Re: Basic info on Foucault for reading Bob Goss

M J R Gaffikin wrote:
> Change your course.
> > Date: Mon, 29 Jan 96 18:57:16 -0800
> > From: Leslie Addison <laddison@xxxxxxxxxx>
> > To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > Subject: Basic info on Foucault for reading Bob Goss
> > Reply-to: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > I am wondering if any of the folks on this list might be able
> > to help me out with baisc info on Foucault, or
> > deconstructionism. I am a grad student in theology, writing a
> > thesis on queer Christology. One of the texts I am using is
> > _Jeus Acted Up_ by Bob Goss. I think that one of Goss' s main
> > interests in using deconstructionism is based on Foucault's
> > sexuality, and plan to critque him on that, as well as use of
> > what I believe to be a false binary system. However, I need to
> > have a succeint way of explaining Foucault in like two
> > sentences. Any suggestions, pointers, etc.?
> >
> > Leslie
> > laddison@xxxxxxxxxx
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> Cheers
> Michael
> Unhappiness
> Let no one till his death
> Be called unhappy. Measure not the work
> Until the day's out and the labour done.
> Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)


I'm not sure how to take Micheal's answer to you up there, so let me start with
WOW! What a kul thesis you have going! I'm not familiar with any projects like
queer christology, so I'd say GO FOR IT. It sounds intriguing.

On the other hand, I don't think it's possible to deal with Foucault "in one or two
sentences." It would be an enormous disservice to him for us to offer him up to
you like that...and then another one for you to use the info like that. I do think
Foucault would be of help to you in a big way, but not like that. Your project,
even in your critique of Goss's "false binary system" already partakes of
deconstruction. You are doing it. It's an intricate unhinging of the hinges we tend
to (phal)logocentrically assume. Derrida discusses two types: negative
deconstruction, which is basically a privilege-flipping--flipping the privilege
i.e., from one side of the binary to the other (from male to female, white to black, good
to evil, etc.). This is important b/c in the switching, the assumed and
unquestioned privilege calls attention to itself and becomes unstable... From a
negative deconstruction, one can move into an affirmative one. Affirmative
deconstruction is a search for third subject positions, outside the binary
altogether. Not Hegel's thirds, though...we're not talking about anything
sequential or a simple synthesis. We're talking about a third outta the loop...a
third that is totally Other. Foucault performs this beautifully in his work on the
hermaphrodite...gods, I can't remember the name of that book...(Help me out here,
foucault people).

One of the laws of reason/logos is that one must be either male or female, never
both and never neither, but the hermaphrodite is a border who
indeed IS niether and/or both. If I were you, I'd get my hands on that book--if
someone here will kindly come up with the title!! B/c there, you'll get Foucault by
Foucault and you'll also get a taste of deconstruction in line with your project.

CU. keep me informed, too. I'm interested.



D Diane Davis D
D Rhetoric and Composition D
D Old Dominion University D
D Norfolk, VA 23925 D
D e-ddress: dddavis@xxxxxxxx D


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