The Politics of Life: Michel Foucault and the Biopolitics of Modernity
Call for papers
Södertörn University College, Stockholm
September 3-5, 2009
Ever since the concepts of “biopolitics” and “biopower” appeared in the first volume of Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality in 1976, they have continued to provoke responses. In 1976 Foucault picks up themes already developed in Discipline and Punish, and describes a shift in the structure of power that takes us from the epoch of sovereignty, in which the right of the ruler is to take life or let live, to the modern conception of power as a way to enhance, render productive, compose, maximize, and administer life. In some respects this is an undeniable progress toward a more “humane” world, but, as Foucault underlines, it also leads to a biological conception of politics. To exterminate the enemy, to expel the degenerate, the enemy of the people or the class from the social body in order to attain purity—all of this will become possible precisely because the body politic comes to be perceived as a living entity that must be attended to, and not just a source of disturbances that must be repressed.
More here (link fixed). Deadline extended to May 31. For more information, contact Sven-Olov Wallenstein (sven-olov.wallenstein (at) sh.se.
Update. Information about the deadline extension was contained in this message sent to crit-geog.
Another contact listed in the cfp isjakob.nilsson (at) mail.film.su.se
Filed under: Biopolitics