Wanted: audiotapes of Foucault’s 1973 lectures

reposted from Clare O’Farrell’s Foucault News blog:

The French publishing houses, Le Seuil and Gallimard, publishers of the official edition of Michel Foucault’s lectures at the Collège de France, are seeking copies of any cassette tape recordings that might have been recorded at the Collège de France in Winter and Spring 1973 during Foucault’s lecture series on La société punitive.

These lectures were delivered over the period from January to March 1973. If you have any cassette tapes of these lectures or any information leading to the discovery of such tapes, please contact Caroline Pichon : caroline.pichon@seuil.com, tel: +33 1 41 48 83 43.

As I’ve mentioned before, the 1970-71 lectures were published on the basis of the manuscript as tapes were not available. While that approach certainly made for an interesting volume, there were a few gaps in the manuscript, including the material on Nietzsche. It is good that the editor, Daniel Defert, was able to circumvent legal restrictions and use the manuscript for that course, and that he has made manuscripts of other courses available to their editors so they can supplement the spoken with the written word. But obviously it’s best if both are available. It is a shame though that the publishers have waited this long to issue a public call for the tapes – the editing of Foucault’s lectures began in the mid 1990s, and I suspect many people who attended the early lectures may have around then, but perhaps less likely now, almost forty years on. And whatever tapes might exist will surely have deteriorated still further in the last fifteen years. But let’s hope some tapes are found.

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