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Progressive Geographies

Workshop: Genealogy and Political Theory, 29 September 2017, 10.00 hrs. – 17.00 hrs.
Campus Roeterseiland, building J/K, room B22 (Valckenierstraat 65-67, 1018 XE Amsterdam)

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of works of and on genealogy by political theorists and historians of political thought. However, with this proliferation comes questions about what exactly genealogy is, how to understand past work on and of genealogy (in particular by Nietzsche and Foucault), how it is connected to other forms of critical inquiry (such as ideology critique), and what its role can and should be in political theorising more broadly.

This workshop brings together scholars working on genealogy to discuss and begin to answer these questions, with a particular focus on the growing contribution of genealogy for helping us to make sense of contemporary political theory and practice.

Programme

  • 10:00 – Professor Bernard Reginster (Brown University), “Nietzsche on Truth and Genealogy”.
  • 11:10 – Coffee…

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Progressive Geographies

After a too-short holiday, I’ve been back working on the Foucault book. Although I’d drafted some of this material before, my focus has been on the translations of Binswanger and von Weizsäcker. With Binswanger’s ‘Dream and Existence’, Foucault was not listed as a translator, which was credited to Jacqueline Verdeaux alone, but all the accounts point to his significant role.

I’m working with the German text, Verdeaux and Foucault’s translation, the English translation by Forrest Williams and, to a lesser extent, the 2012 French translation by Françoise Dastur. Foucault was brought into the project because of his knowledge of German philosophy, especially Heidegger. Binswanger makes extensive use of Heideggerian terminology. In the early 1950s almost none of Heidegger’s work was translated into French, and so there are some choices about core terminology which are interesting. In as much as anyone has looked at this before, the one thing remarked…

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Progressive Geographies

IMG_2661I’ve been looking for a copy of Foucault and Daniel Rocher’s translation of Viktor von Weizsäcker’s Der Gestaltkreis as Le Cycle de la Structure for sometime, and now have a copy. While the German text is widely available, the translation was only printed once, in 1958, and relatively few libraries have a copy – even the BnF provided a microfiche instead of the physical book.

This copy is in good condition for a book of its age – the pages are still uncut. This is going to be valuable for my research for The Early Foucault, where I will make the claim that his role as a translator is an important but neglected part of his early career.

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Progressive Geographies

738_foucaultokLeçon inaugurale de Michel Foucault – L’ordre du discours

Quelle est cette volonté de vérité dans nos discours, qui a traversé tant de siècles de notre histoire ? demande Michel Foucault dans sa leçon inaugurale. Qu’est ce qui est en jeu, sinon le désir et le pouvoir? Quelles sont les procédures de contrôles et de délimitation du discours?

https://www.franceculture.fr/player/export-reecouter?content=23619276-1b2b-43d1-93ba-5e3ca08ac882
This isn’t nearly as interesting as I’d imagined when I found the link. Foucault’s inaugural lecture at the Collège de France from 2 December 1970 has been re-recorded by Léon Bonnaffé. As far as I am aware, there are no recordings of the original lecture, which is a shame for two reasons – first, obviously it would be nice to be able to hear Foucault give the talk; but also because the version published as L’ordre du discoursis not the text as actually delivered, as it includes some additional passages.

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Progressive Geographies

IMG_2710.JPGI’ve spent most of the first half of the summer revising my Shakespeare manuscript, which is now resubmitted. But I have been doing a little work on the early Foucault in the meantime, and on Canguilhem. With the latter, much of the work has been reference checking from the extensive notes I took on his work while I was in Amsterdam. Canguilhem references a lot of historical texts in biology and medicine, and I wanted to check all of his quotations at a minimum. I discussed some of the reasons why this was important, and challenging, here. Some of this work was done in Paris, and also at various libraries in London – the British Library, Senate House and the Wellcome Trust.

The reason I was in Paris was for another short visit to the Bibliothèque Nationale, where I worked through some more boxes of Foucault material…

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Progressive Geographies

Foucault-The-Birth-of-Power-coverFoucault: The Birth of Power is reviewed at LSE Review of Books by Syamala Roberts.

In Foucault: The Birth of Power, Stuart Elden outlines how the theorisation of power was the essential tool developed within Foucault’s work and political activities in the early 1970s following his return from Tunisia. Drawing on writings, interviews, lectures and unpublished or newly available manuscripts, Elden offers an indispensable read for those looking to gain further insight into Foucault as a writer, philosopher and activist, recommends Syamala Roberts. [continues here]

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Progressive Geographies

161514-foucault-w-warszawie-remigiusz-ryzynski-1Remigiusz Ryziński discusses his book Foucault w Warszawie, an account of the short period Foucault spent in Poland in the late 1950s – between his time in Uppsala and Warsaw. While the interview is in Polish, machine translation seems to give a good gist.

The book sounds fascinating, as it has used previously unaccessed archive sources. Hopefully some publishers are exploring translation rights. Thanks to James Tyner for the link.

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