Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 19: a nearly complete first draft

Update 19Since the last update I’ve spent two long days working on the individual chapter files, checking and rechecking things, filling in references, and reorganising some things. In particular I reworked all the parts on the lettres de cachet. I’ve decided I need to re-read Le désordre des familles once more and might say more about it. It’s one of Foucault’s least-known works, but he worked on this topic, on and off, in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. This book is hard to fit into the overall chronology because it spans so much time, and I’m not yet convinced with how I’m dealing with it. I’ll be taking a copy with me to Melbourne.

I now have a single file for the manuscript of this book. It’s not quite as good as I’d hoped to have at this stage, and there are still lots of things to do. The book is also too long – possibly in absolute terms, but definitely for the contract. The key thing to be re-done is Chapter One, which needs quite a bit of work, including one new section on a yet-to-be-published course, and isn’t at the same stage as the rest of the book. A first draft – at least for me – means that the main elements are there, the references are in fairly good shape, and the text is reasonably well-written. But it also means that the book is not finished – it needs tightening up, smoothing of argument and citation, and some other stylistic things. I may move some bits around, break chapters in different places, and so on. I will also go through more secondary literature, especially the Eribon, Miller and Macey biographies again, and doubtless add in some references. But with the exception of Chapter One I have, just about, met my goal of having this version finished before I head to Melbourne.

This project is in no sense portable – in my home study I have all of Foucault in French and in English, some in multiple editions, lots of secondary literature and reference works. Finding or checking a reference can be done very quickly here. While I could find much, though by no sense all, of that in Melbourne, it would be scattered across multiple libraries and working on that aspect of the project there would be very time-inefficient. But taking a near complete draft with me, to read, edit and tighten is much more effective. I’ll be in Australia for two months, but have plenty of other things I intend and need to do there too.

Out of curiosity for how I was thinking the last time I was at this stage, I went back and read the updates I wrote on The Birth of Territory when I was in Seattle for a visiting post at University of Washington. That was in the autumn of 2010 – I went there with a draft, and left with a better draft. It took six weeks between those two stages. Reading those updates gives some idea of the work still to be done with this text. Off to the airport…

You can read more about the Foucault’s Last Decade project, along with links to previous updates, here.

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Books received – more for the Foucault project

photoA few books for the Foucault project, including two by Pierre Hadot.

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Scott Lash remembers Ulrich Beck

At the Theory, Culture & Society website – Scott Lash remembers Ulrich Beck.

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Slavoj Žižek – I put down notes, I edit it. Writing disappears

I’m sure I’ve shared the quote before, but this is with a video. How much would he write if he could actually type?

(Via Biblioklept)

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Jason Read on Bidet’s Foucault Avec Marx

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A request for help – some difficult-to-find texts by Michel Foucault


Down to three! Thanks to the kind assistance of readers…

Originally posted on Progressive Geographies:

I wonder if anyone reading can help locate copies of these texts by, or about, Foucault. Texts crossed out are ones that I have been sent copies of already.

Michel Foucault, “Photogenic painting”, translated by Pierre A. Walker, Critical texts, Vol 6 No 3, 1989, pp. 1-12;also in Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, Gérald Fromanger: Photogenic Painting/La peinture photogénique, French-English edition, London: Black Dog, 1999, pp. 81-104.

Michel Foucault, “Dialogue on power” in Simeon Wade, Chez Foucault, 1978, pp. 4-22.

Michel Foucault, “Response to Susan Sontag”, Soho News, 2 March 1982, p. 13.

“The power and politics of Michel Foucault”, Inside (Daily Californian), 22 April 1983, pp. 7, 20-22.

“A last interview with French philosopher Michel Foucault”, City Paper, 8:3, Jul 27-Aug 2 1984, p. 18.

Phillip Horwitz, “Don’t cry for me academia”, Jimmy & Lucy’s House of K, 2 August 1984, pp. 78-80.

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The Greek Elections and the Future of Europe – a Society and Space forum


The first three contributions to a Society and Space forum on the Greek elections.

Originally posted on Society and space:

With the Greek elections just a few days away, and Syriza leading the polls, we have asked a number of people to write commentaries on the prospects for Greece and the rest of Europe. The first three posts are now available:

John Agnew (Geography, UCLA) – Ordnungspolitik: Germany’s Shadow over the Greek Election

Costas Douzinas (Law/Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck) – Greece and the Future of Europe

Antonis Vradis (Geography, Durham) – In-between Spaces

Future contributors will include:-

Eirini Avramopoulou (Social Anthropology, Gender and Queer Studies, ICI Berlin)

Peter Bratsis (Political Science, CUNY)

Julia Cryssostalis (Law, Westminster)

Alex Papadopoulos (Geography, DePaul)

Emily Pia (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, Manchester)

The Editors

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