Biopolitics and Engagement: What Foucault Learned about Power from the Maoists (2012)


Richard Wolin on Foucault, power and the Maoists.

Originally posted on Foucault News:

Richard Wolin, Biopolitics and Engagement: What Foucault Learned about Power from the Maoists, Feb 28, 2012

Michel Foucault’s conception of “power-knowledge” has been one of the most influential political ideas to have arisen in recent decades. It reverses the age-old assumption that knowledge will set us free. Instead, it suggests that knowledge is more closely related to social control than it is to freedom. Foucault’s rethinking of the relationship between power and knowledge was not a purely theoretical discovery. Instead it derives from his concerted political involvement with the Prison Information Group (GIP) – an innovative group of renegade French Maoists active during the early 1970s. Richard Wolin (History, The Graduate Center, CUNY) will discuss this hitherto underresearched episode of Foucault’s past as a political activist.

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Diacritics theme issue on Jean-Luc Nancy

dia.42.2_frontDiacritics theme issue on Jean-Luc Nancy - 42.4 from 2014

Thanks to Peter Gratton for the link.

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Judith Butler bibliography online

When Praxis Becomes Unbearable – a bibliography of Judith Butler’s work.

tumblr_inline_nlrvjkvRry1scclfe_500I am sharing this with whoever cares in the work of this philosopher and in this sort of research endeavor. This is all the work of Judith Butler I was able to find and compile. For 1982-2005, I relied heavily on a compiled bibliography in the book Judith Butler: Live Theory. For 2005-2015, I used the European Graduate School (EGS) website, filling in with other material I have come across. It includes all her books, most of her articles and several lectures and interviews. It is by no means complete and I intend on updating it continuously, but it is a good guide to explore the fascinating and ecstatic work of this great thinker.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Click the link to access the file


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Jenny Edkins, Face Politics – coming in April

Jenny Edkins, Face Politics is forthcoming in April. I was one of the readers and provided an endorsement.


The face is central to contemporary politics. In Deleuze and Guattari’s work on faciality we find an assertion that the face is a particular politics, and dismantling the face is also a politics.

This book explores the politics of such diverse issues as images and faces in photographs and portraits; expressive faces; psychology and neuroscience; face recognition; face blindness; facial injury, disfigurement and face transplants through questions such as:

  • What it might mean to dismantle the face, and what politics this might entail, in practical terms?
  • What sort of a politics is it?
  • Is it already taking place?
  • Is it a politics that is to be desired, a better politics, a progressive politics?

The book opens up a vast field of further research that needs to be taken forward to begin to address the politics of the face more fully, and to elaborate the alternative forms of personhood and politics that dismantling the face opens to view. The book will be agenda-setting for scholars located in the field of international politics in particular but cognate areas as well who want to pursue the implications of face politics for the crucial questions of subjectivity, sovereignty and personhood.

Posted in Felix Guattari, Gilles Deleuze, Jenny Edkins, Politics | Leave a comment

New Sloterdijk Books from Polity – Stress and Freedom, In the Shadow of Mount Sinai, and Jean-Pierre Couture’s study

074566380XThree new Sloterdijk books forthcoming from Polity – two little translations, Stress and Freedom and In the Shadow of Mount Sinai, and Jean-Pierre Couture’s study Sloterdijk in their Key Contemporary Thinkers series.


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Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Urban Research and Architecture – audio of launch event

9781409442936.PPC_Layout 1Henri Lefebvre’s concepts and theoretical reflections have become widely known in the last decades. However, working with these concepts in many different contexts poses serious challenges; and in any case taking Lefebvre as a starting point for research and action is an endeavor and an adventure, an expedition into unknown fields. How can we make use of and move beyond Lefebvre’s insights today? Can we apply his concepts fruitfully in research and action in urban situations across the globe?

On the occasion of the book launch for ‘Urban Revolution Now: Henri Lefebvre in Urban Research and Architecture‘ we had the opportunity to debate these questions with two of the editors, and three London urban scholars.

Christian Schmid (ETH Zurich)
Łukasz Stanek (Manchester)
Camillo Boano (UCL)
David Madden (LSE)
Louis Moreno (UCL and Goldsmiths)

Chaired by Jenny Robinson (UCL Urban Lab/UCL Geography).

Audio files available here.

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Ulrich Beck: Free Access to all his TCS articles and selected book chapters

Ulrich-Beck-2011-Image-1Ulrich Beck: Free Access to all his TCS articles and selected book chapters.

Until the end of April 2015, we’ve made every article TCS has published from Ulrich Beck, plus selected chapters from some of his TCS books, free to access.

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“Foucault insults the police”, photo from 1972

Foucault insults the police, 1971

deleuze-sartre-foucault“Foucault insults the police”, photograph by Elie Kagan from 17 January 1972, in Michel Foucault – Une journée particulière. It seems this photo was taken only moments after a much more famous one with Foucault, Deleuze and Sartre – such as appears here.

The book has many more images, and bilingual English-French text.

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Books received – review work recompense from Ashgate, Palgrave, Polity, UGa Press, UM Press

Ashgate and Palgrave

Georgia and Polity

MinnesotaI did a lot of review work for presses while I was away, and these are the books received in recompense. These tend to be books for future projects – especially here the Shakespearean Territories one – and for general interest.

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Books received – Chamayou, Kotef, Smirl, Shakespeare, Heidegger, Kluge and Negt


Some more books – these are ones I bought, with the exception of Hagar Kotef’s Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility, which was sent by the publisher. The others include Lisa Smirl’s posthumous Spaces of Aid, Kluge and Negt, History & Obstinacy, Chamayou’s Drone Theory, the Arden third series edition of Macbeth, and three by Heidegger – two seminars from 1934-35, and the next volume of the ‘Black Notebooks’.

Posted in Books, Martin Heidegger, Politics, Publishing, Shakespearean Territories, William Shakespeare | Leave a comment