Progressive Geographies


I don’t plan to write detailed posts on the work I’m doing on Georges Canguilhem for the book for Polity’s Key Contemporary Thinkers series, unlike the ones which I’ve been writing on the work on Foucault. (More background on this project here.)

Part of the reason for this is that the research and writing for this book are likely to run in parallel with the work for The Early Foucault, and so the updates for the writing of that book will cover some of the material for this one. In addition, because I will be writing a single book on the whole of Canguilhem’s work, and for an introductory series, it will necessarily be a different type of book to the Foucault ones. The Foucault ones are written, as should be obvious, for an audience who already know at least something about Foucault. They are not, and…

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Biancamaria Fontana, Would you mind imprisoning my wife? Times Literary Supplement, May 17, 2017

Review of Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault, Disorderly Families. Infamous letters from the Bastille archives. Edited by Nancy Luxon. Translated by Thomas Scott-Railton 344pp. University of Minnesota Press. $35.

Imagine living in a country where your domestic conflicts could be solved by having persons troublesome to you swiftly and legally arrested and taken away. You would simply address your grievances to some sympathetic public official, and your obstreperous spouse, eccentric mother-in-law or delinquent son could be discreetly moved out of your life to be detained indefinitely in some suitable institution at the king’s pleasure. In the late 1970s Michel Foucault took a break from writing his History of Sexuality to work on an edition of the intriguing set of letters he had come upon while researching in the Bastille archives. The letters, dating from the first half of the eighteenth century, were addressed to the lieutenant of police (and indirectly to the king) by people who requested imprisonment for some member of their own family by means of a lettre de cachet, the special royal order that bypassed normal legal procedures.

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Peter Triantafillou, Neoliberal power and public management reforms, Manchester University Press, April 2017

This book examines the links between major contemporary public sector reforms and neoliberal thinking. The key contribution of the book is to enhance our understanding of contemporary neoliberalism as it plays out in the public administration and to provide a critical analysis of generally overlooked aspects of administrative power. The book examines the quest for accountability, credibility and evidence in the public sector. It asks whether this quest may be understood in terms of neoliberal thinking and, if so, how? The book makes the argument that while current administrative reforms are informed by several distinct political rationalities, they evolve above all around a particular form of neoliberalism: constructivist neoliberalism. The book analyses the dangers of the kinds of administrative power seeking to invoke the self-steering capacities of society and administration itself.

Peter Triantafillou is Professor in Public Policy and Performance Management at the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University

1. Introduction
2. Critical approaches to public administration and management
3. Neoliberalism: Epistemological finitude or infinite freedom?
4. Accountability: The reflection and expansion of government?
5. Democratic accountability and the institutionalisation of performance auditing
6. Accreditation: The ultimate technique for governing government?
7. Evidence-based policymaking: Towards epistemological infinitude?
8. A new civil-servant persona?
9. Conclusion

Journée d’étude Michel Foucault – IEA Collegium de Lyon/ENS de Lyon – 6 June 2017

PDF program

« ‘Le temps de l’histoire’ : Michel Foucault à l’épreuve de la psychiatrie et de la psychanalyse »,

coorganisée par l’IEA Collegium de Lyon, le programme EURIAS et le laboratoire Triangle UMR 5206 – ENS de Lyon

Elle aura lieu à l’ENS de Lyon, Site Descartes, Salle F 04.

La journée est ouverte à tous


Matinée présidée par Laurent Dartigues (Triangle, UMR 5206 – ENS de Lyon)

Ouverture par Michel Senellart (Triangle, UMR 5206 – ENS de Lyon)

Présentation de la Journée par Elisabetta Basso et Laurent Dartigues

Emmanuel Delille (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin)
Relire Foucault à la lumière du fonds Ellenberger : le tournant historiciste des années 1950

Samuel Lézé (IHRIM, UMR 5317 – ENS de Lyon)
Foucault lecteur de Freud


Elisabetta Basso (Université de Lisbonne et IEA-Collegium de Lyon)
« Entre l’histoire et l’éternité » : le choix de Foucault dans les années 1950
Après-midi présidé par Aurélie Pfauwadel (enseignante et agrégée en philosophie, docteure en philosophie Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Clotilde Leguil (Université Paris VIII)
Sujet lacanien/sujet sartrien, un « je » sans identité

Laurent Dartigues (Triangle, UMR 5206 – ENS de Lyon)
Les statuts de l’inconscient chez Foucault


Sandrine Marsaudon (docteure en philosophie Université Paris VIII)
Foucault, Lacan, la philosophie à l’envers

Discussion et clôture de la journée avec la projection du film tourné par G. Verdeaux lors du voyage des époux Verdeaux et Michel Foucault à Münsterlingen

Orazio IRRERA,« De l’archéologie du savoir aux archives coloniales. L’archive comme dispositif colonial de violence épistémique.” Práticas da História, Journal on Theory, Historiography and Uses of the Past, n. 3, 2016, pp. 51-70

Dans cet article il sera question de problématiser l’archive comme lieu d’intersection de matrices épistémologiques et de matrices juridico-politiques, et de montrer la manière dont il a caractérisé la modernité européenne et son projet d’expansion coloniale dans des mondes extra-européens. En un premier temps on se focalisera sur la manière dont l’archive se lie aux processus d’extraction et enregistrement des savoirs pour permettre certaines formes de gouvernement. Sur cet arrière-plan, ensuite, on problématisera l’archive coloniale prise dans son spécificité, en analysant ses rapports avec les formes de violence épistémique qui y sont entremêlées à partir deux perspectives différentes : la première porte sur ce que dans les archives coloniales demeure en soi inaccessible par un geste de mise sous silence qui néanmoins produit des effets considérables sur le statut des archives elles-mêmes. La seconde se concentre sur les manières dont les archives coloniales témoignent constamment d’une angoisse liée à un manque de correspondance entre les plans de la gouvernementalité coloniale et ses réalisations concrètes ainsi qu’aux troubles que cet écart engendre par rapport à toute tentative de fixer une identité raciale et sexuelle.

Archéologie; Archive; Études Subalternes; Gouvernementalité Coloniale; Histoire Coloniale; Violence Épistémique.

Kaveh.L. Afrasiabi, Shiraz Diaries & Jallad: A Novel on Contemporary Iran. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 20, 2016)

Featuring two interconnected stories set in contemporary Iran, Shiraz Diaries & Jallad tells the story of a young girl’s growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran and her traumatic experiences during and after the Islamic Revolution. Jallad (executioner), on the other hand deals with the hallucinatory world of a novelist working on a fiction — that focuses on some of the female characters introduced to the reader in the diaries.

Dr. Kaveh Afrasiabi has taught political science at Tehran University, Boston University, and Bentley College. Afrasiabi has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Binghamton University, Center For Strategic Research, Tehran and Institute For Strategic Studies in Paris.
The author would also be interested in a translation into French of his work. He can be contacted via his website

Editor: A fictional Foucault appears in the pages of this novel. An extract from an earlier version of the novel:

A suburb of Paris, 1986. Professor Foucault was serious but sarcastic. I could barely hear him with all the television and children noise in the background; holding the phone tightly against my ear, I laughed after hearing his reply to my remark that I thought he had passed away a year or so ago. “I am afraid the news about my death have been extremely, extrement, exaggerated.” We then got on with business. He wanted to know how far I had progressed and how soon I could finish the translation and send it to him. From the way he talked, I got a feeling that he might have wanted to drop the “extrement” from his sarcastic remark. “I have gone to a great length to find you,” he said, “you did not leave a forwarding address in Geneva. I was lucky to run into Dr. Zarabi who happens to know Mr. Farahi, who I understand is a friend of yours. He kindly furnished me with your telephone number.”

Catherine Malabou Critical Inquiry interview, Podcast on Soundcloud, May 2017

Catherine Malabou stopped by the office of Critical Inquiry for a short and informal audio interview during her visit to the University of Chicago last week. We talked about her two CI essays, her new book (Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality [2017]), and her work in progress.

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