Catastrophe: Critical Legal Conference 2017 Call for Streams

catastropheCatastrophe: Critical Legal Conference 2017 Call for Streams – info at Critical Legal Thinking

The Warwick Law School and Social Theory Centre invite you to the 2017 Critical Legal Conference at the University of Warwick on the 1st-3rd of September. Please send your stream proposals to The closing date for streams will be the 28th of February, the call for papers will open after that.

Theme: Catastrophe

Ten years ago, the so-called ‘Invisible Committee’ urged that ‘It is useless to wait…. To go on waiting is madness. The catastrophe is not coming, it is here. We are already situated within the collapse of a civilization. It is within this reality that we must choose sides.’ Over a decade before, Leonard Cohen had written; ‘This is the darkness, this is the flood. The catastrophe has already happpened and the question we now face is what is the appropriate behaviour.’ The 2017 Critical Legal Conference thus calls for streams, panels and papers that reflect upon ‘catastrophe’; on the catastrophes of our time and upon their interrelations; upon the questions of appropriate behaviours that might emerge and sides that might be taken.


Posted in Conferences, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles

“Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles – useful advice from the LSE blog.

(There is a page on this site which collects my own previous posts on writing and publishing and shares a lot of links like the one above).

Posted in Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | 1 Comment

Foucault and the Modern International – new collection (and my essay preprint)

9781349950980.jpgFoucault and the Modern International: Silences and Legacies for the Study of World Politics is a new collection with Palgrave, edited by Philippe Bonditti with Didier Bigo and Frédéric Gros.

This book addresses the possibilities of analyzing the modern international through the thought of Michel Foucault. The broad range of authors brought together in this volume question four of the most self-evident characteristics of our contemporary world-‘international’, ‘neoliberal’, ‘biopolitical’ and ‘global’- and thus fill significant gaps in both international and Foucault studies. The chapters discuss what a Foucauldian perspective does or does not offer for understanding international phenomena while also questioning many appropriations of Foucault’s work. This transdisciplinary volume will serve as a reference for both scholars and students of international relations, international political sociology, international political economy, political theory/philosophy and critical theory more generally.

It’s been a long time in the making, and while in production Palgrave was bought by Springer, which may explain the obscene price for the volume. I’m told there should be a paperback at some point, but the eBook price is unjustified. A preprint of my essay ‘Foucault and Geometrics‘ is available on this site; I hope other chapter authors can do the same.


Posted in Michel Foucault, Publishing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Michel Foucault, Dire vrai sur soi-même – 1982 Toronto lectures forthcoming from Vrin

2711627497.jpgMichel Foucault, Dire vrai sur soi-même: Conférences prononcées à l’Université Victoria de Toronto is forthcoming from Vrin in February 2017.

This is a volume in a series which has, until this point, largely comprised updated and critical editions of texts previously available in English or French, like the 1980 Berkeley/Dartmouth lectures or the 1983 parrēsia lectures from Berkeley (Fearless Speech). This volume is different, because it comprises previously unpublished lectures from 1982. There are connections between them and Collège de France lectures, and the Vermont Technologies of the Self seminar, but they are distinct and important. When I was researching Foucault’s Last Decade I was able to consult partial versions of the lectures in the Bancroft library at Berkeley, but these are newly transcribed from tape recordings and supplemented by Foucault’s manuscript – neither of which I had access to at that time.

I’ll be writing a review of the book as soon as I get a chance to see it, but from the description I think the two key themes of interest will be the interrelation of the work on the technologies of the self and parrēsia, on the one hand; and the analysis of early Christianity alongside pagan antiquity on the other. Both are crucial to understanding the multiple projects and publications Foucault planned in the last years of his life, but which he did not live to complete.

À la fin du premier semestre 1982, Michel Foucault prononce à l’Université Victoria de Toronto un cycle de conférences intitulé Dire vrai sur soi-même. Le thème de ces conférences, s’inscrivant dans le cadre du projet d’une généalogie du sujet occidental moderne, est la formation historique de l’herméneutique de soi. Après avoir analysé le type très particulier de connaissance de soi et de rapport à soi qui caractérise l’askêsis gréco-romaine, où il s’agit pour le sujet d’établir avec lui-même une relation de possession et de souveraineté, Foucault étudie le renversement qui conduit, aux premiers siècles du christianisme, et tout particulièrement dans les communautés monastiques, à la naissance d’une herméneutique de soi conçue comme l’exploration et le déchiffrement par le sujet de sa propre intériorité. Pour définir ce renversement, Foucault introduit ici une distinction inédite entre deux formes d’ascèse, l’une tournée vers la vérité, l’autre tournée vers la réalité. Parallèlement aux conférences, Foucault conduit à Toronto un séminaire consacré à l’étude détaillée de textes des auteurs anciens sur lesquels s’appuient ses analyses de la culture de soi antique. Il y présente également une esquisse des différentes significations de la notion de parrêsia dans l’Antiquité, qui allait devenir le thème principal de ses derniers travaux.
Ces conférences et ce séminaire sont publiés ici pour la première fois, dans une édition critique.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good to Know You! Tribute to John Berger

Andy Merrifield’s tribute to John Berger.

andy merrifield

A tribute to John Berger, who passed away aged 90 on 2 January 2017. Posted originally on Verso Books blog, 3 January 2017.

John died yesterday. I’ll remember his voice, his laugh, his charm and generosity. His words. Stripped-down words, mystical and carefully chosen words, earthy words, fierce words. They’ll always grab us, make us think, feel and act, piss people off. To weep for John is to weep on the shoulder of life. Remember him, gazing up at Aesop, in front of Velázquez’s great canvas?

“He’s intimidating, he has a kind of arrogance. A pause for thought. No, he’s not arrogant. But he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. The presence of Aesop refers to nothing except what he has felt and seen. Refers to no possessions, to no institutions, to no authority or protection. If you weep on his shoulder, you’ll weep on the shoulder of his life. If you…

View original post 938 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Encounters in Law and Philosophy – call for book proposals

Encounters in Law and Philosophy – call for book proposals

Series Editors: Thanos Zartaloudis, University of Kent Anton Schütz, Birkbeck, University of London

General Advisor: Giorgio Agamben

This series simultaneously investigates the laws of philosophy and the philosophies of law: their formations, histories, ideas and intersections. Each volume challenges traditional systemic approaches, expanding the legal mind’s imagination in today’s rapidly changing intellectual and legal landscape.

Full details here

Posted in Books, Giorgio Agamben, Publishing, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Nicolas Drolc’s new film on Serge Livrozet (trailer)

I’ve mentioned Nicolas Drolc’s film Sur les toits before. It’s a documentary on the prison revolts in the early 1970s France, with some references to the Prisons Information Group Foucault co-founded. There is an open access symposium on the film, following a discussion held at the University of Warwick, in Antipode.

His new film is on Serge Livrozet, and a trailer is available above. It will be released in France in April.

Death Must Be Earned is the intimate portrait of Serge Livrozet, former safe-cracker, one of the protagonists of 1970s French counter-culture, alongside Michel Foucault founder of the Committee of Prisoner’s Action, self-taught writer and anarchist activist. The film portraits him at age 75 in his hometown of Nice where he revisits the pivotal episodes of his life of social struggle and polticial activism.

Posted in Events, Michel Foucault, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dominique Janicaud, Heidegger in France reviewed by Dennis Schmidt

9780253017734_med.jpgDominique Janicaud, Heidegger in France is reviewed by Dennis Schmidt at NDPR.

Dominique Janicaud claimed that every French intellectual movement—from existentialism to psychoanalysis—was influenced by Martin Heidegger. This translation of Janicaud’s landmark work, Heidegger en France, details Heidegger’s reception in philosophy and other humanistic and social science disciplines. Interviews with key French thinkers such as Françoise Dastur, Jacques Derrida, Éliane Escoubas, Jean Greisch, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Marion, and Jean-Luc Nancy are included and provide further reflection on Heidegger’s relationship to French philosophy. An intellectual undertaking of authoritative scope, this work furnishes a thorough history of the French reception of Heidegger’s thought.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mark Fisher (1968-2017)

I’m sorry to hear of the death of Mark Fisher, author of Capitalist Realism and publisher, also a blogger at K-punk. I never met him, but knew and appreciated his work. He also wrote powerfully about mental health, and his own struggles with depression. There are nice tributes from Graham Harman and Adam Kotsko.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foucault: The Birth of Power (2017)

Foucault News announces my new Foucault book – officially released in the UK today.

Foucault News

elden-bopStuart Elden, Foucault: The Birth of Power, Polity, 2017

Michel Foucault’s The Archaeology of Knowledge was published in March 1969; Discipline and Punish in February 1975. Although only six years apart, the difference in tone is stark: the former is a methodological treatise, the latter a call to arms. What accounts for the radical shift in Foucault’s approach?

Foucault’s time in Tunisia had been a political awakening for him, and he returned to a France much changed by the turmoil of 1968. He taught at the experimental University of Vincennes and then moved to a prestigious position at the Collège de France. He quickly became involved in activist work concerning prisons and health issues such as abortion rights, and in his seminars he built research teams to conduct collaborative work, often around issues related to his lectures and activism.

Foucault: The Birth of Power makes use of a range…

View original post 143 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment