Below is the Foucault Circle call for papers, 2011 meeting (pdf).
This year’s Foucault Circle is taking place later this week in Baltimore, MD at Morgan State University. They’ve just released their final program and posted to their website here.
There are sessions on Iran, biopolitics, neoliberalism, populations, method, pleasure and sexuality. Oh, and power.
The Foucault Society at CSA (March 18; Berkeley)
The Space of Democracy event was held at Newcastle University last week. Their own site doesn’t mention it (!) but Anthony Giddens and Will Hutton held a conversation which included a discussion of the public intellectual.
See this post, which quotes the following from Foucault:
“It seems to me that we are now at a point where the function of the specific intellectual needs to be reconsidered.” – Foucault, Truth and Power.
The 9th annual Foucault Circle meeting will be held at DePaul University next spring (March 6-8). The final program is now available (.pdf). Looks very interesting.
FC Final Program (.pdf)
A few excerpts:
Historicity and Transcendentality in Foucault
Colin Koopman, University of California—Santa Cruz
The Final Foucault: Government of Others and Government of the Self, Assujettissement and
Alan Milchman and Alan Rosenberg, Queens College of the City University of New York
Foucault, Neoliberalism, and Political Violence
Johanna Oksala, University of Dundee
The Politics of Truth (Plenary Address)
Arnold Davidson, University of Chicago & University of Pisa
Liberation and Its Discontents: Foucault, Race, and the Possibility of Freedom
Cynthia D. Coe, Central Washington University
Disciplining Populations: A Look at Eugenic and Genetic Technologies
Ladelle McWhorter, University of Richmond
The University of Buffalo (SUNY) is holding a Humanities conference devoted to the topic of the history of madness (the book but also the theme).
The keynote speaker will be Marjorie Garber, Ph.D., of Harvard, a scholar and nimble-footed cultural detective who delights in pointing out the often weird connections that weave us into the web of our culture. Entertaining, much-published and a very popular speaker, she has trained her formidable interpretive gifts on everything from Shakespeare to dog love, often leaving readers and audiences astonished at her insights.
The conference “The Other Side of Reason: The History of Madness Today,” will take place in the Center for the Arts on UB’s North (Amherst) campus.
In recognition of the recent publication of the complete English translation of Michel Foucault’s enormously influential “History of Madness,” speakers will discuss the philosopher’s reinvention of history as a conversation about the relationship between madness and reason.
The Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy just had its meeting (.pdf) in Pittsburgh. Among the interesting-looking sessions were the following. Would be nice if these could be posted up somewhere.
Foucault Beyond Foucault: Power and Its Intensifications since 1984
Marquis A (Stanford University Press)
Moderator: Edward McGushin, Saint Anselm College
Speaker: Todd May, Clemson University
Speaker: Johanna Oksala, University of Dundee
Respondent: Jeffrey T. Nealon, Penn State University
Foucault, Skepticism, and Problematization
Salon 3 Moderator: Erinn Gilson, Wittenberg University
“Deleuze as a Source of Foucault’s Concept of Problematization,”
Colin Koopman, University of California, Santa Cruz
“On Michel Foucault, Skepticism, and the Grand Rise of Social Engineering,”
Matthew C. Eshleman, The University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Foucault: Race and Sexuality
Marquis B Moderator: Gerard Kuperus, University of San Francisco
“Biopolitics in the Jim Crow South: Lynching, Racial Hygiene, and the Fear of
Miscegenation,” Wade Roberts, Oklahoma City University
“African American Sexuality and the Repressive Hypothesis: Reading Patricia
Hill Collins with Michel Foucault,” Camisha Russell, Penn State University
Feminism, Power, Ethics:
Marquis B Foucauldian Trajectories at the Collège de France
Moderator: Jeffrey Bell, Southeast Louisiana State University
“Foucault, Feminism, and Familial Power,” Chloë Taylor, McGill University
“A New Architecture of Power, an Anticipation of Ethics,” Richard A. Lynch,
“Modernity/Femininity: the Self-sacrificing Subject,” Dianna Taylor, John
There were also many other sessions on Gadamer, Heidegger, Arendt, Husserl etc.
Ontology and Politics Conference, June 16th, 2008. Presented by the Politics Department and the Graduate School for Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London.
The program includes a couple of papers on Foucault and also a Keynote by Simon Critchley.
Johanna Oksala (University of Dundee): “Foucault’s Politicisation of Ontology.”
The paper makes two claims about political ontology. Firstly, I argue for the importance of ontological inquiry in political philosophy. For the theoretical rethinking of politics to amount to an effective response to practical political problems it cannot avoid ontological investigation. My second aim is to argue against any essential definition of ‘the political’. Political ontology should not denote an inquiry into the fixed essence of politics, but a politicised conception of reality. I will problematise the relationship between ontology and politics by putting forward such a conception with the help of Michel Foucault’s critical project. Foucault’s thought formed an important strand in the effort to theorise the social construction of reality that became prominent in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It is my contention that his most original and important contribution to this project was his conception of productive power. The ontological idea behind Foucault’s hybrid notion of power/knowledge is that social practices always incorporate power relations, which become constitutive of forms of the subject as well as domains and objects of knowledge. They are not subjects and objects existing in the world as pregiven constants, but are rather constituted through practices of power. This is a radical, ontological claim about the nature of reality: reality as we know it is the result of social practices, but also of concrete struggles over truth in social space. My argument will proceed in three stages. First, I will defend the importance of ontological inquiry in political philosophy. I will then explicate the politicised conception of reality – the political ontology – that I find in Foucault’s thought. Finally, I will conclude by considering its consequences for our understanding of politics.
Giorgos Fourtounis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): “Immanence and Subjection: Foucault, Althusser and the aporia of the subject.”
In this paper I will try to draw some hints from Althusser’s late thinking on aleatory materialism as a means for tackling the alleged impasses of the (post)structuralist theorization of the subject (exemplified in the works of Foucault and Althusser himself) and their political consequences. The close correlation between Foucault’s anti-subjectivist and anti-teleological stances, where the subject is constituted by non-subjective “power/knowledge regimes”, which in their turn are contingent events, essentially unpredictable and non-explicable, entangles him in the aporia of a subject suspended between the constituted and the constituent subject, or between the subject as a result and the subject as a cause. The counterpart of this aporia, which is prolonged rather than attenuated in Foucault’s late work, is the aporia of the Enlightenment (and its advent), which is viewed both as a contingent event “that has made us what we are” and as an attitude or ethos, a task to be accomplished. A similar correlation between anti-subjectivism and anti-finalism is also omnipresent in Althusser’s thought, but here, as I will try to show, the relevant aporias can be tackled better by way of the evocation of Spinozist immanence as a theoretical means of thinking both the structural causality governing the constitution of social formations and the ideological interpellation governing the constitution of subjects. This theoretical strategy was proposed, precisely, as an attempt to resolve an analogous aporia concerning causality, that is, as an escape out of the traditional dilemma between atomist-transitive and holistic-transcendent causality: a structured individuality neither preexists (as a transcendent cause) nor follows (as a transitive result) the elements and procedures of its constitution, but it is their immanent cause, with no existence apart from them. According to Judith Butler, now, both Foucauldian subjection and Althusserian interpellation involve the ontological paradox of a constitutive retroaction and self-referentiality, where the subject necessarily appears as the precondition of its constitution. In the light of this, my suggestion will be that it is precisely such a figure of retroaction, essentially of a Spinozist inspiration, that is constitutively involved in Althusser’s late work, considered as a radical development of his earlier Spinozist structuralism, providing an additional philosophical perspective for the thematization of the aporia of the subject.
Paul Reynolds (Edge Hill): “Ontologies, Politics, Dialectics: The Ordering of Stable and Unstable Moments.”
Behind much political and social theory in the last 50 years has been the question of ontological stability. Post-structuralist influenced critiques have settled upon a critique of – if you like – ’solid state ontologies’, particularly those inherent within universalist, essentialist theories of politics and society such as Marxism or Feminism, and sought to explore the deconstructive, critical and unstable moments that seem to negate ’solid state ontologies’, at its best represented in Derrida and Foucault, and at its worst in the culturally reifications of post-modern discourse. This has produced a dichotomy of – if you like – ’solid state ontologies’ and fluid and ‘unstable ontologies’ in which the entrenchment on either side often depends on philosophical or political convictions, and guerilla war between the trenches atrophies critical debate. Some thinkers work – Laclau, Butler and to an extent Zizek, seem to reflect the agonies (and perhaps agonistic nature) of seeking to straddle these entrenchments and some, to an extent Badiou, and more Critical Realism, might suggest a synergistic alternative to such entrenchment. This paper seeks to build upon these to suggest that an understanding of ontological stability lies not in attachment to one or other moment, but the recognise them as moments in not a dichotomised but a dialectical process, where the ordering of moments produces the balance or scope and limits to particular thinkers accommodations between the two. What is at stake in doing so is not just an arguably more critical openness philosophically, but an approach to politics that recognises the need to effect such dialectical engagements in both strategising and in engaging mobilisation and action in the political frame, and particularly within the anti-capitalism movement at the present conjuncture.
More info here.
The next meeting of the Foucault Circle will be at DePaul University in Chicago, March 6-8 2009. Their call for papers is now being circulated (not yet on their website but should be shortly. Update: cfp now on their website). Deadline is November 10, 2008 to Brad Elliott Stone, Program Chair (email@example.com).
They will also have a session on Foucault at the APA (American Philosophical Association) Eastern Division meetings in December in Philadelphia.
Greetings:The Fifth Annual SOCIAL THEORY FORUM will be held on April 16 and 17, 2008 at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. This year’s conference, titled A Foucault for the 21st Century: Governmentality, Biopolitics & Discipline in the New Millennium, includes more than 60 papers addressing the contemporary relevance of the work of Michel Foucault.As the date approaches, we are happy to announce the publication of the PRELIMINARY PROGRAM. Please check the conference website: www.foucaultconference.org and download the preliminary program. We look forward to seeing you in Boston!