A year in review – talks, publications and writing, plus links to my ‘best-of’ lists

I began 2016 with a lengthy manuscript on the 1969-75 period of Foucault’s work, partly developed from the large sections cut from the manuscript of Foucault’s Last Decade. The main task accomplished in the first part of this year was turning that into a complete version, submitted in March and in revised form in May. That book, Foucault: The Birth of Power, will be published in early 2017 with Polity. I received an advance copy just before Christmas. 

After submitting that manuscript I turned back to Shakespeare, and now have a complete manuscript of the long-postponed Shakespearean Territories. I still need to do some work before it will be ready to submit, but the major work is, I think, now done. There is some more information about this project here.

Much of the year I was on sabbatical from Warwick, mainly in a visiting post at UCL’s new Institute of Advanced Studies, and had made a decision that I would travel less and agree to very few talks, in major part to concentrate on writing. So, until September, I gave just a few talks in London and at Warwick. Later in the year I went to Memphis, Los Angeles and Gießen. These gave me the chance to talk about Shakespeare, a bit about Foucault, and about terrain.

Terrain was planned to be the next major project, and I am scheduled to give several talks on this theme over the first few months of 2017, in London, Durham, Oslo and Stockholm. I’ll also be speaking a bit about Foucault and at least once on Shakespeare in the first half of the year. All my forthcoming talks are listed here. At the moment I’m not sure if terrain will be the major project I’d intended, or just an article or two. Part of the reason for this is that I put in a major grant application on the theme, and so my work is partly dependent on funding. The other reason is that I’ve begun work on a different Foucault project, on the very early work of the 1950s. I had intended to take a break from Foucault before embarking on any new work, but I found myself drawn back to it, and the more I examined it the more revealing things I found. So I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently exploring this theme, which will take me back to Paris in the New Year for more archival work.

Foucault’s Last Decade was published in April by Polity, and was followed by Henri Lefebvre’s Metaphilosophy, which I edited and introduced for Verso. I also wrote a brief foreword to the translation of Lefebvre’s Marxist Thought and the City for University of Minnesota Press. Not many other pieces, though I had chapters in the collection Extraterritorialities in Occupied Worlds, edited by Maayan Amir and Ruti Sela; and in Foucault and the Modern International, edited by Philippe Bonditti, Didier Bigo and Frédéric Gros, which should appear very soon. I was interviewed about the Foucault work at critical-theory.com, in Tank magazine, Symposium, and for the New Books in Critical Theory podcast. There is a piece about the writing of the books at Berfrois.

2017 will see, hopefully, the submission of Shakespearean Territories, and substantial work on the project with Adam David Morton on Lefebvre’s rural work. The proposal is currently out for review. For a preview of this work, see the translation of one essay and our introduction to it in Antipode. Some other forthcoming work can be found as preprints here; much of my older work can be downloaded here.

This blog was much less active than previous years – with about half the posts, and a corresponding drop in visitors. As I’ve said before, the Shakespeare work leant itself much less to blogging, but I also seemed to find fewer things to share.

I saw a lot of theatre in 2016, of which the highlight was probably Antony Sher as King Lear, though I also really enjoyed Ivo van Hove’s take on the history plays, Kings of War, and the RSC’s Doctor Faustus and The Alchemist. I cycled even more than last year, clocking up over 7,000 miles, including trips to Tenerife and Gran Canaria, a few days in Exmoor, and weekends in Brecon and the Cotswolds. The final week of the year in Gran Canaria was great, and included a ride to Pico de las Nieves, the highest point on the island at just less than 2000 metres, beginning from the coast. But the hardest ride was unquestionably the coast to the Mount Teide plateau on Tenerife, which was brutal – it just goes on and on, and up and up.

The most important academic books to me from 2016 are listed here; the novels and biographies I read are here; and the music I most liked here. Thank you all for reading and see you in 2017.

This entry was posted in Adam David Morton, Conferences, Cycling, Foucault's Last Decade, Foucault: The Birth of Power, Henri Lefebvre, Michel Foucault, Shakespearean Territories, Territory, The Early Foucault, Travel, Uncategorized, William Shakespeare. Bookmark the permalink.

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