Daniele Lorenzini Martina Tazzioli, Confessional Subjects and Conducts of Non-Truth: Foucault, Fanon, and the Making of the Subject, Theory, Culture and Society, First Published January 1, 2016

Full article available online

This article puts Michel Foucault and Frantz Fanon into dialogue in order to explore the relationships between the constitution of subjects and the production of truth in modern Western societies as well as in colonial spaces. Firstly, it takes into account Foucault’s analysis of confessional practices and the effects of subjection, objectivation, and subjectivation generated by the injunction for the subject to tell the truth about him or herself. Secondly, it focuses on the question of interpellation that emerges in the colonial context and on the colonized who, as Fanon illustrates, is always seen as a deceitful subject. Finally, it shows that, despite the difference in the relationships between the constitution of subjectivity and the production of true discourses described by Foucault and Fanon, the transformative dimension enacted by the processes of subjectivation and by the practices of resistance constitutes a shared conceptual and political ground between the two authors.

Keywords confession, Fanon, Foucault, subjectivation, truth

Journée d’étude
“Foucault est-il incontournable pour les études de genre ?”

Samedi 4 février 2017
9h15 – 17h
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, UFR de Philosophie
17 rue de la Sorbonne, Paris 5e
Salle Halbwachs (escalier C, 1er étage)

9h15 – Sandra Laugier & Daniele Lorenzini (philosophie, Paris 1) : Accueil

9h30 – Pascale Molinier (psychologie sociale, Paris 13 SPC) & Olivier Ouvry (psychiatrie, psychanalyse, Paris 13 SPC) : Introduction. Problématiques

9h45 – Laurie Laufer (psychanalyse, Paris Diderot) : Une psychanalyse foucaldienne ?

10h30 – Rostom Mesli (littérature comparée, University of Pittsburgh) : « Et la Queer Theory créa Foucault à son image… »

11h15 – Pause

11h30 – Aurélie Pfauwadel (psychanalyse, philosophie, Paris 1) : « Il n’y a pas de normes sexuelles : il n’y a que des normes sociales ». Lacan, réponse à Foucault

12h15 – Manuela Salcedo (sociologie, EHESS) : La sexualité des migrant.e.s : comment la France trie, vérifie et juge via le dispositif de soupçon

13h – Pause déjeuner

14h30 – Thamy Ayouch (philosophie, psychanalyse, Lille 3) : Catégories historiques, « réalités de transaction » : Foucault dans l’œuvre de Joan W. Scott

15h15 – Guillaume le Blanc (philosophie, Paris-Est Créteil) : Critique de l’identité personnelle. De Foucault à Butler

16h – Julie Mazaleigue-Labaste (philosophie, Paris 1) : Foucault au prisme des gay and lesbian studies : de l’inversion sexuelle à l’identité de genre

Cette journée d’étude est organisée dans le cadre du programme Trans/FEM financé par le Défi Genre de la mission interdisciplinarité du CNRS et du « Séminaire Foucault » 2016-2017 (PhiCo, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne).

Les inscriptions se font par mail avant le 3 février à l’adresse : transfem88@gmail.com

voyceMalcolm Voyce, Foucault, Buddhism and Disciplinary Rules, Routledge, 2017

About the Book
This book suggests that previous critiques of the rules of Buddhist monks (Vinaya) may now be reconsidered in order to deal with some of the assumptions concerning the legal nature of these rules and to provide a focus on how Vinaya texts may have actually operated in practice. Malcolm Voyce utilizes the work of Foucault and his notions of ‘power’ and ‘subjectivity’ in three ways. First, he examines The Buddha’s role as a lawmaker to show how Buddhist texts were a form of lawmaking that had a diffused and lateral conception of authority. While lawmakers in some religious groups may be seen as authoritative, in the sense that leaders or founders were coercive or charismatic, the Buddhist concept of authority allows for a degree of freedom for the individual to shape or form themselves. Second, he shows that the confession ritual acted as a disciplinary measure to develop a unique sense of collective governance based on self regulation, self-governance and self-discipline. Third, he argues that while the Vinaya has been seen by some as a code or form of regulation that required obedience, the Vinaya had a double nature in that its rules could be transgressed and that offenders could be dealt with appropriately in particular situations. Voyce shows that the Vinaya was not an independent legal system, but that it was dependent on the Dharmaśāstra for some of its jurisprudential needs, and that it was not a form of customary law in the strict sense, but a wider system of jurisprudence linked to Dharmaśāstra principles and precepts.

Table of contents
Introduction to the Work of Foucault and its Use in this Study
An Overview of the Vinaya
The Presentation of the Vinaya within Forms of Western Scholarship
The Vinaya and the Dharmaśāstra
The Formation of the Religious Body
From Ethics to Aesthetics
The Role of Confession and Discipline
Rules and Transgressions
Conclusion: The ‘Care of the Self’ and the Practice of the Vinaya

Malcolm Voyce graduated in law at Auckland University in 1970. In 1980 he completed a Doctorate under J.D.M. Derrett at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK, on the topic of the rules of Buddhist monks. This Doctorate was published in five articles. While teaching law at Macquarie University in 2001, he completed a second Doctorate on Foucault. This Doctorate has been published in article form and Dr Voyce has published some 20 articles or chapters in books utilizing the work of Foucault. In the last few years Dr Voyce has published further articles on Buddhism and law in leading journals. He recently published, with Erich Kolig, an edited volume entitled Muslim Integration, Pluralism and Multiculturalism in New Zealand and Australia (2016). Dr Voyce is currently an Associate Professor of Law at Macquarie University, Australia.

‘Society Must Be Defended’ By Scott Jaschik January 16, 2017, Inside Higher Ed

Anthropologists and other scholars plan read-in of Michel Foucault to mark inauguration of Donald Trump.
Many groups of scholars and writers are planning teach-ins or readings for Friday, the day Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as president of the United States. Others are organizing teach-ins to focus on Trump’s policies.

Some anthropologists are taking a different approach. They are planning events that day in which people — together at locations across the country or virtually connected — will read and discuss a lecture presented by Michel Foucault, the late philosopher, as part of a series he gave at the Collège de France. The lectures have been published as a book, Society Must Be Defended. The read-in idea is being backed not only by the scholars who have organized the events but by the popular anthropology blog Savage Minds and the journals American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology and Environment and Society.

“This lecture strikes us as very good to think with at this present point: it demands we simultaneously consider the interplay of sovereign power, discipline, biopolitics and concepts of security, and race. In light of the current sociopolitical situation where the reaction to activism against persistent racism has been to more overtly perpetuate racism as political discourse, we need to remember and rethink the role of racism as central to, rather than incidental to, the political and economic activities of the state,” wrote the two scholars who organized the effort in a blog post at Savage Minds. The scholars are Paige West, the Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College and Columbia University, and JC Salyer, term professor of practice at Barnard.

In their blog post, they note that many scholars have, since the election, suggested that it’s time for intellectuals to change the way they act and engage with the public. The idea, which West and Salyer reject, “is that scholars need to somehow change what they are doing, and how they are doing it, in order to face this seemingly new political reality in the Unites States.

“While the latter part of this argument has been addressed by numerous scholars and activists who write and think about race, class, sexuality and inequality more generally — with clear and compelling arguments about how this is not a ‘new’ political reality for many but rather a kind of contemporary culmination and re-entrenchment of the structures of power and oppression that underpin the entirety of the national political project — the former part of the argument has been allowed to stand with little critique. Do we need to change what we do and not just how we do it? Not necessarily.”

They elaborate: “We worry that by focusing on needing to change what we are doing and how we are doing it we lose sight of what we already do really well. We work to understand the world through research, teaching, writing and reading. Along with this, we produce knowledge that allows others to understand the world and to work to change it.” Scholars engage in reading (and talking about what they read) all the time, and so that is a good way to respond to the Trump inaugural, they said.

They proposed — and many other anthropologists are joining in — readings of the 11th lecture in the Foucault book. PDFs of the chapter are available here.

Via email, West and Salyer said that in the days since they made their proposal, read-ins have been planned at four universities, while many others are planning to read the chapter individually and to discuss it online.

Asked about this particular lecture, they said, “We picked this reading because it has a real breadth of ideas that can be used to analyze inequality and violence in the modern nation-state. While it is certainly not the only, or even [the] best, reading that could be used to do this, it presents a lot of ideas that still seem very original, and even provocative, over 40 years later. If we had to pick one quote that challenges us to think about how we conceptualize the relationship of the modern state to people and populations it might be where Foucault is working out the paradoxical nature of the regime of biopower, which kills, or lets die, to improve life and concludes that it is through the dividing practice of racism that the state attempts to square the circle: ‘I am certainly not saying that racism was invented at this time. It had already been in existence for a very long time. But I think it functioned elsewhere. It is indeed the emergence of this biopower that inscribes it in the mechanisms of the state. It is at this moment that racism is inscribed as the basic mechanism of power, as it is exercised in modern states.'”

Asked if they had any fears that supporters of Trump would mock their activity, they said, “No, of course not.”

With thanks to Colin Gordon for this news

foucault-fridge-magnetMichel Foucault fridge magnet for sale from Present Indicative

French philosopher and theorist Michel Foucault makes an interesting magnet. a truly thoughtful gift this magnet also doubles as a finger puppet.

Measures 10cm tall.
A fridge Magnet which is also a finger puppet.

Present Indicative is the sister site of The Literary Gift Company. The Literary Gift Company was launched in 2009 and has over 1000 gifts for book lovers. Present Indicative offers a similar range of unusual and beautiful gifts but with more of an academic twist. We love beautiful, practical and intelligent gifts for thinking people, including clothing, jewellery, games, and much much more.

With thanks to Emma Guion Akdag for this news.

Avelino, N.
Confissão e normatividade política: controle da subjetividade e produção do sujeito
(2017) Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais, 32 (93), pp. 1-22.

DOI: 10.17666/329304/2017

Full PDF available in Portuguese

This article discusses the displacement in Foucault’s analysis of confession, trying to demonstrate how the focus of analysis goes from mandatory language forms to reflexive and voluntary forms. A possible link between confession and governmentality is proposed in order to think about the production of the political subject. From the reflections of Agamben, on the officium and the ontological device, and Esposito, on the machine of theology-politics and the person’s device, the goal here is to understand the theoretical origin and the modus operandi of obedience in liberal political practice. Retaking the subject-subjection dialectic outlined in the Foucault, Agamben and Esposito’s analysis, as well as the reflections of Philip Pettit and William Connolly on Hobbes and Rawls, this article presents the political subject not as a thinking agent, but as thought object and as the condition of possibility of the Political Theory.

Keywords: Confession; Oath; Subjectivity; Veridiction; Political Theory.

Nildo Avelino, Foucault e a racionalidade (neo)liberal, (2016) Revista Brasileira de Ciência Política, 21, pp. 229-286.

Avelino, N.
Foucault and (neo)liberal rationality
DOI: 10.1590/0103-335220162107

Full PDF available in Portuguese

O artigo aborda o debate em torno da reflexão de Michel Foucault acerca do liberalismo e do neoliberalismo. Apresenta de maneira critica alguns trabalhos recentes, na França e nos EUA, que têm concluído sobre a existência de afinidades, especialmente teóricas, entre Foucault e o neoliberalismo, apontando suas fragilidades metodológicas. Procura, em seguida, evidenciar a especificidade genealógica que caracteriza a análise foucaultiana em relação às abordagens concernidas com a denúncia ideológica ou com a valorização ideal do liberalismo. Retoma particularmente os estudos da governamentalidade a partir dos quais Foucault realizou uma descrição histórica do liberalismo e do neoliberalismo em termos de racionalidade governamental. Apresenta-se um quadro sintético da economia de poder liberal na análise foucaultiana em que se verifica a superposição de três racionalidades historicamente localizáveis: razão de Estado, poder pastoral, biopoder. O artigo termina com uma leitura das diferenças entre o liberalismo econômico e o neoliberalismo e as implicações de cada um deles no exercício do poder político.

Palavras-chave: liberalismo; neoliberalismo; governamentalidade; racionalidade; crítica

The article discusses the debate about Michel Foucault’s reflection on liberalism and neoliberalism. It presents critically some recent works in France and the USA that has concluded about the existence of affinities, especially theoretical, between Foucault and neoliberalism, pointing out its methodological fragilities. It then seeks to evidence the genealogical specificity that characterizes the Foucaultian analysis in relation at approaches concerned with a kind of ideological denunciation or ideal valuation of liberalism. It particularly retakes the studies of governmentality from which Foucault describes a historical account of liberalism and neoliberalism in terms of governmental rationality. It presents a synthetic figure of the liberal economy of power in the Foucauldian analysis, in which there is a superposition of three historically localizable rationalities: state reason, pastoral power, biopower. The article ends with a reading of the differences between economic liberalism and neoliberalism and the implications of each of them in the exercise of political power.

Keywords: liberalism; neoliberalism; governmentality; rationality; critique.

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