PHIL 105. Foucault: Genealogy and Power

The French philosopher Michel Foucault is widely regarded as one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, and his thought continues to influence scholarship across the humanities and social sciences. This honors seminar provides a comprehensive introduction to Foucault's critical method of genealogy and its role in the development of his political thought. While we will spend the majority of the semester reading Foucault's work, we will devote some attention to the thinkers and traditions of thought-those pioneered by Marx, Nietzsche, and the critical theorists-from whom Foucault directly and indirectly drew inspiration. We will engage with these texts alongside Foucault's own writings on knowledge, power, and subjectivity in order to better understand the centrality of genealogy in Foucault's interrogation of the "history of the present." In the final section of the course, we will focus our attention on contemporary scholars who have taken up, reimagined, and applied Foucault's concepts and method to 21st-century questions of power, domination, and freedom.

This seminar is intended for Seniors and Juniors, with priority given to honors students taking it as an honors preparation.  Others should contact the instructor for permission to enroll.
2 credits.
Fall 2023. Ahmed.
Catalog chapter: Philosophy 
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