Foucault and Public Health: Power, Knowledge, and History (May 2010)

a roundtable discussion and book party for

Understanding Emerging Epidemics: Social and Political Approaches

Ananya Mukherjea, editor

(Emerald Books, 2010)


Friday, May 14, 7:30 p.m.

CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave, Room 6114

New York, NY

How can a critical framework informed by Michel Foucault’s work help us to understand the social contexts and political stakes of emerging epidemics—medical and social?  What are the consequences of using the discourse of epidemiology not only for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS or SARS but also for social phenomena such as obesity or ADHD?  What new possibilities for public health policy and practice emerge from Foucault’s critique of power, knowledge, and history?

This roundtable featured anthology editor Ananya Mukherjea in conversation with contributors Daniel Skinner and Michael Jolley.


Ananya Mukherjea (Assistant Professor of Sociology, College of Staten Island, CUNY), “The Social Politics of Pandemic Influenzas: The Question of (Permeable) International, Interspecies, and Interpersonal Boundaries”

Daniel Skinner (Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ramapo College of New Jersey), “The Poetics of American Circumcision on the Margins of Medical Necessity”

Michael Jolley (Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center), “Contagious Youth: Deviance and the Management of Youth Sociality”

Wine and light snacks were served.