Tomorrow I’ll be giving the opening plenary lecture to the ‘Time Served: Discipline and Punish Forty Years On‘ conference, organised by Sophie Fuggle and held at the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham.
My talk is entitled “Before the Punitive Society: The Inquiry of Théories et institutions pénales” (abstract).
The talk is drawn from a longer piece, actually a first draft of Chapter Two of Foucault: The Birth of Power, which I’ve been working on the past few weeks. The first part of the chapter looks at Foucault’s analysis of the Nu-Pieds revolts of the seventeenth century, and especially how his work sits between the analyses of Boris Porchnev and Roland Mousnier. I’ll be speaking about that at the Historical Materialism conference in November. In the present talk I’m hoping to relate the analysis of Théories et institutions pénales, and its ‘course summary’, to the ‘Truth and Juridical Forms’ lectures from Rio in 1973. Both the summary and the Rio lectures extend the analysis of this course in important ways. To fill out some of the detail I’m going to say a bit about the work I’ve been doing over the past couple of months in Paris going through Foucault’s preparatory notes. The talk is currently too long, so one of the tasks today is to find some things to edit out, and to practice it again.
I’m travelling up this afternoon, as this evening there is a screening of the Sur les toits film about French prisons in the early 1970s. I’ve not seen this before, so looking forward to that.