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HSTCMP 509 A: Foucault and History

Meeting Time: 
M 3:30pm - 5:20pm
Location: 
SAV 140
SLN: 
15525
Instructor:
Professor Vicente Rafael
Vicente L. Rafael

Syllabus Description:

HSTCMP 509A: Foucault and History

Winter 2020

Prof. Vicente Rafael, vrafael@uw.edu

Office: Smith 116A

In this seminar we will ask about the usefulness of Foucault for thinking about history and thinking historically. We will begin with the question of method, the politics and ethics of critique, and an overview of the relationship among power, knowledge and subjectivity in the context of modernity that undergirds Foucault’s writings. Much of our discussion will focus on a set of the lectures he gave on war, race, security, governmentality, biopolitics and the ethics of truth-telling in the care of the self from the 1970s at the College de France. Alongside the lectures, I would encourage you to take a look at some of the recorded lectures at the archives in Berkeley (mostly in French, some in English--see links below), and a set of video lectures on Foucault’s lectures held at Columbia Univ., “MICHEL FOUCAULT’S COLLÈGE DE FRANCE LECTURES: 13 Years at the Collège, 13 Seminars at Columbia http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/foucault1313/

 

                                           Requirements include:

1. completing the assigned readings,

2. attending each class,

3. taking responsibility to lead at least one week’s discussion while providing a short commentary (2-3 pages max.) on the readings for that week for the class.

4. the majority of your grade will come from writing a research paper on a topic related to the course. If you are unable to come up with a paper topic, you also have the option to take a final exam. It will consist of a set of several questions, 2 or 3 on which you’ll be asked to write about.

Your papers will be due on Monday, Dec. 10, no later than 5:30pm by e-mail attachment to vrafael@uw.edu If you anticipate having any problems meeting this deadline, please contact me as soon as possible.

 

                           Required Texts (available at the U Bookstore):

Reading Packet available at the Canvas site for this class. https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1232703

Michel Foucault, On the Punitive Society: Lectures at the College de France, 1972-73, Palgrave, 2015

_________, Society Must be Defended: Lectures at the College de France, 1975-1976, Picador, 2003.

_________, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the College de France, 1977-1978, Picador, 2009.

_________, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979, Picador, 2010.

_________, The Courage of Truth: Lectures at the College de France, 1983-84, Picador, 2012.

Brown, Wendy, In the Ruins of Neo-liberalism, 2019. 

 

                                 Recommended Texts and Blogs:

Timothy Campbell and Adam Sitze, eds., Biopolitics: A Reader, Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 2013.

Paul Rabinow, ed., The Foucault Reader, New York: Pantheon, 1984. (selections on Canvas site).

MICHEL FOUCAULT’S COLLÈGE DE FRANCE LECTURES: 13 Years at the Collège, 13 Seminars at Columbia http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/foucault1313/

 

                                           Schedule of Classes:

Jan. 6: Introduction.

Read the following texts found on the Canvas site:

Michel Foucault, “What is an Author?” in Paul Rabinow, ed., The Foucault Reader, selection on Canvas site.

Michel Foucault, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,” in Rabinow, ed., The Foucault Reader, on Canvas site. ___________,

(with D. Trombadori), “Interview with Michel Foucault” on Canvas site.

_________, “The Subject and Power” in Canvas site.

_________, “What is Enlightenment?” Canvas site.

Didier Fassin, “How is Critique,” in Fassin and Harcourt, A Time for Critique

 

Jan. 13: Michel Foucault, On the Punitive Society: Lectures at the College de France, 1972-73

            “Considerations on Marxism, Phenomenology and Power,” Interview with Michel Foucault; Recorded on April 3rd, 1978, Michel Foucault, Colin Gordon, and Paul Patton, Canvas

            Recommended:

            Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, “The Communist Manifesto” in the Marx-Engels Reader, ed. by Robert Tucker, (on Canvas Reader).

            Karl Marx, Capital, v.I, selections in Marx-Engels Reader, (various editions), ed. by Robert Tucker, 302-343 (on Canvas Reader).

           Paul Rabinow, ed., The Foucault Reader, 169-256.

            MICHEL FOUCAULT’S COLLÈGE DE FRANCE LECTURES: 13 Years at the Collège, 13 Seminars at Columbia http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/foucault1313/313-2/

 

Jan. 20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. However, we’ll need to meet this day. Details to follow.

            Michele Foucault, Society Must be Defended: Lectures at the College de France, 1975-1976.

            Recommended:

            MICHEL FOUCAULT’S COLLÈGE DE FRANCE LECTURES: 13 Years at the Collège, 13 Seminars at Columbia http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/foucault1313/613-2/

 

Jan. 27: Michel Foucault, Security, Population, Territory: Lectures at the College de France, 1977-1978.

            Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics,” on Canvas site.

            Recommended:

            MICHEL FOUCAULT’S COLLÈGE DE FRANCE LECTURES: 13 Years at the Collège, 13 Seminars at Columbia, http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/foucault1313/the-eighth-seminar/

 

Feb. 3: Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979.

            Recommended:

            Paul Rabinow, ed., The Foucault Reader, 257-290.

            Wendy Brown, “Neo-liberalism and the End of Liberal Democarcy,” on Canvas Site.

Feb. 10: TBA. I will be out of town. Keep reading.

            Recommended: Michel Foucault, Abnormal: Lectures at the Collége de France, 1974-75

 

Feb. 17: TBA. I will still be gone, please keep reading.

            Recommended: Michel Foucault, The Government of the Self and the Other: Lectures at the Collége de France, 1982-83

 

Feb. 24: Wendy Brown, In the Ruins of Neo-liberalism

Continue with Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979.

Other readings TBA.

 

March 2: Michel Foucault, The Courage of Truth: Lectures at the College de France, 1983-84

            Recommended:

            Paul Rabinow, The Foucault Reader, 331-380.

            MICHEL FOUCAULT’S COLLÈGE DE FRANCE LECTURES: 13 Years at the Collège, 13 Seminars at Columbia, http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/foucault1313/the-thirteenth-seminar/

 

March 9: Open day to meet or work on your papers.

 

March 14: Final papers/exams due, 5:30pm by e-mail: vrafael@uw.edu

Jan. 20: MLK, Jr. Day, no meeting. 

 

 

Catalog Description: 
Addresses the usefulness of Foucault for thinking about history and thinking historically. Discusses questions of method, politics and ethics of critique, and overview relationships among power, knowledge, and subjectivity in context of modernity that undergirds Foucault's writings. Focuses on a set of Foucault's lectures on war, race, security, biopolitics, and on ethics of truth-telling in lectures he gave at the College de France. Offered: A.
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 19, 2019 - 2:00am
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