Friday, March 11, 2011

Foucault Society Colloquium: Sovereignty & Governmentality in Butler & Foucault: 3/24

The Foucault Society, NYC
2011 Colloquium Series: New Research in Foucault Studies

We are delighted to announce the second colloquium in our new series:

Thursday, March 24, 2011
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, Room 5409
New York, NY

Verena Erlenbusch (University of Sussex and Emory University)
"Sovereignty and Governmentality: Mapping Power With Butler and Foucault"

This paper investigates the relation between sovereignty and governmentality by comparing and contrasting the work of Judith Butler and Michel Foucault. It argues that Butler’s reworking of this relationship is supported by Foucault’s genealogy of liberalism. Both Butler and Foucault shun any attempt to formulate a unitary theory of power and instead insist on the coexistence of multiple forms of power. For Foucault, this coexistence takes the form of a superimposition of different kinds of power, while Butler identifies an anachronistic resurgence of sovereignty within a field of governmentality. The paper concludes that Butler’s account of power under conditions of a permanent War on Terror anticipates and at the same time recreates the narrative Foucault developed in more depth in his lectures on biopolitics.

Speaker bio:
Verena Erlenbusch is a PhD candidate at the University of Sussex and a visiting research scholar at Emory University. Drawing from the work of Foucault, her dissertation, entitled "A History of Terrorism in the Age of Freedom," traces a philosophical history of terrorism and situates it within a wider development of contemporary power relations.

About the Colloquium Series:
The Foucault Society's Colloquium Series provides a forum for new research and works-in-progress, and an opportunity for both junior and senior scholars to share new work with a friendly and supportive audience of colleagues.
Open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, please send an e-mail to Shifra Diamond, Colloquium Chair, at

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.


**For directions to the CUNY Graduate Center, please see:

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