It has been a long time since the third update on the book I’m writing entitled Foucault’s Last Decade, under contract with Polity Press. Since that last update I’ve moved house and started a new job – both of which have delayed returning to this material. I’ve also been speaking on two other future projects – on Shakespeare, and on earth/geopolitics – so that has also meant a change of focus.
I’d hoped that La société punitive would have been published by now, but it has been delayed. This means that I wasn’t able to work on the courses we now have in chronological order quite as intended, but I know I will need to backfill later on in the writing. I did locate the English summary of a 1972 lecture by Foucault (story here, and summary itself here), which looks as if it relates to the content of Foucault’s still-unpublished course Théories et institutions pénales.
I briefly looked back briefly at the research projects Foucault conducted with CERFI and the collaborative work in his Collège de France that led to I, Pierre Rivière. I need to do more on this at some point. This may be easier when the 1971-72 and 1972-73 courses are out.
The next course available is Psychiatric Power, from 1973-74. I published a piece on this course in History of the Human Sciences when it first came out in French (open access here), so I’ve spent quite a bit of time going through that and working out what I could use; what I needed to add and rework; and especially to check to the official translation. I’m continually impressed by Graham Burchell’s work here – even if in a few instances I have preferred my own translations, I’ve generally adopted his more eloquent rendering.
The next step for this chapter will be to look at Discipline and Punish again, and see if I need to add any additional references. That book was finished in August 1974, and came out in February 1975, while the next course was being delivered. I don’t intend to say much about this, as I’ve discussed it at length in an earlier work (Mapping the Present). I’ve already drafted a section on the Rio medicine lectures for the end of this chapter.
That should read ‘end of these chapters’, as the excessive length of what I’ve drafted so far means that I’ve actually split this into two, rather than one, introductory chapters. There are still some substantial gaps – the sections on the 1971-72 and 1972-73 course especially, but also some smaller ones. But what is there is in reasonable shape now.