HSTCMP 509A: Foucault and History
Winter 2024 [Please ignore the Course Summary below].
Prof. Vicente Rafael, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 on which you’ll be asked to write about.
Your papers will be due on Tuesday, March 15, no later than 5:30pm by e-mail attachment to email@example.com If you anticipate having any problems meeting this deadline, please contact me as soon as possible.
Required Texts (ebooks available on Canvas Site, UW Library; and print editions 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.
Neferti Tadiar, Remaindered Life, Durham: Duke Unuiv. Press, 2023.
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).
Achille Mbembe, Necropolitics, Duke UP, 2019 (selections in Canvas reader)
Vicente L. Rafael, The Sovereign Trickster: Death and Laughter in the Age of Duterte, Duke UP, 2022.
Schedule of Classes:
Jan. 9: Introduction.
Read the following texts found on the Canvas site:
D. Trombadori, “Interview with Michel Foucault” on Canvas site.
Michel Foucault, "Truth and Power", interview in Rabinow, The Foucault Reader, Canvas site
Michael Behrent, "The True Foucault"
Jan. 16: 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.
_________, "Different Spaces", Canvas Site.
_________, “The Subject and Power” in Canvas site.
_________, “What is Enlightenment?” in Rabinow, The Foucault Reader, Canvas site.
Immanuel Kant, "What is Enlightenment" Canvas site.
Jan. 23. 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 site
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.
Jan. 30: Michele Foucault, Society Must be Defended: Lectures at the College de France, 1975-1976.
Rey Chow, "Foucault, Race and Racism," in Lisa Downing, ed., After Foucault: Culture, Theory and Criticism in the Twenty First Century, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018, in Canvas site.
Feb. 6: Michel Foucault, Security, Population, Territory: Lectures at the College de France, 1977-1978.
Recommended: Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics,” on Canvas site.
Recommended: Vicente Rafael, "The Sovereign Trickster", on Canvas site.
Feb. 13: Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979
Feb. 20: Neferti Tadiar, Remaindered Life
Feb. 27: Michel Foucault, The Courage of Truth: Lectures at the College de France, 1983-84
Recommended: Paul Rabinow, The Foucault Reader, 331-380.
March 5: Open day to meet or work on your papers.
March 12: Final papers/exams due, March 15, Tuesday, 5:30pm by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org