, in the former, the police is being employed against the minority, opposed to the general good, as well as against the abuses and negligences of the authority; while in the latter, the State’s police is being used against the poor offered to the injustice and the impunity of power.”

This claim was made in April 1794 by the french revolutionary Saint-Just. Redeployed and redefined in the burning context of the Terror and necessity to terminate it, some of the most classical concepts of the history of political thought (Freedom vs tyranny, General good vs particular interest, elite accountability vs impunity of power) provided the ideological principles framing the organization of a new police force. By doing so, Saint-Just’s claim might well represent the introduction of the question of policing, in the current signification of the term, into the realm of modern political thought and the theory of the State.

However, if the police, an institution by nature ambiguous (P. Napoli, Naissance de la police moderne, 1997), is at the core of contemporary politics, and a central object of literature and cinema, contemporary political theory has generally disregarded the question of policing. The main reason might be that it requires us to think about politics and general principles through history, practices, techniques, means of action, and ‘tainted occupations’. A recent phenomenon in the social sciences, the theory of policing formed its first paradigm precisely by rejecting any formulation aiming at linking policing and politics. It had defined the role of the police through its allegedly more specific element: its capacity and license to use force (E. Bittner, The Functions of the Police in Modern Society, 1970). This paradigm has oriented most sociological research on police: either they focused on the professionalization of the agents, describing it as a central element of the civilizing process, or they focused on the brutality and abuses of the same agents, showing the civilizing process as reversible.

This paradigm was recently scrutinized with the aim of providing a more complete, comprehensive and systematic theory of policing (J.-P. Brodeur, The Policing Web, 2010, chap. 4).

– A major dimension of policing now reintegrated into the framework of analysis is ‘high political policing’, such as intelligence work (Brodeur 2010, chap. 7), already conceived by Saint-Just as a political activity at the core of a modern democratic police. This points to another set of questions concerning the lack of interest in policing in contemporary political theory: considering the nature and function of policing leads to the interrogation of the practical as well as doctrinal place of Reason of state and secrecy in liberal democracy, and in the theory of liberal democracy.

– A second important dimension reintegrated into the theory of policing is ‘military policing’, in particular in the sense of militarized forces in charge of maintaining order and riot control (Brodeur 2010, chap. 9). Amongst other worldwide events inviting to reconceptualize the distinction between protest and sedition, the recent events of Marikana, when a special unit of the South African Police service opened fire against striking mineworkers, illustrated in the most spectacular way what it is when ‘the State’s police is being used against the poor’. It raised many questions about the situation of the right to life, the right to protest, and the maintenance of order in the post apartheid era. It points out also the necessity to develop the reflection on the doctrines, norms, practices and techniques of policing protest.

These two dimensions (‘high political policing’ and ‘military policing’) taken together generate the following question: what does the ongoing process of normalizing the state of exception and emergency measures – ranging from the demand for general control of common citizens to the use of massacre against protestors – say about the state of the society, and the theory of the state and of democracy?

Case-studies could include:

–  recent action movies (e.g. Padilha’s Tropa de Elite on the brazilian BOPE) as well as classical thriller (e.g. Rosi’s Illustrious Corpses on mafia, terrorism and the state). Is there a theory of the State and of the State’s action emerging of the genre?

– recent experiences in setting up new police forces in order to fight against police and elite corruption (e.g. Chàvez’s Policia Nacional Bolivariana)

– historical experiences in setting up dedicated units in charge of policing protest, tending to exclude massacre from the repertory of actions (e.g. the French CRS), and more recent developments.

– recent trends in policing studies in the Social sciences as well as in History (e.g. critical accounts on the impact of postcolonial studies in evaluating the current practices of maintaining order in the ‘Global North’)

– evaluations of Brodeur’s framework of analysis in the context of the policing web in South africa and the ‘Global South’; its implications for a general theory of the state.

– the place of Reason of state, secrecy and exception, from the point of view of policing, in contemporary theories of the state and of the liberal democracy (e.g. how to situate the heritage of Carl Schmitt or of Michel Foucault – the former showing a nostalgia for the  medieval conception of the mystery of the State, the second discovering the doctrine of Raison d’Etat after he published Discipline and Punish – in that undertaking?).

Contact: Christopher Allsobrook (THEORIASA@GMAIL.COM)

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Call for Papers in French and English



Foucault Doctoral Workshop

January 15th-16th, 2014

IMEC, Caen, France

PDF of CFP in French
PDF of CFP in English

The Association for the Centre Michel Foucault with the support of the Fondation de France, organizes a doctoral workshop that will bring together PhD candidates whose work derives from, or who work on Michel Foucault’s work.

As during previous years, the purpose is to connect young scholars in a pleasant and relatively informal way in order to constitute an international research network.

This year, the theme of the Doctoral workshop will be: From ‘security societies’ to ‘(neo)liberalism. Foucault, the modern international and world politics. It will build on a previous session  co- organized with the Instituto de Relações Internacionais, University PUC-Rio (IRI/PUC-Rio, Brazil) on September 25th-27th in Rio de Janeiro.

O V E R A L L    P R E S E N T A T I O N

The relationship between Foucault and the domain of knowledge nowadays associated with the so-called discipline of “International Relations” (IR) is, to say the least, a peculiar one. Between the end of the 1970s and the mid-1990s, the work of Michel Foucault heavily contributed to nourish and substantiate a radical critique of the onto-epistemological assumptions of the  mainstream theories of IR. Such critique has not yet been grounded on the set of works in which Foucault gets the closest to this “domain of knowledge” (we especially refer to the last lessons from the Security, Territory, Population series), but on what a certain Anglo-Saxon tradition had come to characterize as the “first Foucault”.

Such a critique – now particularly associated with the names of R.B.J. Walker, Michael Shapiro, Richard Ashley, William Connolly, Nicholas Onuf, Michael Dillon, David Campbell and James der Derian – found in the Foucault of The Order of Things and The Archaeology of Knowledge the arguments to introduce the necessity to study discursive practices into the study of “international politics”. The theoretical options developed by these authors worked within a pluralist ontology, insisting on multiplicity instead of unity, difference instead of identity, heterogeneity instead of homogeneity.

From an epistemological point of view, the archaeo-genealogical mood that  was progressively being articulated in the “IR discipline” enabled to question the universalistic assumptions of epistemic realism that had, that far, dominated theories of International Relations (Shapiro & Der Derian, 1989; Ashley & Walker, 1990; Der Derian,  1995).  Hence,  it  became possible to shed light upon the historical practices that contributed to the construction of what we have come to call the State, sovereignty, and the International (Bartelson, 1995), and also diplomacy (Der Derian, 1987;  Constantinou,  1996),  foreign  policy  (Campbell,  1998),  or  security (Der Derian, 1993; Dillon, 1996). All of these started being stressed as historical practices made invisible by an unproblematized use of these concepts that, in the discipline, had been able to work as givens (impensés).

Such “critical” literature resulted into a (at least partial) genealogy of the discipline itself (Ashley, 1987; Walker, 1993). Hence, it not only allowed to raise questions about how the study of “international relations” had been historically constituted as a specific domain of knowledge within an academic discipline, but also to highlight how these theories of IR were more an expression of a particular  and  historically  situated  spatial  and  political  imaginary  than  the  explanations  of  world politics they purported to be. The “critical turn” contributed, therefore, to establish the historically contingent character of the discipline itself.

Hadn’t Michel Foucault initiated this very task in his lessons on March 22nd and 29th 1978 at the Collège de France in the Security, Territory, Population series while discussing the idea of Europe as it emerged at the turn of the XVIIIth  Century, and suggesting the transition from the right of the sovereign to a “physics of States”? In doing so, hadn’t Foucault  paved  the  way  for  an authentic archaeo-genealogy of the discipline of IR in which the idea of a “balance of power” have played  such  a  crucial role?  Why  doesn’t  Foucault  ever  refer  to  IR theory?  Such  questions  are further underlined by the fact that it is difficult to imagine that Foucault ignored this domain of knowledge that, despite having been instituted mainly outside of France, counts with intellectuals such as Raymond Aron and Pierre Hassner, who were already considered as the two main French names in the study of “international relations”.

In return, these questions call attention to those who, today, in IR, repeatedly evoke concepts such as governmentality and biopolitics without ever (to our knowledge) referring to these two lessons. At the time of the “critical turn”, Security, Territory, Population wasn’t available, either in French or in English. Only some recordings of Foucault’s lectures have circulated among restricted circles. Hence, it is of no surprise that no one had interrogated Michel Foucault’s strange silence on the theories of “international relations’. However, this is no longer the case, now  that  Security, Territory, Population has been available in French for almost ten years, and in English for almost seven.

Taking these considerations as a starting point, the participants of this doctoral workshop propose to (1) interrogate this relation of mutual ignorance; (2) work towards a genealogy of the discipline of International Relations; (3) explore how the works of Foucault on security, liberalism, and, more importantly, the art of governing, can help to think in novel ways what the theories of International Relations have progressively come to build as their object  of  study:  “international politics” and the role of the state within it.

M O  D  A  L  I  T  I  E  S     O  F     P A  R T  I  C I  P A  T  I  O  N

The doctoral workshop will take place on January 15th and 16th 2014 at IMEC, in the Abbaye d’Ardenne close to Caen (with a departure from Paris early morning on the 15th  and a return in Paris early evening on the 16th). Both English and French will be  used  during  the workshop.

On-site housing and catering costs as well as return train tickets Paris/Caen will be paid for by the Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault.

In order for discussions to be the most fruitful possible and because housing capacities are limited at the Abbey, the number of participants has been set to 10, which will inevitably imply a selection of applicants.

PhD students who participated to the workshops the previous years are welcome to submit, but we will consider new applicants in priority, as well as those whose proposals had not been selected for the previous encounters.

Proposals (one page at most), focusing either on a particular question of your PhD work or on a specific methodological issue, should be sent either in French or in English before December 15th, 2013. A response will be given before December 22nd and  preliminary  program  will circulate on December 30th.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any question or for further information:  Philippe Bonditti: philippe.bonditti@gmail.com; Luca Paltrinieri: l.paltrinieri@gmail.com

With our very best wishes,

The Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault



 Ecole doctorale Foucault

15-16 janvier 2014

IMEC, France

L’Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault propose, cette année encore, avec l’aide de la Fondation de France une école doctorale visant à réunir les doctorants travaillant sur, avec et autour de la pensée de Michel Foucault.

Comme les années précédentes, l’objectif est de mettre en relation, le plus agréablement possible et de manière assez informelle, les jeunes chercheurs afin de constituer un réseau de travail international.

Cette année, l’Ecole doctorale portera sur le thème : Des « sociétés de sécurité » au (néo)libéralisme. Foucault, l’international moderne et la politique mondiale. Elle s’inscrira à la suite d’une précédente rencontre doctorale sur le même thème co-organisée avec l’Instituto de Relações Internacionais de l’Université PUC-Rio (IRI/ PUC-Rio) du 25 au 27 septembre 2013 à Rio de Janeiro.

P R O  B L  E  M  A  T  I  Q  U  E

Le rapport de Foucault au domaine de savoir associé à ladite discipline des « relations internationales » (RI) est pour le moins étrange. Entre la fin des années 1970 et le milieu des années 1990, les travaux de Michel Foucault ont en effet largement nourri une critique radicale des présupposés onto-épistémologiques des principales théories des RI. Ce n’est pourtant pas dans les travaux de Foucault qui s’approchent le plus de ce « domaine de savoir » (nous pensons notamment aux derniers cours de la série Sécurité, Territoire, Population) que la critique est allée puiser, mais dans le Foucault des « early years » comme aime à le catégoriser une  certaine  tradition  anglo- saxonne.

Cette critique – aujourd’hui plus particulièrement associée aux noms de RBJ  Walker,  Michael Shapiro, Rick Ashley, William Connolly, Nicholas Onuf, Michael Dillon, David Campbell ou James Der Derian s’inspire de Foucault pour, notamment, faire surgir l’étude des pratiques discursives dans celle des « relations internationales ». Les options théoriques développées par ces  auteurs fonctionnaient alors à l’intérieur d’une ontologie pluraliste insistant sur la multiplicité plutôt que sur l’unité, la différence plutôt que l’identité, l’hétérogénéité plutôt que l’homogénéité.

D’un point de vue épistémologique, l’humeur archéo-généalogique qui se déploie progressivement dans ladite discipline des RI a permis de contester les présomptions universalistes du réalisme épistémique qui dominait alors les théories des RI (Shapiro & Der Derian, 1989, Ashley/Walker, 1990, Der Derian, 1995). Elle a ainsi permis de porter l’attention sur les pratiques historiques ayant contribué à la construction de ce que nous en sommes venus a appeler l’Etat, la souveraineté, l’international (Bartelson, 1995), mais aussi la diplomatie (Der Derian,  1987, Constantinou, 1996), la politique étrangère (Campbell, 1998) ou la sécurité (Der Derian, 1993, Dillon, 1996). Des pratiques historiques invisibilisées par un usage non-problématique de ces notions qui, dans la « discipline des RI », en étaient venues à fonctionner comme des impensés.

Cette littérature « critique » a notamment impliqué une généalogie, au moins partielle, de la discipline elle-même (Ashley, 1987, Walker, 1993) qui n’a pas seulement permis de poser la question de savoir comment l’étude des « relations internationales » s’était historiquement constituée en domaine particulier de savoir, mais aussi de mettre en évidence la manière dont les théories des relations internationales étaient bien davantage les expressions d’un imaginaire spatial et politique particulier et historiquement situé que les explications de la politique mondiale qu’elles prétendaient être. Ainsi le « tournant critique » a-t-il contribué à poser le caractère historiquement contingent de la discipline elle-même.

Cette tâche, Michel Foucault ne l’avait pas lui-même initiée dans les cours des 22 et 29 mars 1978 de la série Sécurité, Territoire, Population, lorsque, discutant l’idée d’Europe telle qu’elle surgit au tournant du XVIIIe siècle, il évoque le passage d’un « droit des souverains » à une « physique des Etats » ? Ce faisant, n’a-t-il pas posé les bases d’une véritable archéo-généalogie des RI à l’intérieur desquelles la notion d’« équilibre des puissances » (Balance of power) a joué un rôle si central ? Mais alors, pourquoi Foucault ne fait-il dès lors aucune référence à la théorie des RI ? La question se pose tant il est difficile de concevoir qu’il n’ait pas eu connaissance de cette région de savoir qui, si elle s’est principalement imposée hors de France, n’en comptait pas moins parmi ses représentants des intellectuels aussi éminents que Raymond Aron et Pierre Hassner, déjà reconnus comme les deux principales figures françaises de l’étude des « relations internationales ».

Cette série d’interrogations se retourne immédiatement vers ceux qui, aujourd’hui, dans la discipline des relations internationales, usent abondamment des  notions  de  gouvernementalité  et  de biopolitique sans jamais (à notre connaissance) évoquer ces deux cours. A l’époque du « tournant critique », la série Sécurité, Territoire, Population n’est pas encore disponible, ni en Français, ni en anglais. Seuls circulent quelques enregistrements des cours de Foucault. Et l’on ne s’étonnera donc guère que personne ne se soit interrogé sur cet étrange silence de Michel Foucault à propos des « théories des relations internationales ». Mais ce n’est plus le cas aujourd’hui. Sécurité, Territoire, Population est disponible en français depuis presque dix ans, et en anglais depuis bientôt sept ans.

Partant de ce constat, les participants à ce séminaire doctoral se proposent tout à la fois : (1) d’interroger ce rapport d’ignorance réciproque ; (2) de travailler à une généalogie de la discipline des « relations internationales » ; (3) d’explorer la manière dont les travaux de Michel Foucault sur la sécurité, le libéralisme et, plus largement, sur l’art de gouverner peuvent aujourd’hui aider à penser de manière autre ce que les théories des relations internationales se sont progressivement données comme leur principale objet d’étude: la « politique internationale » et, en son sein, le rôle de l’Etat.

M O  D  A  L  I  T  E  S     D  E     P A  R T  I  C  I  P A  T  I  O  N

La rencontre doctorale aura lieu les 15 et 16 janvier 2014 à l’IMEC, dans l’abbaye d’Ardenne à Caen avec un départ de Paris prévu le 15 tôt le matin et un retour sur Paris le 16 en début de soirée. Les langues de travail seront le Français et l’Anglais.

Les frais de séjour sur place et les billets Paris-Caen-Paris sont pris en charge par l’Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault.

Pour que les échanges soient le plus féconds possibles – et compte tenu des capacités d’accueil de l’abbaye – le nombre de participants est limité à 10, ce qui impliquera nécessairement un choix de notre part.

Les doctorants ayant participé aux journées les années passées pourront bien entendu décider de soumettre une proposition pour ces nouvelles rencontres doctorales. Priorité sera toutefois donnée aux nouveaux intervenants et à ceux dont les propositions n’avaient pu être retenues les années précédentes.

Les propositions d’intervention (une page maximum), portant soit sur une question particulière de votre travail de thèse, soit sur un problème méthodologique précis, devront nous être envoyées, en français ou en anglais, avant le 15 décembre 2013. Une réponse sera donnée au plus tard le 22 décembre et un programme préliminaire sera mis en circulation au plus tard le 30 décembre.

N’hésitez pas à nous contacter pour toutes demandes d’informations complémentaires : Philippe Bonditti : philippe.bonditti@gmail.com; Luca Paltrinieri : l.paltrinieri@gmail.com

Très cordialement,

L’Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault

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The fourteenth annual meeting of the Foucault Circle

University of Malmö
Malmö, Sweden

June 5-8, 2014

We seek submissions for:

1). Papers on any aspect of Foucault’s work, as well as studies, critiques, and applications of Foucauldian thinking;

2). Round table discussions comprised of four or five panelists:

  • European and North American perspectives on Foucault’s work;
  • Feminist perspectives on Foucault’s work;
  • Utilizing the Foucauldian “Toolbox”.

Individual paper submissions require an abstract of no more than 750 words; round table submissions require a 500 word abstract describing the overall theme and 150 word summaries of each panelist’s talking points. All submissions should be formatted as “.doc” attachments and sent via email to program committee chair Edward McGushin (emcgushin@stonehill.edu) on or before January 2, 2014. Indicate “Foucault Circle submission” in the subject heading. Program decisions will be announced by early February.

All abstracts should be prepared for anonymous review.

The meeting will begin Thursday afternoon with a round table discussion, followed by an informal welcome session and dinner. Morning and afternoon paper sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday; the Saturday sessions will be followed by a business meeting and dinner. The conference will conclude with paper sessions on Sunday morning. Presenters of individual papers will have approximately 35 minutes for paper presentation and discussion combined; papers should be a maximum of 3000 words (15-20 minutes, preferably 15). Round tables will have approximately 50 minutes total for presentation and discussion combined; individual panelists should plan to speak for no more than 5-7 minutes.

Logistical information about lodging, transportation, and other arrangements will be available after the program has been announced.

For more information about the Foucault Circle, please see our website

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Call for Papers

 Origins of Truth: Foucault’s Lectures on the Will to Know

 November 8-9, 2013

A conference presented by

the Foucault Society


Stony Brook University Department of Philosophy


Stony Brook Manhattan

387 Park Avenue South

New York, NY

Keynote: Todd May, Clemson University: “The Will to Know”

Guest Speaker: Eduardo Mendieta, Stony Brook University

In celebration of the publication of Michel Foucault’s Lectures on the Will to Know: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1970-1971

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), we invite participants to a conference in New York City.

 As the first of Foucault’s annual courses, Lectures on the Will to Know set an agenda for his intellectual journey of the 1970s and 1980s. Its publication in English translation opens up new directions for research into power, knowledge and the “formation of discourses.”

Papers are invited which analyze Lectures on the Will to Know – its sources, themes and intellectual, historical or political contexts.  What are the multiple ways that “truth” and “origins” are developed in Foucault’s work?  How do philosophy and history intersect in this text?  What is “will” in a Foucaultian context and how can we think of “the will to know” without reinstalling sovereign subjectivity?  How do Foucault’s encounters here with Aristotle, the Sophists, Nietzsche, Deleuze  indeed, with the possibility of an origin of Western knowledge — complicate our understanding of his genealogical approach?

Suggested Topics:

 The Lecture Courses

“The Will to Know” and “The Order of Discourse”

 ▪ Issues of translation and transcription ▪

 ▪ Continuities and disjunctions among the Lecture Courses ▪

Thematic connections to Foucault’s earlier or later works

Intellectual History

Foucault and Deleuze ▪ Foucault and Nietzsche ▪ Foucault on Aristotle and the Sophists ▪ Foucault and Eastern Knowledge

 Forms of Knowledge

Connaissance, Savoir and Truth ▪ Judgment ▪ Justice

 Measurement (Being) ▪  Repetition and Becoming ▪ The Event

 Truth and the City-State

Law ▪ Money ▪ Sovereignty

Political Economy ▪ Purity/Impurity ▪ Criminality

Please send 500 word proposals to:



September 10, 2013. 

Accepted presenters will be notified by September 20, 2013.


About the Foucault Society:

The Foucault Society is an independent, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the critical study of the ideas of Michel Foucault (1926-1984).  All of our events are open to the public. We welcome new participants who have an interest in Foucault’s work and its impact on diverse areas of inquiry, including critical social theory, philosophy, politics, history, culture, gender/sexuality studies, and the arts.

Twitter:  @foucaultsociety

E-mail: foucaultsocietyorg@gmail.com

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Free 1 Day Conference
Foucault and Education: retrospect and prospect
29 January 2014,
ICOSS, University of Sheffield

conference website

Conveners: Ansgar Allen & Wilfred Carr; Keynotes: Erica Burman & Stephen Ball

Foucault and Education
Source: http://www.michel-foucault.com/gallery/pictures/foucaulta43.html

Call for Papers

This conference is free to delegates and places will be limited. Students and early career researchers are particularly welcome to attend and present papers, alongside more established academics.

Our first call for papers is Friday 20 September 2013. To submit an abstract, complete a Presentation Form.

You can also contact us to book a place at the conference by completing a Booking Form.

Abstracts and booking requests should be sent to Lindsey Farnsworth at: l.j.farnsworth@sheffield.ac.uk.

If you would like to discuss a presentation, please contact Ansgar Allen at: a.allen@sheffield.ac.uk.


This conference will critically review the extended impact of Michel Foucault on educational research. Educational researchers have made frequent use of Foucault’s ideas, concepts and perspectives. The common assumption that Foucault ‘would have something to say’ or that the Foucauldian perspective must have something to offer, has brought Foucault into the educational canon. This conference will examine the costs of this widespread adoption, for Foucault, his ethos, and for educational research.

Those ‘faithful’ to a Foucauldian ethos may, indeed, sense these dangers most acutely. This conference will ask whether those committed to a spirit of critique that retains its value only to the extent that it remains marginal, able to upset convention, common sense, and popular perception, might wish to reconsider their allegiances. Now that Foucault has become a mainstream educational theorist, is it finally time to Forget Foucault?


This conference will debate the continued relevance of Foucault. It will review educational work that takes Foucault as its point of departure addressing questions such as:

  • How have Foucault’s ideas been used?
  • What explains Foucault’s ‘success’ in the field of education?
  • Why has his work been so influential?
  • What effects has it had?
  • What does it mean to be faithful to Foucault?
  • Should we be faithful to the Foucauldian canon?
  • Is Foucault still relevant in the 21st century?


The conference will be divided into two parts. Each part will begin with a short keynote presentation. These presentations will be followed by individual discussion papers, where each paper will consist of a 15-20 minute presentation followed by 15-20 minutes for discussion. The day will end with a panel discussion responding to the themes that have emerged throughout the day. Lunch and refreshments will be provided free of charge.


Retrospect: Foucault and Education

Keynote: Professor Stephen Ball, Institute of Education, University of London.


Prospect: Foucault in the 21st Century

Keynote: Professor Erica Burman, School of Education, University of Manchester.

Special Issue

Conference delegates will be invited to submit papers to a special issue of the international journal, Pedagogy, Culture & Society, provisionally titled ‘Foucault and Education: retrospect and prospect’, edited by Ansgar Allen and Wilfred Carr.

This conference is funded by the international journal Pedagogy, Culture and Society. It is affiliated to the Centre for the Study of Educational Development and Professional Lives at the University of Sheffield School of Education.

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Foucault Post Mortem

Call for papers


Le 25 juin 1984 mourait Michel Foucault. Depuis lors, son influence n’a cessé de s’étendre, d’un point de vue épistémologique, géographique et culturel. Le laboratoire Cultures et Sociétés en Europe organise, les 25 et 26 juin 2014, à l’occasion du 30e anniversaire de la mort de Foucault, un colloque visant à comprendre les raisons de son succès persistant et à analyser son rayonnement post mortem. L’objectif du colloque de Strasbourg sera de montrer la place de Foucault dans les échanges épistémologiques européens depuis 1984, de faire le point sur la réception de cet auteur dans différents pays européens, et sur la manière dont les écrits posthumes ont permis de revisiter les interprétations foucaldiennes, afin de préciser les différents profils européens de Foucault post mortem.


« Plus d’un, comme moi sans doute, écrivent pour n’avoir plus de visage », L’archéologie du savoir.

Le 25 juin 1984 mourait Michel Foucault. Depuis lors, son influence n’a cessé de s’étendre, d’un point de vue épistémologique, géographique et culturel. Contrairement à d’autres auteurs, qui sont passés par une période de « purgatoire », la réception de Foucault semble être allée crescendo. Souvent, les auteurs dont l’audience n’a pas connu d’éclipse après leur mort ont été portés par les institutions mises en place de leur vivant. Ces explications sont manifestement insuffisantes dans le cas de Foucault, ce qui incite à approfondir d’autres hypothèses.

Le laboratoire Cultures et Sociétés en Europe organise, les 25 et 26 juin 2014, à l’occasion du 30e anniversaire de la mort de Foucault, un colloque visant à comprendre les raisons de son succès persistant et à analyser son rayonnement post mortem. Celui-ci est souvent associé à la fortune de la pensée de Foucault et de la french theory aux Etats-Unis. Cette explication est-elle suffisante ? Le détour par l’Amérique serait-il donc devenu la condition nécessaire d’une consécration intellectuelle durable ? Il nous semble que d’autres voies méritent d’être explorées.

L’objectif du colloque de Strasbourg est de montrer la place de Foucault dans les échanges épistémologiques européens depuis 1984, à partir de ce qui a été produit au sein des sciences sociales et en se gardant de toute tentation hagiographique. L’ambition est de faire le point sur la réception de cet auteur dans différents pays européens, sur l’influence des réseaux, institutions scientifiques et mouvements de la société civile qui y ont contribué, sur les débats et les controverses à propos de sa pensée et de ses engagements, sur les domaines du savoir dans lesquels les analyses foucaldiennes ont été mobilisées. Nous nous interrogerons également sur la manière dont les écrits posthumes ont permis de revisiter les interprétations foucaldiennes, en modifiant la perception de l’oeuvre, en repoussant aux marges des thématiques ou des concepts antérieurement usités ou en redéfinissant les contours de sa pensée.

Est-ce le même Foucault qu’on lit en Allemagne, France, Grande-Bretagne, Italie ou Pologne ? Comment ses théories ont-elles migré d’un pays à l’autre, et comment, dans cette circulation, ont-elles changé par des effets de traduction ou d’interférence avec des savoirs et des débats « locaux » ? Quels ont été les acteurs, les opportunités, les instruments de cette circulation ? Si la lecture et la réception de Foucault varient, en Europe, selon les milieux sociaux, les « traditions » et les « familles » intellectuelles, les interpellations sociales et politiques, quelles idées ont été retenues, et lesquelles, a contrario, n’ont pas encore fait l’objet d’une attention particulière dans certains contextes ? Quels ont été les circuits transnationaux et transdisciplinaires qui ont relayé les écrits de Foucault en Europe et ont permis de renouveler ou de déplacer des débats épistémologiques, par exemple en sociologie, ethnologie, histoire ? Les réponses à ces questions devraient permettre de préciser les différents profils européens de Foucault post mortem.

Axes de recherche

Les communications attendues pourront porter sur :

  • Les publications posthumes de Foucault.
  • Les traductions européennes de Foucault.
  • Les publications sur Foucault parues en Europe depuis sa mort.
  • Les initiatives prises depuis 1984 en référence à la personne et à l’œuvre de Foucault.

Consignes de soumission

Les propositions seront enregistrées sous forme d’un document Word intitulé « FoucaultPostMortem.Nom de l’auteur ».

Ce document devra être envoyé à l’adresse suivante : colloque.foucault@misha.fr

avant le 05 septembre 2013.

Y figureront les informations suivantes :

  • Nom de l’auteur.
  • Statut et Institution de rattachement.
  • Un texte résumant la communication (entre 1500 et 2000 caractères, espaces compris).
  • Trois publications significatives
  • Une bibliographie sommaire.

Les contributions des auteurs sélectionnés feront l’objet d’une publication, dont les modalités (format, date d’envoi, etc.) leur seront précisées lors de la réponse d’acceptation de leur contribution.


La date limite pour l’envoi de ces textes est fixée au 5 septembre 2013.

La sélection des contributions sera communiquée aux auteurs à partir du 23 septembre 2013.

Le colloque aura lieu les 25 et 26 juin 2014 à Strasbourg.

Comité scientifique

  • Pascal Hintermeyer, professeur à l’Université de Strasbourg.
  • Jean-François Bert, professeur à l’Université de Lausanne.
  • Nicoletta Diasio, professeure à l’Université de Strasbourg.

Contact :

Valentine Gourinat valentine.gourinat@misha.fr

ou colloque.foucault@misha.fr

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International Conference. Call for papers below in French and English

Colloque International
« Foucault et les religions »

IRCM – UNIL Lausanne
Avec le soutien de

l’Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault.

Proposition de date : 22, 23, 24 octobre 2014

La pensée de Michel Foucault, on le sait au moins depuis la publication de ses cours au Collège de France, est faite de nombreux excursus vers des domaines inédits pour le philosophe du savoir et du pouvoir. La spiritualité antique, l’histoire du christianisme primitif, l’ascétisme chrétien, les mouvements de contre-conduites et la question des marginalités religieuses ou du rapport entre politique et religion, à partir de la notion de « spiritualité politique » qu’il forge suite aux événements d’Iran, l’ont tout autant intéressé que la prison, l’asile, ou l’analyse des discours.

L’intérêt qu’il porte tout au long de son parcours à ces questionnements doit nous obliger, trente ans après sa mort, à ouvrir à nouveau ces dossiers pour essayer d’en comprendre la place dans sa réflexion mais aussi les conceptualisations, ou les problématisations nouvelles de la question religieuse que l’œuvre de Foucault permet aujourd’hui. Qu’en est-il de son usage de la question religieuse ? Quelle fonction lui donne-t-il dans ses montages théoriques ?

Il s’agira durant ces journées de resituer et de discuter cette proximité (mais aussi l’inévitable distance) de Foucault avec la question religieuse, de visiter successivement les différents chantiers ouverts par lui dans lesquels les religions sont, par quelque biais, en question. Le christianisme, certes, mais aussi les religions non chrétiennes d’Occident. On peut relever un intérêt pour d’autres univers religieux : le judaïsme (cours de 1978 et 1980), l’Islam et le bouddhisme zen. De même, il semble difficile d’aborder la question de ce rapport sans mentionner le  rôle  joué  par  la  littérature,  Blanchot,  Bataille  et  Klossowski  (mais  aussi Beckett, Roger Laporte, Sade). Des auteurs qui vont l’amener à réfléchir à la mort de Dieu, à l’indicible du discours et au discours mystique. La question du rapport entre religion et sexualité  est  elle  aussi  essentielle :  chair,  corps,  péché,  plaisir.  Celle  de  la  possession également…

Il s’agira, donc, de cerner la relation qui s’établit entre chacun de ces chantiers sans jamais postuler l’existence d’un unique fil rouge qui conduirait de l’un à l’autre et dont l’existence livrerait le secret de la cohésion synthétique de l’ensemble.

De manière non exclusive, les thématiques retenues seront :

I. La spiritualité antique.

S’appuyant sur une relecture de la philosophie antique, Foucault propose dans ses derniers textes une analytique des pratiques de subjectivation, dont l’herméneutique du sujet n’est qu’une forme particulière. Celle-ci apparaît comme forme de connaissance spécifique qui implique une transformation de soi. Transformation qui peut se faire sous différentes formes et différentes modalités pratiques : techniques de concentration spirituelle, de remémoration d’énoncés, de formation de soi par des pratiques de lecture, d’écriture, d’examen, etc.

II. Religion et Modernité.

Dès l’Histoire de la folie, Foucault questionne notre modernité, faisant de la religion un point de  bascule.  Il  rappelle  par  exemple  que  la  subjectivation  de  l’homme  occidental  est chrétienne, et pas gréco-romaine. Elle tient aussi à la question de l’aveu et de la confession, et de la rupture que cette pratique instaure au XIIe siècle en devenant obligatoire. Il donne dans plusieurs de ses textes une place importante à la Réforme et à la Contre-Réforme qui tour à tour questionnent et intensifient le pouvoir pastoral… On pourrait, à partir de là, chercher à analyser la manière dont Foucault reprend, mais aussi déplace, la question nietzschéenne et wébérienne de la modernité.

III. Religion et résistance.

Cette troisième entrée permettrait, cette fois-ci en s’appuyant sur les textes « mineurs » de Foucault – entretiens et articles de presse – et plus particulièrement ceux produits après son retour  d’Iran  en  1978,  de  reprendre  le  dossier  de  la  « spiritualité  politique »,  et  plus généralement des rapports entre politique et religion que Foucault ne cesse de travailler autour de la notion de « pouvoir pastoral » qu’il forge dans son cours de 1977-1978.

Aux côtés de l’Iran, on pourrait indiquer aussi la Tunisie, le Brésil et, surtout, la Pologne en

1982. Foucault est alors plus prudent pour qualifier religieusement le mouvement polonais – il s’agit pourtant bien à nouveau de spiritualité politique.

L’étude de la gouvernementalité qu’il engage à partir de 1978 lui permettra encore de revenir à  la question plus générale du christianisme comme gouvernement des vivants (techniques d’aveu, d’examen, de direction de conscience). Son histoire stratégique du christianisme pense la question de l’État et des gouvernementalités modernes à partir d’un pouvoir pastoral qui en constituerait comme la préhistoire, la matrice. On pourrait d’ailleurs mentionner le cas des révoltes anti-pastorales.

IV. Les domaines de l’histoire des religions à l’épreuve de Foucault.

La dernière entrée consiste à comprendre quelle est la place actuelle de Foucault dans les champs et les domaines de l’histoire des religions. Ses théories et ses méthodes ont-elles permis  de  renouveler  les  cadres  conceptuels  qui  président  généralement  à  de  telles réflexions ? Est-il un auteur qui, pour reprendre le mot de Paul Veyne, a révolutionné ce champ de domaine, et comment ? A cet égard, la question des institutions et des techniques du contrôle social, centrale pour Foucault dans Surveiller et punir, a influencé non seulement les historiens de la justice, mais aussi ceux qui ont étudié les procédures disciplinaires des Eglises.

On sait qu’il est aujourd’hui un auteur largement utilisé, en particulier pour sa notion de discours et sa manière de conceptualiser les rapports pouvoir-savoir notamment à travers la critique de l’orientalisme. Que dire de son cours de 1980 dans lequel il retrace l’évolution de la théologie et de la liturgie baptismales au cours des deux premiers siècles ? Quelle est, enfin, l’ombre portée de la Gnose dans ses analyses ?

Les personnes intéressées à présenter une communication dans le cadre de ce colloque sont invitées à nous adresser un titre, un bref résumé de leur contribution (ca. 300 mots), en précisant leur fonction ainsi que leur affiliation institutionnelle, en anglais ou en français, jusqu’au 15 novembre 2013.

Proposition à envoyer à

Jean-François Bert : Jean-Francois.Bert@unil.ch

Comité scientifique incluant le comité d’organisation :

Julien Cavagnis ; Jean-François Bert ; Philippe Artières ; Frédéric Gros ; Christian Grosse ; Nicolas Meylan ; Luca Paltrinieri : Philippe Chevallier.

Foucault and Religion

IRCM – University of Lausanne

Sponsored by the

Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault.

Proposed date : October 22, 23, 24 2014

As the publication of his lectures at the Collège de France confirms, Michel Foucault often digressed into domains not normally explored by the philosopher of knowledge and power. He was just as much interested in Antique spirituality, the history of early Christianity, Christian asceticism, contre-conduites movements, the question of religious margins or the relationship between politics and religion, which Foucault built on the notion of “political spirituality” in the wake of the Iran events, as he was in prisons, asylums or discourse analysis.

His career-long concern for these issues requires, thirty years after his death, that we return to these themes in order to understand their position in his thinking but also to identify the ways in which Foucault’s work allows for renewed questioning and conceptualizations of religion. How does he mobilize religion? What function does Foucault grant it in his theoretical constructions?

The conference’s aim will be to document and discuss Foucault’s proximity (but also his necessary distance) to religion, to review the different sites where religion in one way or another plays a role. Christianity, but also Western non-Christian religions. Foucault was interested in other religious universes: Judaism (1978 and 1980 lectures), Islam, and Zen Buddhism. Moreover, Foucault’s relationship with religion may also be studied in light of the role played by literature, with authors such as Blanchot, Bataille, Klossowski (as well as Beckett, Roger Laporte, Sade). Authors who led him to reflect on the death of God, on discourse’s unspeakableness and on mystical discourses. The question of the relationship between religion and sexuality is equally essential: flesh, body, sin, pleasure. Possession as well…

Thus, the conference will attempt to define the relationship between these various sites but without postulating the existence of a unique guiding thread that would necessarily lead from the one to the other and whose existence would yield the key to the whole’s synthetic cohesion.

The conference will be organized according to the following themes (though these are not exclusive):

I. Antique spirituality.

On the basis of his reading of Antique philosophy, Foucault provides in his final texts an analytics of subjectivation practices, of which the hermeneutics of the subject is but a particular form. The latter appears as a form of specific knowledge implying a transformation of the self. A transformation which can take various forms and various practical modalities: techniques of spiritual concentration, recollection of utterances, formation of self by means of reading, writing, examination practices, etc.

II. Religion and Modernity.

As early as the History of Madness, Foucault questions our modernity, granting religion a key role. He notes for instance that the subjectivation of Western man is Christian and not Greco- Roman.  It  is  likewise  linked  to  the  issue  of  confession,  and  to  the  break  this  practice establishes when it becomes mandatory in the XIIth  century. In a number of texts, Foucault ascribes an important place to the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation which by turns question and intensify pastoral power… One might then wish to analyze the way in which

Foucault takes up, but also shifts, the Nietzschean and Weberian question of modernity.

III. Religion and resistance.

This third theme provides the occasion to return to the question of « political spirituality » by way of Foucault’s « minor texts » – interviews and press articles, in particular those produced after his return from Iran in 1978. More generally, it will deal with the relationship between politics and religion which Foucault worked on with the notion of « pastoral power » he constructs in his 1977-78 lecture.

Besides  Iran,  one  might  mention  Tunisia,  Brasil  and  especially  Poland  in  1982.  While Foucault is more careful in qualifying religiously the Polish movement, it is in fact an instance of political spirituality.

The study of governmentality he begins in 1978 allows him to return to the more general question  of  Christianity  as  government  of  the  living  (techniques  of  confession,  of examination, of spiritual direction). His strategic history of Christianity addresses the question of  the  State  and  modern  governmentalities  from  the  perspective  of  a  pastoral  power constituted as its prehistory and matrix. One might wish to mention the case of anti-pastoral revolts in this context.

IV. History of religions and Foucault.

The final theme will explore the position Foucault occupies today in the disciplines that deal with religion(s). Have his theories and methods allowed a renewal of the conceptual frameworks that generally structure reflexions on religion? Is he an author who revolutionized

the study of religion, and how ? Can we trace a parallel with the influence Discipline and Punish and its focus on institutions and techniques of social control exercised over historians of justice and those who study ecclesiastical disciplinary procedures?

Foucault is undoubtedly a fundamental author, his notion of discourse and his way of conceptualizing the relationship between knowledge and power, in particular in his critique of Orientalism, are widely used. Further possible points of interest include his 1980 lectures on the evolution of theology and baptismal liturgy in the first two centuries C.E. and the role of Gnosis in his analyses.

Scholars who wish to contribute to the conference should send the organizers a title and a  short  outline  (c.  300  words).  Proposals must  provide the  name of  the  presenter, position held and institutional affiliation, in English or in French, and should be sent no later than November 15 2013.

Jean-François Bert : Jean-Francois.Bert@unil.ch

Scientific Advisory Board (and Organization Committee) :

Julien Cavagnis ; Jean-François Bert ; Philippe Artières ; Frédéric Gros ; Christian Grosse ; Nicolas Meylan ; Luca Paltrinieri : Philippe Chevallier.

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