Although the Shakespeare Territories book is coming out in a few months, I’ve been back working on Shakespeare. Initially this was for a summary article of the book’s argument for a short article for Territory, Politics, Governance, which should be published fairly soon. Then it has been for the third in what is becoming a sequence of pieces on Foucault and Shakespeare – the others were on ceremony (open access) and madness (forthcoming). This new piece is on contagion, for a conference organised by the Kingston Shakespeare seminar on 23 June. I’ve enjoyed returning to Shakespeare again for this new piece, which has a long discussion of Troilus and Cressida, and a shorter one of All’s Well That Ends Well – two plays I only mentioned briefly in Shakespearean Territories. I’ll also be a speaking about Shakespeare at an event organised by Warwick and RADA for sixth-form students on 29 June. I’ll be presenting about four scenes with a territorial focus, and then the students will work on the scenes and perform them. The plan is to do the opening scenes of King Lear and Hamlet, the map division scene from Henry IV, Part 1 and the Venetian Council scene from Othello.
The main task for the first part of the summer will be revising the Canguilhem manuscript. This was a challenging book to write, and there is still work to do. I need to resubmit in mid-July with a view to the book being published in 2019. The Lefebvre work is also now back in progress, after long being stalled due to things outside my control.
The aim then will be to return to The Early Foucault, as there is certainly a lot I still want to do. But the Lille and ENS courses from the early 1950s are planned for publication and I think it makes sense to wait for this, although I have read them in manuscript. They are dense and difficult texts, and the editors will doubtless provide a lot of value in their work. I’m imagining that my work will run ahead of the publishing schedule, with a least one volume of 1960s material likely to appear first in the new sequence of courses. So I will likely have to leave a near-complete manuscript until the publishing catches up. I also want to have an extended period of time in Uppsala, working with the Bibliotheca Walleriana which Foucault used in the mid-late 1950s, and I’m thinking of ways to do that.
I have few talks scheduled for the next academic year, though the ones that will require new material are not for a while. As well as a proper holiday this summer, I also have a couple of weeks away where I plan to combine work with cycling in a more interesting area. I’m hoping some of that time can be spent reading – and reading where I am not intending that to be immediately useful. In recent years the time for reading generally and widely seems to be continually shrinking – everything seems to be instrumental for what I am working on at that time. I’m hoping to break that pattern and make time to read important but non-essential things.
I’ve also been conscious that this blog has been much less active in recent months, and that what I have posted has been largely notices. Perhaps I will have some time to do something about this, although I’m noticing lots of the blogs I follow have become less active and that other platforms, notably Twitter, seem to be taking over some of this work for academics.