From: "Stuart Elden" <stuartelden@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 18:56:53 -0000
I'm not claiming any gift of foresight. All I really mean is that the
lectures up to now have been interesting and revealing in ways I didn't
expect. They often don't reflect the course summaries, for instance. Nor is
it, to my mind, obvious how Foucault got from book to book that were
published in his lifetime.
In the case of courses where lecture were already published - the 'Two
Lectures' from Society Must Be Defended, for instance, or the final lecture
of that course - it seems to me that the whole lecture course has
contextualised and deepened the overall picture considerably. In the case of
the 'Governmentality' lecture, it is quite amazing how productive that has
been in terms of the literature that has emerged from it. Some people who
have written on it clearly know the wider context - people who attended the
whole course, for instance. Would I be right in thinking that you were there
for this course? But it seems to me that a lot of the literature that
expands on Foucault's lecture, in often very interesting and productive
ways, is unaware of how the concern with rationalities of government emerged
in Foucault's work.
I sense that it is the issue of confession that led Foucualt to look at
questions around political control and the emergence of modes of conduct.
But it seems clear that his early thoughts on confession (i.e. in Les
Anormaux) needed to be reworked as he delved deeper into the literature. The
hints in the later work, and particularly in L'hermeutique show how much
this issue held a concern for him. For me at least, seeing the lecture back
in context (and indeed the courses as a whole) is going to show in much more
detail the answer to this and other questions. I expect it will raise some
more too. What this means, of course, is that I can't really predict. What
I've liked about the 1970s courses has been their capacity to surprise me.
Hope that clarifies a bit