Michel Foucault’s The Birth of Biopolitics: Roundtable Discussion (2009)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009   6:30-10:00pm  

Stony Brook Manhattan 
387 Park Avenue South, Third Floor (between E. 27th & E. 28th Sts) 
New York, NY 10016 

Michel Foucault’s The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) is prompting critics to reevaluate his intellectual and political project while offering new insights into the history of neo-liberalism. Our roundtable brought together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars to discuss new critical perspectives on Foucault’s lecture courses. 

What makes these lectures so relevant to us today? We discussed Foucault’s treatment of themes such as racism, war, ethics, and neoliberal subjectivity; reconsidered his critiques of Marx, Husserl, Weber, and others; and situated his analysis in the context of contemporary theorists of biopolitics, such as Giorgio Agamben and Donna Haraway. Finally, we asked, how might Foucault’s analysis of neoliberalism help us to form critiques of current political situations in the U.S. or internationally? 

This lively conversation with faculty from the Foucault Society’s 2008-09 Seminar Series on The Birth of Biopolitics was followed by a dessert reception sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Stony Brook University. 

Moderator: Jeffrey Bussolini, College of Staten Island, CUNY 


Samuel Binkley, Emerson College Foucault Society Roundtable, May 2009

Patricia Ticineto Clough, Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY 

Jonathan Cutler, Wesleyan University 

Rafael de la Dehesa, College of Staten Island, CUNY 

Trent H. Hamann, St. John’s University 

Eduardo Mendieta, Stony Brook University, SUNY 

Ananya Mukherjea, College of Staten Island, CUNY 

Alan Rosenberg, Queens College, CUNY 

The 2008-09 Seminar Series was funded by a mini-grant from the New York Council for the Humanities

This event was open to the public. 

Registration: $10. 

Copies of The Birth of Biopolitics were available for purchase at our discounted price: $21.00 (includes tax-deductible donation to the Foucault Society). 

Seminar Co-Directors: 

Shifra Diamond, Ph.D. Candidate, George Washington University 

Michael Jolley, Ph.D. Candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY 

About the Foucault Society: The Foucault Society is an independent, non-profit educational organization offering a variety of forums dedicated to critical study of the ideas of Michel Foucault (1926-1984) within a contemporary context. The Foucault Society is a 501 (c) (3) recognized public charity. As such donations are tax deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.