Foucault-L, Mailing List



History of the Foucault List (by Malgosia Askanas)

The list, under the name “foucault”, began in 1993 as part of Thinknet, Kent Palmer’s all-encompassing collection of philosophy lists. In early 1994, a disagr eement between Kent Palmer and Michael Current over Kent’s attempt to censor the discourse on the deleu ze list led to the founding, by Michael Current and Malgosia Askanas, of the Spoon Collective, and to the transfer of some of the Thinknet lists to the care of this collective.

It is interesting to note that Spoon’s methodolo gies for collective management of lists were developed so as to prevent the kind of burnout that Kent, who was managing his huge collection of lists by himself, was expe riencing at the time and which made his lists somewhat volatile. Kent, in turn, decided to seek moderators f or his lists from within his subscribership. Thus it happened that Steven Meinking, who at the time w as a student of philosophy at the University of Utah, became the moderator of the foucault list.

In the summer of 1994, during another of Kent’s bouts of volatility, Steven joined the Spoon Collective and moved the foucault list to Spoon. His membership in Spoon lasted for about a year, after which the moderation of the list was taken over by Flannon Jackson, one of the earliest Spoon members — and at the time a student o f philosophy at Denver University. A few years later, perhaps in 1999, Flannon, with his keen micropolitical sense, recognized (several years before anybody else) that running the Spoon lists had become indistingui shable from labor, and removed himself to the sidelines of Spoon. As a result, the list fell under the moderation of Malgosia Askanas, who remained its moderator until the dissolution of the Spoon Collective in December of 2004.

Since then, the Foucault list is hosted at