A 'new Foucault' with lively implications - or 'the crawfish advances sideways'

Philo, C. (2012) A 'new Foucault' with lively implications - or 'the crawfish advances sideways'. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37(4), pp. 496-514. (doi: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00484.x)

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This paper argues that we may now speak of a ‘new Foucault’ with more to say to contemporary human geography than might at first be suspected. A number of recent publications – notably the collected and translated Collège de France lecture series – paint a picture of Foucault that arguably departs from presumptions of him as the chronicler-theorist of discursively constituted, totalising power. The paper has two objectives: first, to offer a synoptic introduction to the lecture series, spotlighting the geographical resonances; and secondly, to thread an interpretative line through these materials demonstrating Foucault’s concern for the vital problematics of lively bodies and unpredictable populations, always threatening to over-spill different forms of power (sovereign, disciplinary, biopolitical, governmental, pastoral, psychiatric). An attempt is made to address Nigel Thrift’s non-representationalist critique of Foucault, and to propose that the gulf between Thrift and Foucault is not as great as the former may imply – a finding of value when identifying future possibilities for critical-geographical inquiry.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Philo, Professor Christopher
Authors: Philo, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing

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