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Unpacking Foucault

The Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, Directed by Professor Bernard E. Harcourt, Set to Host a Major Series of Seminars Reassessing the Famed French Philosopher

Media Contact: Public Affairs, 212-854-2650 or publicaffairs@law.columbia.edu

New York, August 6, 2015—More than 30 years after his death, French philosopher Michel Foucault continues to influence contemporary thinkers with his critical explorations of criminal justice, power, sexuality, surveillance, and numerous other issues.
Now his work will be the subject of a yearlong series hosted by the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and The Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. The series—Foucault 13/13—will cover Foucault’s 13 landmark lectures at the Collège de France and will convene distinguished scholars from across a diverse range of disciplines, including anthropology, philosophy, art criticism, political theory, and history.
Columbia Law School Professor Bernard E. Harcourt, director of the Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, will moderate the series along with Professor Jesús R. Velasco, chair of Columbia University’s Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures. Harcourt is a noted Foucault scholar who has edited the philosopher’s work in French and in English. He recently oversaw the publication of the last of the Collège de France lectures to be collected, Théories et institutions pénales. 1971-1972 (published in May 2015).
“With the publication now of the entire series of Foucault’s lectures at the Collège de France, it is time to read them chronologically to grasp the overall project of those lectures, to analyze the development of the critical ideas, and to continue to excavate our own research avenues, building on Foucault’s,” Harcourt said.
French philosopher Michel Foucault, left, is the subject of a new seminar series,
Foucault 13/13, created and moderated by Professor Bernard E. Harcourt, right,
director of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought.
The seminar series will be structured as conversations among Columbia law faculty, including professors Katherine Franke, Jeremy Kessler, and Kendall Thomas, Columbia faculty from the Arts and Sciences, including Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Etienne Balibar, Partha Chatterjee, Axel Honneth, and Alondra Nelson, and guests including Seyla Benhabib, Judith Butler, Homi Bhabha, Achille Mbembe, Paul Rabinow, Pierre Rosanvallon, and other leading theorists from around the world.
The Foucault 13/13 series is also sponsored by the Maison Française, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures.
“The Center for Contemporary Critical Thought has curated an extraordinary series for this coming year–a true intellectual “happening”–and I very much look forward to participating,” said Nelson, professor of sociology and gender studies and Dean of Social Science at Columbia University. “I certainly hope to be on hand for the entire seminar series if I can manage to get a seat!”
The series will be open to Columbia faculty, fellows and students in addition to faculty and students from other New York universities. The seminars will also be webcast for the public. View the complete schedule of seminars.

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The Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and
The Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University
present

Michel Foucault’s Collège de France Lectures (1970-1984):
13 Years at the Collège, 13 Seminars at Columbia

Reading the Foucault Collège de France Lectures

with

Seyla Benhabib, Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, Veena Das, François Ewald, Didier Fassin, James Faubion, Nancy Fraser, Frédéric Gros, Daniele Lorenzini, Nancy Luxon, Achille Mbembe, Paul Rabinow, Judith Revel, Pierre Rosanvallon, Ann Stoler, and Linda Zerilli

in conversation with Columbia University colleagues

Etienne Balibar, Partha Chatterjee, Jean Cohen, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Katherine Franke, Robert Gooding-Williams, Stathis Gourgouris, Axel Honneth, Jeremy Kessler, Lydia Liu, Anna Lvovsky, Sharon Marcus, Alondra Nelson, John Rajchman, Emmanuelle Saada, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Kendall Thomas, Adam Tooze, and Nadia Urbinati

Moderated by

Bernard E. Harcourt and Jesús R. Velasco

Race war, biopolitics, the hermeneutics of the self, governmentality, the examination of one’s conscience, sécurité, the courage of truth, illégalismes, juridical forms, governing through truth, the “punitive society,” truth-telling, judicial apparatuses of repression, the Nu-pieds rebellions of 1639, parrhesia … Michel Foucault’s thirteen years of lectures at the Collège de France introduced us to new concepts and novel research avenues. For many of us, those avenues have been fertile ground for our own theorization, for others fertile ground for critique. They represent, as Foucault intended, rich and productive “pistes de recherches.”

With the publication of the entire series of lectures at the Collège de France—the last, Théories et institutions pénales (1971-1972) just released in May 2015—it is now time to read them chronologically:  to grasp the overall project of those lectures at the Collège, to discuss the full trajectory, and to continue to excavate our own “pistes de recherche” building on Foucault’s.

The Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and the Columbia Society of Fellows, with the support of the Maison Française, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, are delighted to host 13 seminars on the 13 courses. The seminar series—Foucault 13/13—will extend over the full 2015-2016 academic year at Columbia University. The seminar series will be open to Columbia faculty, fellows, and students, as well as faculty and students from other New York universities.

Each seminar will be led by distinguished scholars from different disciplines. The seminars will take place on Monday evenings in the Fall semester (2015) and Thursday evenings in the Spring semester (2016) from 6:15pm to 8:45pm.

The seminars will be open to students and faculty from Columbia University and other New York universities (please bring university ID). If you are interested in attending and would like a place reserved at the seminar table, please send an e-mail explaining your interest to Claire Merrill at cm3325@columbia.edu.

Seminar Series Schedule:  Foucault 13/13

Monday, September 14, 2015:
Lessons on the Will to Know (1970-1971)

James Faubion, Rice University
and
Nancy Luxon, University of Minnesota

Maison Française
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Monday, September 28, 2015:
Penal Theories and Institutions (1971-1972)

Etienne Balibar, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre & Columbia University
and
François Ewald, Series Editor of Foucault’s Collège de France Lectures

Casa Hispánica
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Monday, October 12, 2015:
The Punitive Society (1972-1973)

Didier Fassin, Institute for Advanced Studies (Princeton) & EHESS,

Axel Honneth, University of Frankfurt & Columbia University, and
Nadia Urbinati, Columbia University

Heyman Center Common Room
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Monday, October 26, 2015:
Psychiatric Power (1973-1974)

Linda Zerilli, University of Chicago,

Anna Lvovsky, Columbia University, and
Alondra Nelson, Columbia University

Heyman Center Common Room
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Monday, November 16, 2015:
Abnormal (1974-1975)

Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University,

Pierre Rosanvallon, Collège de France, Paris, and
Emmanuelle Saada, Columbia University

Maison Française
7:00 to 9:00pm

***

Monday, November 23, 2015:
“Society must be defended” (1975-1976)

Ann Stoler, The New School,

Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University, and
Robert Gooding-Williams, Columbia University

Heyman Center Common Room
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Monday, December 7, 2015:
Security, Territory, Population (1977-1978)

Seyla Benhabib, Yale University

Jeremy Kessler, Columbia University, and
Adam Tooze, Columbia University

Maison Française
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Thursday, January 28, 2016:
The Birth of Biopolitics (1978-1979)

Nancy Fraser, The New School
and
Kendall Thomas, Columbia University

Heyman Center Common Room
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Thursday, February 11, 2016:
The Government of the Living (1979-1980)

Achille Mbembe, University of the Witwatersrand,

Daniele Lorenzini, Université Paris-Est Créteil, and
Jean Cohen, Columbia University

Maison Française
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Thursday, February 25, 2016:
Subjectivity and Truth (1980-1981)

Judith Butler, University of California Berkeley,

Katherine Franke, Columbia University, and
Stathis Gourgouris, Columbia University

Maison Française
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Thursday, March 10, 2016:
The Hermeneutics of the Subject (1981-1982)

Homi Bhabha, Harvard University,

Paul Rabinow, University of California Berkeley, and
Lydia Liu, Columbia University

Heyman Center Common Room
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Thursday, March 31, 2016:
The Government of Self and Others (1982-1983)

Judith Revel, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre,

Sharon Marcus, Columbia University, and
John Rajchman, Columbia University

Heyman Center Common Room
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

Thursday, April 14, 2016:
The Courage of Truth (1983-1984)

Frederic Gros, Sciences Po,

Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Columbia University, and
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Columbia University

Casa Hispánica
6:15 to 8:45pm

***

All sessions moderated by
Bernard E. Harcourt and Jesús R. Velasco

The Columbia Maison Française is located on the Columbia campus in Buell Hall next to Low Library. The Heyman Center Common Room is located in the Heyman Center (in East Campus) on the second floor. The Hispanic Institute for Latin American and Iberian Cultures (Casa Hispanica) is located at 612 West 116th Street. A campus map of Columbia University is here.

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Partha Chatterjee, Governmentality in the East, lecture delivered 27 April, 2015, at the University of California, Berkeley.

There is a complete audio of the lecture on the site (Program in Critical Theory)

Foucault’s genealogy of governmentality as described in Security, Territory, Population is entirely West European. What would a genealogy of modern state practices look like in a former colonial country in Asia?

Looking at India, one finds that early governmental practices, including those of rational bureaucracy, rule of law and the knowledge of populations, were motivated mainly by raison d’État: it was the creation and maintenance of the sovereign power of British colonial authority that was the objective. In the 19th century, notions of liberal governmentality were introduced by officials influenced by utilitarian ideas to make Indian society the target of policy in order to improve productivity as well as morality. Indian nationalists in the 20th century rejected colonial governmentality and demanded full rights of sovereignty over the state. However, the postcolonial state retained the colonial apparatus of security based on raison d’État while expanding liberal governmentality to include an agenda of welfare of the people. In the more recent period, the spread of governmentality alongside the politics of electoral representation has produced in India forms of claim-making and resistance that go well beyond Foucault’s framework. (Chatterjee)

Partha Chatterjee is a political theorist and historian. He divides his time between Columbia University and the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, where he was the Director from 1997 to 2007. He is the author of more than twenty books, monographs and edited volumes and is a founding member of the Subaltern Studies Collective. He as awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize for 2009 for outstanding achievements in the field of Asian studies. His books include: The Black Hole of Empire: History of a Global Practice of Power (2012), Lineages of Political Society: Studies in Postcolonial Democracy (2011), The Politics of the Governed: Considerations on Political Society in Most of the World (2004); A Princely Impostor? The Strange and Universal History of the Kumar of Bhawal (2002); The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (1993), and Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse? (1993).

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Foucault and May 1968

Published on 18 Jun 2015

François Ewald (CNAM), Bernard Harcourt (Columbia Law School, Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought), and Jesús R. Velasco (LAIC Chair, Columbia University) delve into the influences and effects of Michel Foucault’s lectures at the College de France, Penal Theories and Institutions (1971-1972). The panelists explore how the social unrest of 1968 influenced Foucault as he began to work out theories on repressive disciplinary penal systems that he would develop fully in one of his most important works, Discipline and Punish.

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Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought
Columbia Global Centers/Europe
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

vous invitent à une
Journée d’étude

PDF of flyer

Mardi 2 Juin 2015

Premières lectures, premières réactions, et pistes de recherches 

Journée d’étude autours de M. Foucault, Théories et institutions pénales Cours au Collège de France 1972-1973

avec

Étienne Balibar ▪ Claude-Olivier Doron ▪ François Ewald ▪ Frédéric Gros ▪ Bernard Harcourt ▪ Robert Jacob ▪ Sacha Raoult ▪ Stephen Sawyer ▪ Arianna Sforzini ▪ Arnaud Teyssier ▪ Julien Théry

____

Columbia Global Centers/Europe

Reid Hall
4 rue de Chevreuse
75006 Paris
____

de 9 h à 18 h

Autour de Théories et institutions pénales (1972)
Journée d’études

9:00     Introduction – Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia University/EHESS

9:10     Frédéric Gros, Sciences Po

10:00   Stephen W. Sawyer, American University in Paris

10:45   Pause

11:00 Table ronde: « Foucault et l’histoire » – Claude-Olivier Doron, Université Paris-Diderot

Robert Jacob, CNRS-Lamop
Julien Théry, Université Paul Valéry-Montpellier III
Arnaud Teyssier, ENA/ENS

13:00   Pause

14:00   François Ewald, Responsable de l’édition des cours de Michel Foucault au Collège de France

14:45   Panel : « Foucault, le droit pénal, et la théâtralisation »

Arianna Sforzini, Université Paris-Est Créteil
Sacha Raoult, Université Aix-Marseille
Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia University/EHESS

16:00   Pause

16:15   Keynote: Étienne Balibar, Université Parix X/Columbia University

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Michael Panser: Foucault und Öcalan (2015)
Macht und Wahrheit: Machtanalytik und nomadisches Denken als Fragmente einer Philosophie der Befreiung

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The Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought​ and The Hispanic Institute for Latin American & Iberian Cultures are proud to invite you to the release of the last volume of Michel Foucault’s series of seminars at the Collège de France:

Foucault and May 68: Penal Theories and Institutions (Collège de France Lectures, 1971-1972) (Hautes Études, Gallimard and Seuil, 2015)

Participants include François Ewald (CNAM), general editor of the series, Bernard Harcourt (Columbia Law School, Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought) the volume editor, and Jesús R. Velasco (LAIC Chair, Columbia University)

Casa Hispánica
Room 201
Wednesday, May 6, 7PM

Reception to follow

From the back cover:

Théories et Institutions pénales est le titre donné par Michel Foucault au cours qu’il prononce au Collège de France de novembre 1971 à mars 1972. Dans ces leçons, Michel Foucault théorise, pour la première fois, la question du pouvoir qui va l’occuper jusqu’à la rédaction de Surveiller et punir (1975) et au-delà, d’abord à travers la relation minutieuse de la répression par Richelieu de la révolte des Nu-pieds (1639-1640), puis en montrant comment le dispositif de pouvoir élaboré à cette occasion par la monarchie rompt avec l’économie des institutions juridiques et judiciaires du Moyen Âge et ouvre sur un «appareil judiciaire d’État», un «système répressif» dont la fonction va se centrer sur l’enfermement de ceux qui défient son ordre. Michel Foucault systématise l’approche d’une histoire de la vérité à partir de l’étude des «matrices juridico-politiques», étude qu’il avait commencée dans le cours de l’année précédente (Leçons sur la volonté de savoir), et qui est au coeur de la notion de «relation de savoir-pouvoir». Ce cours développe sa théorie de la justice et du droit pénal. La parution de ce volume marque la fin de la publication de la série des Cours de Michel Foucault au Collège de France (dont le premier volume a été publié en 1997).

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