Re: [Foucault-L] Other spaces

Hm yes... I think i understand what you are saying. And that might actually
make a lot more sense when considering all the diffrent examples Foucault
gives plus any extra ones one might think of. A boat wouldnt be a boat
without mainland, and you wouldnt be able to get an offshore perspective of
the mainland without the boat!
I was thinking too much in terms of bits and pieces and linear causality. ;)
Thanks a bunch!


-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
Från: foucault-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:foucault-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]För Trent Hamann
Skickat: den 23 november 2007 04:01
Till: Mailing-list
Ämne: Re: [Foucault-L] Other spaces

Hello Åsa,

> "I am confused as to whether heterotopia consitutes or facilitates
> the construction of other spaces."

I think this might be a false choice because in some sense
heterotopias do both of these things.

Heterotopias are spaces that always function in a relationship to the
usual spaces we are familiar with and take for granted. Their
function is a disturbing one that 'others' our everyday sense of
things. The mirror is exemplary insofar as it can only function in
relation to that which it reflects, that is, the very space you're
occupying when you look into it. The effect it produces is something
uncanny, opening up the possibility for critically re-engaging what
was once familiar. It's not unlike what happens in the Preface to
The Order of Things where Foucault considers Borges' 'Chinese
encyclopedia'. In relation to our everyday thought, the Chinese
encyclopedia functions as a heterotopia because it has the power to
render our knowledge uncanny.

I think it's also worth mentioning that the second feature Foucault
describes is that heterotopias can become other to themselves as they
change over time. And the fourth feature is that they can be
associated with temporal breaks and discontinuities (decoupages du
temps), opening up onto heterochronias. So, again, heterotopias are
both 'other' and 'othering'.

I hope that helps.


Dr. Trent H. Hamann
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
St. John's University
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439

On Nov 22, 2007, at 5:09 PM, Åsa Rosenberg wrote:

> I'm reading the "Of Other Spaces" article plus some interpretations of
> Foucaults heterotopia and while I might be able to figure this out
> in time
> by myself... I thought it would be interesting to hear what you
> guys think.
> I am confused as to whether heterotopia consitutes or facilitates the
> construction of other spaces. When he talks about the mirror, it
> seems that
> the mirror is heterotopia which makes possible the "other
> space" (the site
> of simultaneous reflection and contestation).
> "The mirror functions as a heterotopia in this respect: it makes
> this place
> that I occupy at the moment when I look at myself in the glass at once
> absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it, and
> absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived it has to pass
> through
> this virtual point which is over there."
> But then in most other examples it seems that heterotopia IS the
> actual
> other space. (This is also how i see other people using the term,
> heterotopia _as_ other space).
> Cheers,
> -åsa
> _______________________________________________
> Foucault-L mailing list

Foucault-L mailing list

Re: [Foucault-L] Other spaces, Trent Hamann
Partial thread listing: