Stuart Elden Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 20

Stuart has an update to his next book. These are always fascinating to read. Not many authors I know of post so frequently about work in progress. Here’s an excerpt:

One thing that the University of Melbourne has, which is useful for this work, is all ten volumes of Claude Mauriac’s memoirs, Le temps immobile. Mauriac was a close friend of Foucault’s for many years, and his memoirs are a non-linear, loosely thematic set of excerpts from his journal. David Macey and Didier Eribon make quite a bit of use of them in their biographies of Foucault, and so there were a few citations I wanted to check. But Clare O’Farrell encouraged me to “well and truly scour” them, which I have been doing. Entries are dated, and there is a decent index, so I was able to skim over parts outside the period I’m concerned with – he kept journals for nearly sixty years. Even so, each volume is around 500-600 pages, so this is a lot of work, but they include some very interesting anecdotal information and some useful insights. I also worked through the recently-reissued book by Thierry Voeltzel, Vingt ans et après, which is a set of interviews, initially anonymous but which we now know to be with Foucault, and is very revealing. I then re-read the Miller, Macey and Eribon bibliographies and was struck how Macey especially was able to fill in detail about the courses on the basis of what was then pretty scant evidence.

Obviously a lot of very thorough work going into this. Making it hard for reviewers of the eventual book!

Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 20.


Elden: Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 13

Stuart’s latest update on his book Foucault’s Last Decade.

Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 13.

Foucault news now at Refracted Input

Hooray! The news component of Foucaultblog has found a new home at Clare O’Farrell’s blog Refracted Input. Foucault News blog.

Clare is well known in the Foucault community and the author of several books on Foucault, as well as maintaining since 1997.

I’m very grateful for Clare’s offer to continue posting news about Foucault and Foucault-related events. Foucault Blog is dead, long live Foucault news!

New Italian website

I’ve had a nice note from Daniele Lorenzini about a new Italian Foucault website at Materiali Foucaultiani. The site is available in French, Italian and English. They also want to start a new journal. Here is part of their manifesto:

More precisely, we wish to build up a framework to investigate and to highlight the essential link between the Foucaultian “boîte à outils” and the search of a sense to give to our actualité. To this purpose we shall firstly outline a cartography of the receptions and applications of the concepts elaborated by Foucault, to show that his “boîte à outils” is still fundamental if we want to put into question our present and take a clear stand in front of the issues emerging from our actualité. Then, we have to explore the ensemble of appropriations and interpretations which has made Foucault’s theory a “travelling theory”, i.e. a perspective of analysis and, at the same time, a critical posture capable of crossing disciplinary limits, sifting archives different from those opened by Foucault himself, and offering tools and materials to reflect soundly on events belonging to our multi-spatial and multi-temporal global present. In short, the aim of our project is to broaden the spectrum of problematizations proposed by Foucault, using the instruments provided by his work. For instance, it is an undeniable fact that in the postcolonial or gender studies the Foucault legacy has generated several theoretical and political evolutions that it is now impossible to put aside – even when the Foucaultian method has been forced or adopted only partially.

It looks interesting and I wish them well.

Two new books from Blackwell

First is Foucault and Philosophy which is already out, edited by Chris Falzon and Timothy O’Leary (2010).

Second is a Blackwell “Companion” to Foucault, which Falzon will edit with O’Leary and Jana Sawicki.

The Companion books tend to be hefty and significant books (I’m familiar with the ones for Heidegger and Political Geography) and it’s good to see one being devoted to Foucault.

Why Andrew Sullivan is wrong about Foucault

I wasn’t familiar with this blogger previously, but Jill Dolan at the Feminist Spectator does a brilliant take-down of Andrew Sullivan’s misperceptions and misstatements about Foucault and gay and lesbian ways of being.

A small taste:

Sullivan associates “liberationist” gay and lesbian discourse, the taxonomy’s second track, with Michel Foucault, whose ideas he proceeded to misread. In Sullivan’s interpretation of Foucault, gender and sexuality are “all in our heads.” Well, not exactly. Foucault and the school of “social constructionist” theories of gender and sexuality he in some ways originated, believe that sexuality is constructed by history and language. While men, for example, might have had sex with one another throughout history, they’re only called “homosexual” when culture decides to name these acts as such, bringing into being a stigmatized identity where there wasn’t one before.

New book: Michel Foucault by Lynn Fendler

A new book on Foucault and education by Lynn Fendler:


Michael Foucault is undisputedly a major thinker in education. Lynn Fendler’s volume offers the most coherent account of Foucault’s educational thought. This work is divided into: 1) Intellectual Bibliography 2) Critical exposition of Foucault’s work 3) The reception and influence of Foucault’s work 4) The relevance of the work today
Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface

Part 1: Intellectual Biography

Part 2: Critical Exposition of Foucault’s Work
I. Definitions of Major Concepts
II. Summaries of Major Works

Part 3: The Reception and Influence of Foucault’s Work

Part 4: The Relevance of Foucault’s Work Today


From Continuum, Feb 3 2010, $120.

This sounds like a useful overview, but surely Continuum are pricing this beyond the individual here. I’m all for publishers getting a return on the books they publish, but why not produce an affordable paperback edition alongside the hardback? There are far too many instances of publishers producing really expensive hardbacks that nobody reads (Springer does this a lot for instance, even demanding camera-ready copy from authors). Having a book coming out in a couple of weeks myself that I’ve spent some years writing I know I would be very upset with this kind of pricing policy.

No wonder people scan them into pdfs and upload them to websites.