Archive for May, 2013

Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, Governmobility: The Powers of Mobility, Mobilities, 2012

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Mobility is often associated with flow and freedom; nonetheless, it is also about power and government. While mobility studies have shown how interpersonal social relations are increasingly supported by mobile technologies, it seems less clear how mobilities are involved in governing societies. Inspired by Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality and his 1978 lectures on security, territory and population, this article suggests that societies are increasingly governed through mobility, rather than there being government of mobility. If circulation has become a producer of, rather than an obstacle to, societies, then governmobility is a meaningful concept relating to how societies are ruled through connections. In conclusion, the article asks: what are the implications of governmobility for border studies, and more broadly, what are the powers of mobility studies?


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A comic I made for a second year gender studies course I tutored for in 2012, to help students understand some of the themes from Foucault’s The History of Sexuality Vol.1:f1

f2All page references from Foucault, M. (1976 [2008; trans 1978]), The History of Sexuality: Volume 1., R. Hurley, [trans], Victoria: Penguin Group

Stay tuned for Judith Butler explained with cats!


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Gane, N. The governmentalities of neoliberalism: Panopticism, post-panopticism and beyond, Sociological Review, Volume 60, Issue 4, November 2012, Pages 611-634

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This paper draws on the writings of Michel Foucault, in particular his lectures on biopolitics at the Collège de France from 1978-79, to examine liberalism and neoliberalism as governmental forms that operate through different models of surveillance. First, this paper re-reads Foucault’s Discipline and Punish in the light of his analysis of the art of liberal government that is advanced through the course of these lectures. It is argued that the Panopticon is not just an architecture of power centred on discipline and normalization, as is commonly understood, but a normative model of the relation of the state to the market which, for Foucault, is ‘the very formula of liberal government’. Second, the limits of panopticism, and by extension liberal governance, are explored through analysis of Gilles Deleuze’s account of the shift from disciplinary to ‘control’ societies, and Zygmunt Bauman’s writings on individualization and the ‘Synopticon’. In response to Deleuze and Bauman, the final section of this paper returns to Foucault’s lectures on biopolitics to argue that contemporary capitalist society is characterized not simply by the decline of state powers (the control society) or the passing down of responsibilities from the state to the individual (the individualization thesis), but by the neoliberal marketization of the state and its institutions; a development which is underpinned by a specific form of governmentality. In conclusion, a four-fold typology of surveillance is advanced: surveillance as discipline, as control, as interactivity, and as a mechanism for promoting competition. It is argued that while these types of surveillance are not mutually exclusive, they are underpinned by different governmentalities that can be used to address different aspects of the relationship between the state and the market, and with this the social and cultural logics of contemporary forms of market capitalism more broadly. © 2012 The Author. The Sociological Review © 2012 The Editorial Board of The Sociological Review.

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Link in case embedded video doesn’t show up

Paul Rabinow interviewed in Paris in French by Christian Girard and Pierre Cutellic, 2010

With thanks to Dirk Felleman for this link

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de Marzio, D.M. The Pedagogy of Self-Fashioning: A Foucaultian Study of Montaigne’s “On Educating Children”, Studies in Philosophy and Education, Volume 31, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 387-405

DOI: 10.1007%2Fs11217-011-9282-3

In this paper I interpret Montaigne’s essay, “On Educating Children”, as a pedagogical text through its performance of a distinct epistolary function, one that addresses the letter-recipient for the purpose of shaping the ideas, actions, and beliefs of that individual. At the same time, I also read “On Educating Children” within the context of the wider project of Montaigne’s Essays, which, as I suggest, is an ethical-aesthetic project of self-fashioning and self-cultivation. The net result is an interpretation of teaching as an ethical-aesthetic practice of the self, one that is in concert with the interpretation of Montaigne’s writing of the Essays as a similar practice of the self. In order to build this case, I employ Michel Foucault’s fourfold schema of ethical subjectivity, mapping that schema onto “On Educating Children”, so as to reveal a unique pedagogy of self-formation-a pedagogy that works as much upon the self of the teacher as it does the self of the student.

Author keywords
Ethical-subjectivity; Foucault; Letter-writing; Montaigne; Plutarch; Self-fashioning

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Erdinc, M. The Subject and Governmental Action: A Foucauldian Analysis of Subjectification and the 24 Year-Old Rule in Denmark, Feminist Legal Studies, Volume 20, Issue 1, April 2012, Pages 21-38

This article discusses the effects of the 24 year-old rule in Denmark utilising Foucault’s understanding of the ‘subject’ within a governmentality framework. The 24 year-old rule is a good example of how a gendered knowledge about immigration becomes a reality that steers biopolitics, enables practices of normalisation and subjectifies immigrants in various ways. The article foregrounds the subjectivity of immigrant women through a narrative analysis of the constitution of the subject within discourses and in an asymmetrical relationship to power in governance. This analysis reveals the complexity of empirical interactions between the ideational structure of legislative measures and personal meanings expressed by immigrant subjectivities. While I illustrate certain modes of subjectification in relation to the 24 year-old rule, I emphasise the ways subjects employ certain identity strategies by resisting, reworking or contributing to the practices of normalisation.

Author keywords
Denmark; Foucault; Gender; Governmentality; Immigration; Subjectification

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architects Gordana Fontana-Giusti, Foucault for Architects, Routledge, May 2013

Publisher’s page

The author is also conducting an inaugural public lecture at 6 pm on the 24th of May 2013 at the University of Kent, Canterbury, Faculty of Humanities to coincide with the publication of the book.
Pdf flyer for event

From the mid-1960s onwards Michel Foucault has had a significant impact on diverse aspects of culture, knowledge and arts including architecture and its critical discourse. The implications for architecture have been wide-ranging. His archaeological and genealogical approaches to knowledge have transformed architectural history and theory, while his attitude to arts and aesthetics led to a renewed focus on the avant-garde.

Prepared by an architect, this book offers an excellent entry point into the remarkable work of Michel Foucault, and provides a focused introduction suitable for architects, urban designers, and students of architecture.

Foucault’s crucial juxtaposition of space, knowledge and power has unlocked novel spatial possibilities for thinking about design in architecture and urbanism. While the philosopher’s ultimate attention on the issues of body and sexuality has defined our understanding of the possibilities and limits of human condition and its relation to architecture.

The book concentrates on a number of historical and theoretical issues often addressed by Foucault that have been grouped under the themes of archaeology, enclosure, bodies, spatiality and aesthetics in order to examine and demonstrate their relevancy for architectural knowledge, its history and its practice.


Introduction Part 1: Positioning 1.1 Context 1.2 Resisting Boundaries 1.3 Architecture Unspoken

Part 2: Archaeology 2.1 Human Sciences, Knowledge and Architecture 2.2 Archaeology as Difference

Part 3: Enclosure 3.1 Madness 3.2 The Asylum 3.3 The Clinic 3.4 The Prison

Part 4: Bodies 4.1 The History of Sexuality 4.2 Sexuality, Knowledge and the Structure of Aesthetic Experience 4.3 Biopower 4.4 Bodies, Architecture and Cities

Part 5: Spatiality/Aesthetics 5.1 Spatiality and its Themes 5.2 Avant-Garde and the Language of Space 5.3 Deleuzian Century 5.4 Ad Finem

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