Four new Foucault books

     

In addition to the Cambridge Foucault Lexicon (mentioned in my previous post, and which I should add has no less than 117 entries!), you may like to know of a few other Foucault books that are forthcoming in 2014.

A second is Wrong Doing, Truth Telling, (Amazon) based on the 1981 lectures Foucault gave at the Catholic University of Louvain, scheduled for release in April. Here is the publisher’s blurb:

Edited by Fabienne Brion and Bernard E. Harcourt
Translated by Stephen W. Sawyer
360 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Three years before his death, Michel Foucault delivered a series of lectures at the Catholic University of Louvain that until recently remained almost unknown. These lectures—which focus on the role of avowal, or confession, in the determination of truth and justice—provide the missing link between Foucault’s early work on madness, delinquency, and sexuality and his later explorations of subjectivity in Greek and Roman antiquity.

Ranging broadly from Homer to the twentieth century, Foucault traces the early use of truth-telling in ancient Greece and follows it through to practices of self-examination in monastic times. By the nineteenth century, the avowal of wrongdoing was no longer sufficient to satisfy the call for justice; there remained the question of who the “criminal” was and what formative factors contributed to his wrong-doing. The call for psychiatric expertise marked the birth of the discipline of psychiatry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as its widespread recognition as the foundation of criminology and modern criminal justice.

Published here for the first time, the 1981 lectures have been superbly translated by Stephen W. Sawyer and expertly edited and extensively annotated by Fabienne Brion and Bernard E. Harcourt. They are accompanied by two contemporaneous interviews with Foucault in which he elaborates on a number of the key themes. An essential companion to Discipline and Punish, Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling will take its place as one of the most significant works of Foucault to appear in decades, and will be necessary reading for all those interested in his thought.

A third book is Foucault Now, edited by James Faubion, which will also be published in April by Polity. Here is the blurb:

Michel Foucault is recognized as one of the twentieth century’s most influential thinkers, however the authors in this volume contend that more use can be made of Foucault than has yet been done and that some of the uses to which Foucault has so far been put run the risk of and occasionally simply amount to misuse.

This interdisciplinary volume brings together a group of esteemed scholars, recognized for their command of and insights into Foucault’s oeuvre. They demonstrate the many respects in which Foucault’s project of an ontology of the present remains vital and continues to yield compelling insights and show that an ontology of the present is restricted to no particular terrain, but instead ranges widely and on paths that frequently intersect.

The essays in this much-needed new collection address the key components of Foucault’s thought, ranging from his approach to power, biopolitics and parrhesia to analysis of key texts such as Folie et Déraison and Histoire de la sexualité.

This collection will spark debate amongst students and scholars alike and demonstrates that that every further encounter with Foucault’s corpus is more likely than not to demand a revisiting of interpretations already formulated, conclusions already drawn, uses already devised.

Contributors include Didier Eribon, Eric Fassin, John Forrester, Ian Hacking, Lynne Huffer, Colin Koopman, James Laidlaw, Laurence McFalls, Mariella Pandolfi, Paul Rabinow and Cary Wolfe.

Finally, Foucault’s own lectures On the Government of the Living, given in 1979-80 (after the Birth of Biopolitics and preceding the Hermeneutics of the Self) will receive their English-language publication in September. (This has slipped from a previously announced March publication, but hopefully won’t slip again.) The publisher’s blurb states:

In these lectures delivered in 1980, Michel Foucault gives an important new inflection to his history of ‘regimes of truth.’  Following on from the themes of knowledge-power and governmentality, he turns his attention here to the ethical domain of practices of techniques of the self. Why and how, he asks, does the exercise of power as government demand not only acts of obedience and submission, but ‘truth acts’ in which individuals subject to relations of power are also required to be subjects in procedures of truth-telling? How and why are subjects required not just to tell the truth, but to tell the truth about themselves? These questions lead to a re-reading of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and, through an examination of the texts of Tertullian, Cassian and others, to an analysis of the ‘truth acts’ in early Christian practices of baptism, penance, and spiritual direction in which believers are called upon to manifest the truth of themselves as subjects always danger of falling into sin. In the public expression of the subject’s condition as a sinner, in the rituals of repentance and penance, and in the detailed verbalization of thoughts in the examination of conscience, we see the organization of a pastoral system focused upon confession.

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2 responses to “Four new Foucault books

  1. Reblogged this on Progressive Geographies and commented:
    Jeremy Crampton rounds up four new books on or by Foucault – and do follow the link about the first where he provides his own discussion of Foucault’s key terms.

  2. Reblogged this on Paulo Jorge Vieira and commented:
    por terras anglófonas este serão os livros novos de Foucult em 2014!

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