Foucault’s Last Decade – essay on the content and process at Berfrois

michel-foucault1At the Berfrois website I have a short essay discussing Foucault’s Last Decade, both in terms of its content and the research process that I followed. I also say a bit about the second book – Foucault: The Birth of Power.

Foucault’s Last Decade is a study of Foucault’s work between 1974 and his death in 1984. In 1974, Foucault began writing the first volume of his History of Sexuality, developing work he had already begun to present in his Collège de France lecture courses. In that first volume, published in late 1976, Foucault promised five further volumes, and indicated some other studies he intended to write. But none of those books actually appeared, and Foucault’s work went in very different directions. At the very end of his life, two further volumes of the History of Sexuality were published, and a fourth was close to completion. In contrast to the originally planned thematic treatment, the final version was a much more historical study, returning to antiquity and early Christianity. In this book, I trace these developments, and try to explain why the transition happened…

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