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 method­olo­gies 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