The final book in my series of studies of Foucault, The Archaeology of Foucault, is due for publication with Polity in December 2022.
On 20 May 1961 Foucault defended his two doctoral theses; on 2 December 1970 he gave his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France. Between these significant dates, he published four books, travelled widely and wrote extensively on literature, the visual arts, linguistics and philosophy. He taught both psychology and philosophy, beginning his explorations of the question of sexuality.
Weaving together analyses of published and unpublished material, much of which has only recently become available, this book is a comprehensive study of this crucial period of Foucault’s career. As well as his major texts, it discusses his initial visits to Brazil, Japan and the USA, his time in Tunisia, and his editorial work for Critique and the complete works of Nietzsche and Bataille.
It was in this period that Foucault developed the historical-philosophical approach he called ‘archaeology’. For Foucault ‘archaeology’ meant the elaboration of the archive, which he understood as the rules which make possible specific claims. In its detailed study of Foucault’s archive, this book is also an archaeology of Foucault in a more literal sense, as a digging down, an uncovering, both excavation and reconstruction.
This book completes a four-volume series of major intellectual histories of Michel Foucault, exploring newly released archival material and covering the French thinker’s entire academic career. Foucault’s Last Decade was published by Polity in 2016; Foucault: The Birth of Power followed in 2017; and The Early Foucault in 2021.
There is more about the research and writing process behind this book here.