Re: PhD exams

On Jul 11, 8:52pm, SCHULTE@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> Subject: PhD exams
> As I am soon to face my PhD comprehensive field exams, in Modern Lit. and
> Lit. Theory, I would appreciate input about what would be appropriate to
> include on my Theory list as per Foucault. Would entire books or essays
> be better, or a mix of both? Would a biography be good to include? How
> much should one be expected to know about Foucault himself? I hope these
> questions don't seem too juvenile, but my forays into Foucauldian theory
> are recent and not as deep as I'd like, and at Duquesne University, where
> the theory option is so new that one other person has exercised the
> option, I'd like a bit of extra guidance. Please respond either
> privately (schulte@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) or publically. Thanks! Jean Schulte
>-- End of excerpt from SCHULTE@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

As a student of literature, and of modern literature at that, I'd have to say
that biographies, while they might inform you reading(s) in useful ways, are
not necessarily the best route to take for comprehensive examinations. I'd
suggest that you read the Eribon text, which is an excellent read and
outlines the theoretical shifts and emphases in F.'s work in interesting
ways, without placing it on your comprehensive reading list. With regard to
what you might/should include as a student of literature, this depends in
large part on how much F. you want to include and what problems you are
interrested in addressing. I'll give you a short list of the texts I have
founndparticularly useful in my own work.

The Archaeology of Knowledge and "Discourse on Language"
The Order of Things
"What is an Author?"
"A Preface to Transgression" and "Language to Infinity"
Madness and Civilization (it gives an interesting perspective on F.'s own use
of literature in the early works)
"Truth and Power" and "The Subject and Power"
"History, Discourse and Discontinuity"
"What is Enlightenment?" might also be useful for your work on modern

Otherwise? What you choose would have to depend on the problems you want to
pose, have posed to you.

Secondary texts that I found interesting include:
Deleuze's Foucault and Blanchot's Foucault
Also interesting is De Certeau's "Micro-techniques and Panoptic Discourse: A
Quid pro Quo" from his Heterologies.

I hope this is helpful.

Penelope Ironstone-Catterall
York University
School of Social & Political Thought


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