BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking – ‘Foucault: The History of Sexuality, Volume 4‘ – Shahidha Bari with Lisa Downing, Stuart Elden, and Stephen Shapiro, 25 February 2021, 10pm (and now available online and download here).
On the day the final volume of The History of Sexuality is published in English, over 36 years after Foucault’s death in 1984, Shahidha Bari and her panel assess its influence.
Shahidha Bari is joined by Lisa Downing, Stuart Elden, and Stephen Shapiro to look volume 4 of Foucault’s History of Sexuality at, translated into English for the first time, which examines beliefs and practices among the early Christians in Medieval Europe. Although he had specified in his will that his works shouldn’t be published after he died (in 1984), the rights holders of Foucault decided that these ideas could now be made public. So what do they tell us and how influential has his approach to sexuality been?
Lisa Downing, Professor of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham. She writes about gender and sexuality and she’s the editor of The Cambridge Introduction to Michel Foucault.
Stuart Elden’s books include The Early Foucault, which will be published in June 2021. This continues the work in his earlier books Foucault’s Last Decade and Foucault: The Birth of Power. He is Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick.
And Stephen Shapiro, Professor of English and Comparative Literature also at the University of Warwick. He is co-author of how to Read Foucault’s Discipline and Punish.
Producer: Luke Mulhall
You can find other episodes on philosophical themes in a Free Thinking playlist https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07x0twx
Details of the book are here; and a Warwick press release with some comments from me here. My review essay of the French edition of this text was published in 2018 – https://www.theoryculturesociety.org/review-foucaults-confessions-flesh/ (open access), and there is a roundup of other media reports from the French publication here.