Archive for the ‘Work by Foucault’ Category

fargeDisorderly Families: Infamous Letters from the Bastille Archives
By Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault
Edited by Nancy Luxon
Translated by Thomas Scott-Railton
University of Minnesota Press | 344 pages | January 2017
ISBN 978-0-8166-9534-8 | jacketed cloth | $35.00

First published in French in 1982, this first English translation of Disorderly Families contains ninety-four letters collected by Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault from ordinary families who submitted complaints to the king of France in the eighteenth century to intervene and resolve their family disputes. Together, these letters offer unusual insight into the infamies of daily life.

“An enlightening compilation that will leave historically inclined readers wanting to dig a little further into the archives.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Expertly edited, this thoughtful translation of Disorderly Families adds a central pillar to the English archive of Michel Foucault’s work. A source of fascination for him since at least the 1950s, the Bastille lettres de cachets deeply influenced and shaped his analysis of power. As he discovered, these letters were what he and Arlette Farge would call a ‘popular practice,’ demanded from below, and not an arbitrary exercise of monarchical power—and they would become a key building block for Foucault’s theory of power-knowledge. This exceptional English translation gives life to Foucault’s—and Farge’s—subversive desire to breathe life into these beautiful, infamous, and obscure lives.” —Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia University

Arlette Farge is Director of Research in Modern History at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris and the author of more than a dozen books, including Fragile Lives and The Allure of the Archives.

Michel Foucault (1926–1984) was a French philosopher and held the Chair in the History of Systems of Thought at the Collège de France. He is often considered the most influential political theorist of the second half of the twentieth century. His most notable works include History of Madness, Discipline and Punish, and The History of Sexuality, among others.

Nancy Luxon is associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Crisis of Authority: Politics, Trust, and Truth-Telling in Freud and Foucault.

Thomas Scott-Railton is a freelance French–English translator living in Brooklyn, New York, and previously translated Arlette Farge’s The Allure of the Archive.
For more information, including the table of contents, visit the book’s webpage:

Read Full Post »

subjectsFoucault and the Making of Subjects
Edited by Laura Cremonesi; Orazio Irrera; Daniele Lorenzini and Martina Tazzioli, Rowman & Littlefield. Forthcoming October 2016

Michel Foucault’s account of the subject has a double meaning: it relates to both being a “subject of” and being “subject to” political forces. This book interrogates the philosophical and political consequences of such a dual definition of the subject, by exploring the processes of subjectivation and objectivation through which subjects are produced. Drawing together well-known scholars of Foucaultian thought and critical theory, alongside a newly translated interview with Foucault himself, the book will engage in a serious reconsideration of the notion of “autonomy” beyond the liberal tradition, connecting it to processes of subjectivation. In the face of the ongoing proliferation of analyses using the notion of subjectivation, this book will retrace Foucault’s reflections on it and interrogate the current theoretical and political implications of a series of approaches that mobilize the Foucaultian understanding of the subject in relation to truth and power.


This fascinating set of essays brings together some of the best known French and Anglophone commentators on Foucault’s work today. The result is a splendid collection of engagements with Foucault’s late reconceptualization of subjectivity that ranges widely over the late lecture courses at the Collège de France, and beyond. Foucault and the Making of Subjects takes a subject we thought we knew well – Foucault and the subject – and makes it new (and urgent, again) for us. Endlessly interesting and provocative.
— Ben Golder, University of New South Wales

This is an excellent collection including work by established scholars as well as some of the leading members of a new generation of continental Foucault scholarship. The focus on Foucault’s concern with the making of subjects’ sustains its coherence across a diverse range of contributions. Critically probing and extending Foucault’s work across topics of autonomy, truthfulness, sexual avowal, ideology, desire, and collective subjectivities, it demonstrates the salience of, and resources offered by, Foucault’s work for social and political theory.
— David Owen, Professor of Social and Political Philosophy, University of Southampton

In this inspiring collection, which features a very significant and newly available interview with Foucault, the authors mount an engaging and detailed case for Foucault’s practical utility in conceptualising ethical and political action at both the individual and social levels. Carefully refuting a number of commonly held misconceptions about Foucault’s work on this score, this book is essential reading.
— Clare O’Farrell, Senior Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology

In the fast growing field of research on Foucault, this volume stands out. It provides careful and expert appraisals of recently published textual sources, as well as offering strikingly novel insights on the important issue of collective political resistance.
— Johanna Oksala, Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the University of Helsinki, Visiting Professor at the New School for Social Research, USA

Read Full Post »

Progressive Geographies

image_miniArlene Farge and Michel Foucault, Disorderly Families: Infamous Letters from the Bastille Archives, forthcoming with University of Minnesota Press, edited by Nancy Luxon and translated by Thomas Scott-Railton. The UMP page says January 2017; Amazon suggests November 2016. There will be a companion book of essays, entitled Archives ofInfamy, also edited by Nancy Luxon – more details when available.

Drunken and debauched husbands; libertine wives; vagabonding children. These and many more are the subjects of requests for confinement written to the king of France in the eighteenth century. These letters of arrest (lettres de cachet) from France’s Ancien Régime were often associated with excessive royal power and seen as a way for the king to imprison political opponents. In Disorderly Families, first published in French in 1982, Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault collect ninety-four letters from ordinary families who, with the help of hired scribes, submitted complaints…

View original post 190 more words

Read Full Post »

Danger, Crime and Rights: A Conversation between Michel Foucault and Jonathan Simon.
Edited and transcribed by Stuart Elden.Theory, Culture & Society May 10, 2016

doi: 10.1177/0263276416640070

This article is a transcript of a conversation between Michel Foucault and Jonathan Simon in San Francisco in October 1983. It has never previously been published and is transcribed on the basis of a tape recording made at the time. Foucault and Simon begin with a discussion of Foucault’s 1977 lecture ‘About the Concept of the “Dangerous Individual” in 19th-Century Legal Psychiatry’, and move to a discussion of notions of danger, psychiatric expertise in the prosecution cases, crime, responsibility and rights in the US and French legal systems. The transcription is accompanied by a brief contextualizing introduction and a retrospective comment by Simon.

Read Full Post »

La Bibliothèque Foucaldienne

A prezi presentation of some of the documents in the archive, uploaded by by Vincent Ventresque on 23 November 2015

Read Full Post »

Foucault : “Mes livres sont des espèces de petits pétards…

En juin 1975, Roger-Pol Droit enregistrait de longs entretiens avec le philosophe Michel Foucault en vue d’un livre qui fut abandonné. Inédit.
Publié le 06/12/2015 | Le Point

This article is for purchase.

Dans cet extrait inédit, il parle de sa conviction d’alors de n’être jamais un auteur de la Pléiade.
“Je ne serai pas à la Pléiade”…

“J’ai parfaitement conscience de ne pas faire une oeuvre, et on ne publiera pas mes oeuvres complètes, je ne serai pas à la “Pléiade”, etc. Je dis ça en me marrant, et sans aucun sentiment d’amertume, ni de tristesse, ni quoi que ce soit, mais pour moi écrire n’est pas quelque chose que j’aime. Je n’aime pas l’écriture. Être écrivain me paraît véritablement dérisoire…

Read Full Post »

CouvFoucDV Michel Foucault, Discours et vérité. Précédé de La parrêsia.
Édition et apparat critique établis par H.-P. Fruchaud et D. Lorenzini.
Introduction par F. Gros.
Vrin – Philosophie du présent
320 pages – 12,5 × 18 cm
ISBN 978-2-7116-2656-4 – février 2016

À l’automne 1983, Michel Foucault prononce, à l’Université de Californie à Berkeley, un cycle de six conférences intitulé Discours et vérité, dont on trouvera ici, pour la première fois, l’édition complète et critique.

Dans ces conférences, la richesse de la notion de parrêsia et son rôle stratégique pour la réflexion éthique et politique de Foucault émergent de manière évidente. Foucault retrace notamment les transformations de cette notion dans le monde antique : d’abord droit politique du citoyen athénien, la parrêsia devient, avec Socrate, l’un des traits essentiels du discours philosophique puis, avec les cyniques, de la vie philosophique elle-même dans ce qu’elle peut avoir de provoquant et même de scandaleux; enfin, aux premiers siècles de l’Empire, la parrêsia apparaît au fondement des relations entre le maître et le disciple dans la culture de soi. En faisant l’analyse de la notion de parrêsia, Foucault poursuit en même temps son projet d’une histoire du présent et pose des jalons pour une généalogie de l’attitude critique dans nos sociétés modernes et contemporaines.

Ce volume contient également la transcription d’une conférence prononcée par Foucault en mai 1982 à l’université de Grenoble, devant un public de spécialistes de la philosophie antique, qui présente un état antérieur et différent de sa réflexion sur la parrêsia.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: