Top posts on Progressive Geographies this week

The Foucault and neoliberalism debate dominated this week – with my response the most popular post on this site in some time.

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Postmodern Velázquez (2014)


Having just been to Madrid, and the Prado, for the first time, this is particularly interesting.

Originally posted on Foucault News:

Postmodern Velázquez, New York Times, Dec 11 2014

In Michel Foucault’s  essay on Velázquez’s  baroque masterpiece “Las Meninas,”  he comments on Velázquez’s decision to insert his self-portrait into the painting’s narrative, planting a seed that would bloom into postmodernism.

That blossom continues to flower. “Las Meninas Renacen de Noche (Las Meninas Reborn in the Night),” a new exhibition of photographs by Yasumasa Morimura at the Luhring Augustine Gallery, sees the artist restaging, even remixing, Velázquez’s picture, using the actual canvas, as it hangs in the Prado in Madrid, as the focal point for a series of self-portraits in which Mr. Morimura inhabits different characters from the painting. Foucault clearly didn’t know the half of it.

You can get a first glimpse by attending the opening reception Friday night [19 Dec 2014] from 6 to 8; the show runs from Saturday through Jan. 24.

(Gallery hours:…

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The domestic uncanny and the geographical unconscious: two new reviews


Two new reviews at the Society and Space open site.

Originally posted on Society and space:

Over the past few years the spatial, social and cultural dimensions of the uncanny and of the unconscious have attracted increasing interdisciplinary interest. Two new books on these themes are reviewed on the Open Site:

9781409467724.PPC_alternative mobilitesFirst is Carol Lipman’s Co-habiting with Ghosts: Knowledge, Experience, Belief and the Domestic Uncannyreviewed by Sara MacKian. Further information about this title can be found here.

Sara is the author of Everyday Spirituality: Social and Spatial Worlds of Enchantment (Palgrave, MacMillan 2012).


Second is Argyro Loukaki’s The Geographical Unconscious, reviewed by Christos Kakalis. For further information on the book, follow this link.

Both titles were published by Ashgate earlier on this year.

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Foucault audio and video recordings – minor updates to chronological list

foucaultI’ve now updated the list of Foucault audio and video recordings, including a recording of the first few lectures of L’hermeneutique du sujet from 1982. This recording then jumps to lectures from 1984.

This list is part of the ‘Foucault Resources‘ part of this site.

There are a few bits of missing information, and there may well be others available online that I’ve missed. Updates, corrections or additions welcome. Thanks for links sent so far.

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88 Critical Theory Books That Came Out in 2014 rounds up ‘88 Critical Theory Books That Came Out in 2014

Some of these will also be on my end of year list, which I hope to post soon. But plenty more ideas here for things I’ve not yet read…

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New papers and reviews for December


New reviews – including one of Deborah Cowen’s new book – and articles from Antipode. The Christian Parenti piece is open access, as are all the reviews.

Originally posted on

Thus far in December we’ve published three new papers, three reviews, and an Antipode lecture.


The Elusive Inclusive: Black Food Geographies and Racialized Food Spaces by Margaret Marietta Ramírez

Abstract: North American food scholars, activists and policymakers often consider how to make a community food project more inclusive to “vulnerable populations” to increase participation in local food efforts. Drawing from qualitative research conducted with two community food organizations in Seattle, Washington, I argue that inclusive efforts are not addressing the power asymmetries present in organizations and within communities. Engaging with black geographies literature, I reveal how a black food justice organization grapples with violent histories of slavery and dispossession rooted in a black farming imaginary, and works to re-envision this imaginary to one of power and transformation. The spatial imaginaries and spaces of each food organization acknowledge racial histories differentially, informing their activism. Black geographies possess knowledge and spatial…

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Foucault’s ‘Rêver de ses plaisirs’ – comparison of the 1983 article and 1984 chapter (and a request for help)

Rêver de ses plaisirs

As a kind of appendix to my comparison of the three different introductions to the History of Sexuality volume II, I thought I would share my working notes on the two different versions of the first chapter of History of Sexuality volume III – the only other part which was published before the books. They can be found as a page on this site.

Developing from his 1981 Collège de France lectures, Foucault gave this material as a lecture in Grenoble on 18 May 1982. It would have been a long lecture if all the published text was delivered. It appeared in 1983 as“Rêver de ses plaisirs. Sur l’«Onirocritique» d’Artémidore” in Recherches sur la philosophie et la langage (No 3, pp. 54-78). If anyone can provide me with a copy of this original it would be much appreciated – it appears to be a house publication from Grenoble, and no UK libraries seem to have a copy. It is reprinted in Dits et écrits as text 332.

This was an early version of the three sections of Chapter I of Le souci de soi/The Care of the Self. There are changes of various kinds between the 1983 version and the final 1984 one in the book. Most are minor. The most important is right at the end – two short paragraphs in the book replace a longer one in the lecture/article. At the end I discuss the cut passage, what replaced it, and speculate on why it didn’t work in the book, with the 1984 arrangement of material between the volumes.


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