Foucault, les Pères, le sexe, Autour des Aveux de la chair Edited by Philippe Büttgen, Philippe Chevallier, Agustín Colombo, Arianna Sforzini (2021)

New French collection on the fourth volume of Foucault’s History of Sexuality

Foucault News

Foucault, les Pères, le sexe. Autour des Aveux de la chair
Edited by Philippe Büttgen, Philippe Chevallier, Agustín Colombo, Arianna Sforzini, Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2021

Description in English below
Flyer in English

Les aveux de La chair, dernier volume de l’Histoire de la sexualité, fruit de près de huit ans de travail sur le christianisme ancien, est le livre auquel Foucault aura consacré le plus de temps, sans parvenir à l’achever complètement. Le détour par les Pères de l’Église (Tertullien, Augustin, Cassien, etc.) devait contribuer à éclairer le rapport que l’Occident entretient au corps et à ses plaisirs, au croisement de la subjectivité et de la vérité. Publiés posthumément en 2018, déjà traduits en plusieurs langues, Les aveux de la chair révèlent l’étendue des recherches conduites par Foucault sur les premiers siècles chrétiens, que les textes et les cours jusqu’ici connus laissaient à peine deviner.

Le…

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Alison Downham Moore and Stuart Elden, review essay on ‘Foucault’s 1960s lectures on sexuality’ (open access)

Alison Downham Moore and Stuart Elden, review essay on ‘Foucault’s 1960s lectures on sexuality‘, Theory, Culture & Society (open access)

This is part of the special issue on ‘Foucault Before the Collège de France’, which I’m co-editing with Orazio Irrera and Daniele Lorenzini. The other papers available so far are listed here.

While our review is of the French edition, the English translation of these lectures, translated by Graham Burchell and with an introduction to Bernard Harcourt is out very soon.

I’ll also be discussing these lectures in The Archaeology of Foucault, the final book in my series tracing the intellectual history of Foucault’s entire career.

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A two-part interview on ‘Power and Time: Temporalities in Conflict and the Making of History’ at Journal of the History of Ideas blog

An Interview on Power and Time at Journal of the History of Ideas blog (part I and part II)

The edited volume Power and Time: Temporalities in Conflict and the Making of History (2020) appeared last year from the University of Chicago Press. The work is co-edited by Dan Edelstein (William H. Bonsall Professor of French and Professor of History at Stanford University), Stefanos Geroulanos (Professor of History at New York University), and Natasha Wheatley (Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University). Power and Time’s seventeen chapters span disciplinary approaches ranging from history, to law, to anthropology, to the history of art, and each illustrates how political authority is constituted through the shaping of temporal regimes in historically-specific ways: The expansionist futurity of the Nazi “New Man” meets the apocalyptic presentism of the Manson Family “cult,” meets the “deep time” of our Age of Plastic. In their introduction, the editors propose a new theoretical model of historical temporality, chronocenosis (inspired by the biological notion of biocenosis), a term which reflects not only “the multiplicity but also the conflict of temporal regimes operating in any given moment” (4). The volume goes on to explore competing orders of time not only as they are reflected in iconic moments of rupture, such as the French Revolution, but also in “silenced clashes” stabilized by often unnoticed but decisive temporal frameworks: “An aesthetics of power and time offers a way for organizing the complexity of power, for locating [its] multiple and conflicting temporal regimes, and for understanding how these get harmonized into a seemingly sinuous, often undifferentiated temporal experience that largely eschews conflict” (37). Contributing editor Jonathon Catlin interviewed the editors about their new volume.

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Zygmunt Bauman, Culture and Art Selected Writings, Volume 1 – Polity, July 2021

Zygmunt Bauman, Culture and Art Selected Writings, Volume 1 – Polity, July 2021, translated by Katarzyna Bartoszyńska

The sociological imagination and the artistic imagination have been historically intertwined, at once reciprocal and conflicting, complementary and tensional.  This connection is nowhere more apparent than in the work of Zygmunt Bauman.  His conception and practice of sociology were always infused with a literary and artistic sensibility.  He wrote extensively on the relationship between sociology and the arts, and especially on sociology and literature; he frequently drew on literary writers in his exploration and elucidation of sociological problems; and he was an avid and passionate consumer and practitioner of art, especially film and photography.

This volume brings together hitherto unknown or rare pieces by Bauman on the themes of culture and art, including previously unpublished material from the Bauman Archive at the University of Leeds.  A substantial introduction by the editors provides readers with a lucid guide through this material and develops connections to Bauman’s other works.

The first volume in a series of books that will make available the lesser-known writings of one of the most influential social thinkers of our time, Culture and Art will be of interest to students and scholars across the arts, humanities and social sciences, and to a wider readership.

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Andy Merrifield, Lefebvre and Althusser: reinterpreting Marxist humanism and anti-humanism

Andy Merrifield, Lefebvre and Althusser: reinterpreting Marxist humanism and anti-humanism at Monthly Review online

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Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, Permanent Crisis: The Humanities in a Disenchanted Age – University of Chicago Press, August 2021

Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, Permanent Crisis: The Humanities in a Disenchanted Age – University of Chicago Press, August 2021

The humanities, considered by many as irrelevant for modern careers and hopelessly devoid of funding, seem to be in a perpetual state of crisis, at the mercy of modernizing and technological forces that are driving universities towards academic pursuits that pull in grant money and direct students to lucrative careers. But as Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon show, this crisis isn’t new—in fact, it’s as old as the humanities themselves. 

Today’s humanities scholars experience and react to basic pressures in ways that are strikingly similar to their nineteenth-century German counterparts. The humanities came into their own as scholars framed their work as a unique resource for resolving crises of meaning and value that threatened other cultural or social goods. The self-understanding of the modern humanities didn’t merely take shape in response to a perceived crisis; it also made crisis a core part of its project. Through this critical, historical perspective, Permanent Crisis can take scholars and anyone who cares about the humanities beyond the usual scolding, exhorting, and hand-wringing into clearer, more effective thinking about the fate of the humanities. Building on ideas from Max Weber and Friedrich Nietzsche to Helen Small and Danielle Allen, Reitter and Wellmon dig into the very idea of the humanities as a way to find meaning and coherence in the world. 

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Walter Benjamin, Toward the Critique of Violence: A Critical Edition, edited by Peter Fenves and Julia Ng – Stanford University Press, June 2021

Out imminently…

Progressive Geographies

Walter Benjamin, Toward the Critique of Violence: A Critical Edition, edited by Peter Fenves and Julia Ng – Stanford University Press, June 2021

Marking the centenary of Walter Benjamin’s immensely influential essay, “Toward the Critique of Violence,” this critical edition presents readers with an altogether new, fully annotated translation of a work that is widely recognized as a classic of modern political theory. 

The volume includes twenty-one notes and fragments by Benjamin along with passages from all of the contemporaneous texts to which his essay refers. Readers thus encounter for the first time in English provocative arguments about law and violence advanced by Hermann Cohen, Kurt Hiller, Erich Unger, and Emil Lederer. A new translation of selections from Georges Sorel’s Reflections on Violence further illuminates Benjamin’s critical program. The volume also includes, for the first time in any language, a bibliography Benjamin drafted for the expansion of the essay…

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British Academy 10-Minute Talks: The Early Foucault

I was pleased to be asked to give one of the British Academy 10-Minute Talks on The Early Foucault (Polity, 2021)

The world’s leading professors explain the latest thinking in the humanities and social sciences in just 10 minutes.

In this talk Stuart Elden discusses his new book, The Early Foucault and the research he did on the first period of Michel Foucault’s career. In particular, he highlights what Foucault did before the History of Madness in 1961 and how he came to write that book as well as the way newly available archival materials help to make sense of the period.

His book, The Early Foucault, was published in June 2021.

Speaker: Professor Stuart Elden FBA, Professor of Political Theory and Geography, University of Warwick

10-Minute Talks are a series of pre-recorded talks from Fellows of the British Academy screened each Wednesday on YouTube and also available on Apple Podcasts.

There are lots more of these short talks here.

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Books received – Nietzsche, Chow, Heidegger, Stimilli, Anthony, Renfrew, Mallory

The latest volume in the Nietzsche complete works from Stanford, Rey Chow, A Face Drawn in Sand: Humanistic Inquiry and Foucault in the Present from Columbia, three books from SUNY in recompense for review work, and three second-hand books as background for the Georges Dumézil editing work.

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Stuart Hall, Writings on Media: History of the Present, edited by Charlotte Brunsdon – Duke University Press, October 2021

Stuart Hall, Writings on Media: History of the Present, edited by Charlotte Brunsdon – Duke University Press, October 2021

Volumes on Marxism and race and difference appeared recently, and this is the next collection in the series of Stuart Hall: Selected Writings.

Writings on Media gathers more than twenty of Stuart Hall’s media analyses, from scholarly essays such as “Encoding and Decoding” (1973) to other writings addressed to wider publics. Hall explores the practices of news photography, the development of media and cultural studies, the changing role of television, and how the nation imagines itself through popular media. He attends to Britain’s imperial history and the politics of race and cultural identity as well as the media’s relationship to the political project of the state. Testifying to the range and agility of Hall’s critical and pedagogic engagement with contemporary media culture—and also to his collaborative mode of working—this volume reaffirms his stature as an innovative media theorist while demonstrating the continuing relevance of his methods of analysis.

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