L'utilisation de la torture pour extorquer des aveux et obtenir des informations a formé une partie intégrale de la pratique juridique et politique à travers l'histoire – depuis l'enquête menée par Œdipe, aux pratiques inquisitoriales au Moyen Âge, aux interrogatoires de la CIA à Guantánamo Bay et Abou Ghraib.
Dans le cadre du séminaire « De l’Inquisition à Guantanamo : L’aveu, la torture, et le pouvoir de la vérité » à l’EHESS, nous nous sommes posés les questions suivantes : peut-on produire une pensée critique sur la torture qui change radicalement la conversation par rapport aux différents modes de polarisation— en faveur, contra ; utile, inutile ; bonne, mauvaise ; légale, illégale ; définissable, indéfinissable ; etc. ? Peut-on se situer en dehors d’une pensée de la torture qui est toujours en train de considérer celle-ci en tant qu’un moyen pour quelque chose d’autre ? Ou, peut-être, comment théoriser les utilisations discursives et pratiques de la torture, de son vocabulaire, de ses définitions, non seulement à travers l’histoire, mais aussi dans notre propre temps ? Comment penser le vide vertigineux entre les considérations juridiques sur la torture et les pratiques politiques, morales, etc. ? Comment, pour ainsi dire, théoriser ce vide-là, cet abîme, étant donné que c’est précisément cet abîme qui est au centre du problème et qui en constitue la partie la plus critique ? Celles-ci ne sont que quelques unes des questions que nous poursuivons dans cette recherche collective sur la torture.
Pour cette journée d’études le 8 juin 2016, nous proposons à des spécialistes en histoire, littérature, sciences politiques, droit, et philosophie de poser leurs propres questions critiques liées à la torture.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
A Critical Lab: Torture and Confession
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
206 Casa Hispánica, Columbia University (612 West 116th Street, New York NY 10027)
The use of torture to extract confessions and obtain information has formed an integral part of legal and political practice throughout history, from the inquiry that Œdipus conducted in Œdipus Rex to the CIA interrogations at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. At times, these practices have been strictly regulated according to legal manuals detailing the precise forms of torture that could be applied to a suspect; at others they have been strictly prohibited by human rights conventions and used nonetheless. During several historical periods, these practices comprised a specific juridical form of the “inquest”; at other times, similar kinds of practices (e.g. the threat of death) have been permitted under adversarial legal methods.
After reading some of the most recent articles and books about torture and confession, we have come to understand the exceedingly difficult task of writing about torture. In a certain way, it is as if torture were such an extreme act that it constitutes the very limits of speech. One often reads the atrocities that torturers do to individuals, as well as eloquent claims to stop torture altogether –often, claims that have been directed to the highest legal and political authorities, to no avail. But we reject the idea that we must stay within those boundaries. We, in fact, suggest that it may be important to challenge them. For this critical lab, we ask our collaborators to think beyond the limits of what has been thought, written, and spoken regarding torture and confession.
Each intervention will be 20’ long, followed by 10’ comments by our graduate students and 15’ conversation.
10:00 Bernard E. Harcourt & Jesús R. Velasco . Opening remarks
10:30 Michelle Farrell, University of Liverpool, & Kathleen Cavanaugh, National University of Ireland, Galway. The ‘Special Stigma’ of Torture.
11:15 Patricia Nguyen, Northwestern University. Performing Sovereignty. Seductive Violence and Forced Confessions In Vietnamese Re-Education Camps
12:00 Joseph Lawless, Columbia University. Viral Inquisitions: Torture and the Carceral Governance of the HIV-Positive Body.
12:45 LUNCH BREAK
2:00 Lotte F. M. Howink ten Cate, Columbia University.Jewish ‘Collaborators’ Caught Between History and the Law: Objectivity, Empathy, and the Legal Record.
2:45 Dylon Robbins, New York University. Regarding the Political Economy of the Obscene.
3:30 General discussion and closing remarks
Sponsored by: CCCCT - ICLS - LAIC - LAW SCHOOL - COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Monday, April 18, 2016
Criminal Law and Markets
Levien Room, 10th Floor, William C. Warren Hall, Columbia Law School
Please join Professors Elizabeth Emens, Bernard Harcourt, and Daniel Richman for a special lunch workshop with Visiting Professor Lindsay Farmer of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow, who will discuss "Criminal Law and Markets."
This workshop will begin at 12:10 pm (with a non-pizza lunch served starting at 12:00 noon) in the Levien Room, 10th floor of William C. Warren Hall. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the paper, or if you have questions, please contact Kemi Adetayo at firstname.lastname@example.org. The workshop is open to faculty, students, and the public. We look forward to your participation.
Thanks to the Office of Student Services for supporting lunch for this event.
Please note that Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to attend this event, please contact Kemi Adetayo, ideally 5 days in advance of the event or as soon as possible thereafter.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Foucault's Punitive Society and the GIP
A Round Table
4:00 - 6:00 pm
2nd Floor Library, Casa Hispanica, 612 West 116th Street
There is a growing interest in Foucault’s involvement with The Prisons Information Group (GIP) (1970-1973). Most of that interest has been fueled by a return to the GIP’s archival documents. The publication of The Punitive Society, however, offers a new vantage point from which to reassess the GIP and track its significance for Foucault’s thought. This lecture course, delivered as it was in the early months of 1973—just after the GIP officially disbanded, should be read not only as a precursor of Discipline and Punish but also as a postscript to his prison resistance efforts. In this session, scholars reflect on the apparent resonances (and tensions) between Foucault’s lectures on confinement, surveillance, capitalism, morality, and illegalisms, on the one hand, and his work with the GIP, on the other.
Natalie Cisneros, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Seattle University
Andrew Dilts, Assistant Professor of Political Theory, Loyola Marymount University
Bernard Harcourt, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia University
Perry Zurn, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Hampshire College
Moderator and Chair:
Jesus R. Velasco, Columbia University
This workshop will explore Michel Foucault's 1973 lectures at the Collège de France on The Punitive Society in relation to his political activism on prisons with the Prisons Information Group. The workshop will address the following set of questions:
Foucault delivered this lecture course in the early months of 1973—just after the GIP officially disbanded. As such, how might the course be read as a postscript to Foucault’s prison resistance efforts? How are these lectures clearly informed by the GIP’s work but how might they also mark a turn away from the GIP’s concerns?
Questions about his own role as an intellectual in political life—and, indeed, about theory and practice more broadly—are central to Foucault’s work and remain vital in Foucault scholarship. How does Punitive Society contribute to our thinking about theory, practice, and the political involvement of the intellectual in Foucault’s larger corpus and in our present moment?
Of all the lecture courses, Punitive Society is most clearly the precursor to Discipline and Punish. What are, perhaps, the most significant resonances between these two texts and what might be their most significant tensions?
Throughout his life, Foucault would by turns insist on the absolute disruptions between his intellectual endeavors and, in another breath, identify consistent themes that hold all of his work together. Does Punitive Society mark a break in his work? Alternatively, how might it fruitfully be read alongside other moments in his corpus (e.g. the lectures)?
How does Punitive Society illuminate Foucault’s relationship to other thinkers of his time (e.g. the typical suspects: Althusser, Bentham, Debord, Deleuze & Guattari, Hobbes, Levi-Strauss, Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, etc. and/or Black Panthers, the GP, Livrozet, etc.).
David Garland has argued that Punitive Society is a work of historical sociology, whereas Discipline and Punish is a work of philosophy. What sorts of methodological assumptions, practices, and/or developments are operative in Punitive Society? What value do they have and to what critiques might they be subject?
How can Punitive Society be understood if we consider it in light of critical work on the prison, mass incarceration, surveillance, and punishment in the present moment? In particular, how might we read Foucault’s work on punitive power alongside contemporary feminist, anti-racist, and decolonizing work?
Friday, April 1, 2016
The EU Refugee Crisis and the Future of Europe: Moral Challenge and Political Conundrum
Organized by Professor Seyla Benhabib, Yale University and Senior Scholar in Residence at the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and Professor Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia University
The current EU refugee crisis threatens the viability of the Schengen borders and raises questions about the future of the European Union and the possibility of a Brexit. This colloquium will explore Europe’s special situation, geographically as well as juridically, the meaning of the crisis for the future of the Union, as well as the challenges posed by the current situation to upholding post-WW II transnational human rights. This will be an interdisciplinary discussion among lawyers, political and social scientists, historians on refugee and asylum law and rights today.
Sponsored by the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, the European Institute, the Maison Française, and Columbia Global Centers—Europe
Thursday, March 10, 2016
From Jury Selection to Capital Execution: Problems of Race and Poverty in the Criminal Justice System
with Professor Stephen Bright (Yale Law School)
Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall Room 104
Please join the American Constitution Society (ACS) and the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought (CCCCT) for a lunchtime discussion with Professor Stephen Bright just returning from arguing Foster v. Chatmanbefore the United States Supreme Court. Professor Bright will discuss the systemic issues of race and poverty in capital punishment as well as his recent case challenging the use of peremptory strikes to exclude African Americans from jury service.
Professor Bright is President and Senior Counsel for the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) and teaches at Yale Law School. While serving as director of SCHR for over two decades, Professor Bright developed a national reputation as an opponent of the death penalty and advocate of the right to counsel for the poor. He has twice argued and won cases before the Supreme Court involving issues of racial discrimination in the composition of juries.
Lunch will be provided. Come join us for the final lunch event before the break. Please contact Darren Pouliot at email@example.com with any questions.
March 1 - 3, 2016
The Kurdish Revolution Against Patriarchy and the State
Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 pm: "The Kurdish Revolution in Historical Perspective"
School of Visual Arts, 132 West 21st Street, MFA Art Writing Department, 6th Floor
Wednesday, March 2 at 6:00 pm: "Rojava: Stateless Democracy: Theory, and Practice"
The New School University Center, 63 5th Avenue, Room UL102
Thursday, March 3 at 6:00 pm: "Patriarchy Takes a Back Seat in Kurdish Syria: Implications for Gender Theory, the Middle East, and the Midwest"
Columbia University, Heyman Center for the Humanities, East Campus, Second Floor Common Room
The Legal Theory Workshop is a longstanding faculty seminar in which invited speakers, drawn from among the faculties of law, philosophy, economics, and political science at Columbia and elsewhere in the New York area, present works in progress for comment and discussion. The topics of the papers—and therefore of the discussions—vary widely, depending on the current interests of the invited speakers.
February 22, 2016
Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age
A Discussion with Bernard E. Harcourt, Sarah Leonard, Ben Kafka, and Stefanos Geroulanos
5:00 - 7:00 pm
La Maison Française New York University 16 Washington Mews New York, NY 10003
The Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CNRS/NYU) at New York University presents a discussion of Bernard E. Harcourt's new book: Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015).
Social media compile data on users, retailers mine information on consumers, Internet giants create dossiers of who we know and what we do, and intelligence agencies collect all this plus billions of communications daily. Exploiting our boundless desire to access everything all the time, digital technology is breaking down whatever boundaries still exist between the state, the market, and the private realm. Exposed offers a powerful critique of our new virtual transparence, revealing just how unfree we are becoming and how little we seem to care.
Bernard Harcourt guides us through our new digital landscape, one that makes it so easy for others to monitor, profile, and shape our every desire. We are building what he calls the expository society—a platform for unprecedented levels of exhibition, watching, and influence that is reconfiguring our political relations and reshaping our notions of what it means to be an individual.
We are not scandalized by this. To the contrary: we crave exposure and knowingly surrender our privacy and anonymity in order to tap into social networks and consumer convenience—or we give in ambivalently, despite our reservations. But we have arrived at a moment of reckoning. If we do not wish to be trapped in a steel mesh of wireless digits, we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to resist. Disobedience to a regime that relies on massive data mining can take many forms, from aggressively encrypting personal information to leaking government secrets, but all will require conviction and courage.
Bernard E. Harcourt, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Director, Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought
Sarah Leonard, Senior Editor at The Nation, co-editor of The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century (2016)
Ben Kafka, NYU, Media, Culture and Communication, author of The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork (2012), psychoanalyst in private practice
Stefanos Geroulanos, NYU History, and director of CIRHUS, author of the forthcoming The Matter with Transparency in Postwar France
En novembre 2015, Michel Foucault fait son entrée à la Pléiade. La question que nous allons nous poser, dans cette journée d’étude, est la suivante : Est-il possible de discerner aujourd’hui une nouvelle lecture de Foucault grâce a cette édition Pléiade, les nouvelles notices, ou l’événement même de son entrée ? Est-ce que la publication des cours au Collège de France, l’accès aux nouvelles archives du Fonds Foucault à la BnF, ou d’autres développements récents, nous permettent de repenser les livres, la collection des œuvres publiées dans cette nouvelle édition Pléiade, ou, plus largement, « l’intervention Foucault » ? Pourrait-on discerner un nouveau Foucault ?
avec Frédéric Gros, Arianna Sforzini, Daniele Lorenzini, François Delaporte, Daniel Defert, Jean-Francois Bert, Philippe Chevallier, Martin Rueff, Bernard E. Harcourt, et Philippe Sabot.
Sous la direction de Bernard E. Harcourt, directeur d’études
École des Hautes études en sciences sociales amphithéâtre François-Furet 105 bd Raspail 75006 Paris
Monday, December 14, 2015
Radical Grace: A Conversation with Alain Badiou
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 101
A conversation with Alain Badiou (in English) about the events of November 13 in Paris.
Introduction by Udi Aloni. Moderated by James Schamus.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Global Exposure: Virtual Transparency in the 21st Century
5:00 - 6:30 pm
Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104
The Committee on Global Thought (CGT) presents a GLOBAL THINK-IN with Columbia Global Freedom of Expression Director Agnès Callamard, Columbia Law School professor and author of “Exposed” Bernard Harcourt, Editor-in-Chief of The Intercept Betsy Reed, and New York Times reporter and Wired columnist Clive Thompson, along with CGT member and Dean of Strategic Initiatives for the Arts & Sciences David K. Park. This event is free and open to the public, however registration is recommended.
Social media compile data on users, retailers mine information on consumers, Internet giants create dossiers of who we know and what we do, and intelligence agencies collect all this plus billions of communications daily. Exploiting our boundless desire to access everything all the time, digital technology is breaking down whatever boundaries still exist between the state, the market, and the private realm. Exposed offers a powerful critique of our new virtual transparence, revealing just how unfree we are becoming and how little we seem to care. Bernard Harcourt guides us through our new digital landscape, one that makes it so easy for others to monitor, profile, and shape our every desire. We are building what he calls the expository society—a platform for unprecedented levels of exhibition, watching, and influence that is re-configuring our political relations and reshaping our notions of what it means to be an individual.
About the Global Think-ins
In October 2014, the Committee on Global Thought launched Global Think-ins, vehicles for generating new ideas and perspectives on issues of major global concern. Think-ins are designed as incubators for academics and practitioners from varying disciplinary and methodological backgrounds, geographical locations, and expertise to share, critique, and develop new ideas. Global Think-ins take the form of closed-door brainstorming sessions paired with open public events, and the format will include in situ exchange with global participants.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
"Identité et Universalité"
Lecture in English with Alain Badiou
6:00 - 7:30 pm
MAISON FRANÇAISE EAST GALLERY, BUELL HALL
Some would argue that the contemporary world is witness to a “clash of civilizations” and therefore a clash of identities between, on one side, the capitalist and democratic West (l’Occident) and, on the other side, archaic, violent identities symbolized by Islamic terrorism. Although this is a real contradiction, it is in fact a secondary one. The West can also be seen as its own identity, one that must be transcended. In reality, the fundamental contradiction is the one that pits the notion of universality against the totality of particular identities.
Certains ont cru pouvoir définir le monde contemporain comme une "guerre des civilisations", et donc comme une guerre entre identités : d'un côté, l'Occident, capitaliste et "démocrate", de l'autres des identités archaïques et violentes, symbolisées par le terrorisme islamique. Cette contradiction est bien réelle. Mais elle est une contradiction secondaire. Parce que l'Occident lui-même est une identité, qui doit être dépassée. La contradiction fondamentale est en réalité celle qui oppose l'universalité à la totalité des visions identitaires.
Alain Badiou teaches philosophy at the École normale supérieure and the Collège international de philosophie in Paris, and was a founder of the faculty of Philosophy of the Université de Paris VIII. A politically engaged philosopher, his major philosophical works include Theory of the Subject, Being and Event, Manifesto for Philosophy, and Gilles Deleuze. He has also written several novels, plays and political essays.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
"Awakening Our Democracy: Policing Bodies, Borders, and Rights"
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104
Join us as we bring Awakening Our Democracy to the Law School! At the roundtable discussion we will explore pressing issues threatening our democracy today —tying questions of race, citizenship, gender, disability, religion, and intersectional vulnerabilities to law, policy, and activism.
How have shifts in law and policy contributed to the current debates about democracy and social inclusion? Are there links between the debates over state violence and policing different bodies that are being overlooked? Has the current discourse in the Presidential race turned into a referendum on who belongs in America? Are fundamental commitments to democracy being tested?
Barbara Arnwine Transformative Justice Coalition Dara Baldwin Public Policy Analyst, National Disability Rights Network DeRay Mckesson We The Protesters James Forman Jr. Clinical Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law, Columbia Law School Nicole Lee Co-founder, Black Movement Law Project Baher Azmy Professor of law, Seton Hall University; Legal Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Moderated by Kimberlé Crenshaw Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law; Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Monday, November 9, 2015
Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age
Bernard Harcourt in conversation with Dennis Tenen and Lydia Liu
Synopsis: Social media compile data on users, retailers mine information on consumers, Internet giants create dossiers of who we know and what we do, and intelligence agencies collect all this plus billions of communications daily. Exploiting our boundless desire to access everything all the time, digital technology is breaking down whatever boundaries still exist between the state, the market, and the private realm. Exposed offers a powerful critique of our new virtual transparence, revealing just how unfree we are becoming and how little we seem to care. Bernard Harcourt guides us through our new digital landscape, one that makes it so easy for others to monitor, profile, and shape our every desire. We are building what he calls the expository society—a platform for unprecedented levels of exhibition, watching, and influence that is reconfiguring our political relations and reshaping our notions of what it means to be an individual.
Bernard E. Harcourt joined the Columbia Law School faculty in July 2014. His scholarship intersects social and political theory, the sociology of punishment, and penal law and procedure. He is the author of The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order (Harvard University Press 2011) and of Occupy: Three Inquiries in Disobedience (with W. J. T. Mitchell and Michael Taussig, University of Chicago Press 2013). He is the editor of Michel Foucault’s 1973 Collège de France lectures, La société punitive (Gallimard forthcoming) and the co-editor with Fabienne Brion of Michel Foucault's Mal faire, dire vrai (Louvain 2012).
Jesús R. Velasco teaches Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Columbia. He has been one of the executive directors of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies and a member of the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions. He writes the column "Isla Fluvial" for El Norte de Castilla, Spain's oldest daily newspaper.
Lydia Liu's research has focused on cross-cultural exchange in global history; the movement of words, theories, and artifacts across national boundaries; and the evolution of writing, textuality, and technology. She is the author of The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious (University of Chicago Press, 2012). As a creative writer, she published The Nesbit Code (in Chinese) with Oxford University Press in Hong Kong in 2013. This book received the 2014 Hong Kong Book Award. Lydia Liu is the founding Director of Tsinghua-Columbia Center for Translingual and Transcultural Studies (CTTS) at Tsinghua University in Beijing to promote international collaboration and interdisciplinary research.
Dennis Tenen is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His recent work appeared on the pages of Computational Culture, boundary 2, and Modernism/modernity. He is a co-founder of Columbia's Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities.
For those attentive to the epochal shifts of globalization, the state has been either serving global capital or on its way out for decades as neo-liberalism prones new scales of economic and political organization while the promise of a global civil society and international law undermine the traditional functions of state power. The inadequacy of the state has found an equally sharp echo among political theorists who have reaffirmed democracy as a social project that thrives at the expense of a robust state. This talk seeks to come to terms with, and indeed challenges some of the assumptions underlying such portraits. Perhaps ironically, it returns to one of the theorists that has been most central to the push beyond the state in recent decades, Michel Foucault. It has been commonly argued that his focus on governmentality solidified a turn toward a “microphysics of power” that refused a conception of the refractory state as the sole site of power and rather demonstrated how the state, civil society, bureaucracy, law, and military coercion, among many other elements, were part of a larger set of governmental rationalities. This talk argues, somewhat to the contrary, that Foucault’s turn toward governmentality did not amount to a disinterest in the state any more than the last great wave of democratic mobilization and globalization has meant the state’s end.
Stephen Sawyer is chair of the History Department and co-founder of the History, Law, and Society program at The American University of Paris. He is currently Associate Editor for the English version of the Annales and member of the editorial board as well as Directeur de publication of the Revue Tocqueville. His translation of Michel Foucault's Wrong Doing, Truth Telling (University of Chicago Press) appeared in 2014. His most recent book length publication is an edited collection with James Sparrow and William Novak entitled Boundaries of the State in United States History (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Having published sixty some articles and reviews in six countries and leading journals including Les Annales, The Journal of Modern History, The European History Quarterly and The Tocqueville Review, he is currently completing a project on Foucault and the problem of the state.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Case Lounge, Jerome Greene Hall
4:15 - 5:45 pm
The Legal Theory Workshop presents Tommie Shelby (Harvard Philosophy Department). The Legal Theory Workshop is a longstanding faculty seminar in which invited speakers from law and other disciplines present works in progress for comment and discussion.
Anyone who goes beyond procedural questions of a discourse theory of morality and ethics and, in a normative attitude . . . embarks on a theory of the well-ordered, or even emancipated, society will quickly run up against the limits of his own historical situation. --Habermas
For some time now, a certain strand of contemporary critical theory has understood its task not in terms of providing a substantive critique of real world power relations, let alone an alternative normative conception of what social relations might be, but of how to justify critique as such: how to “justify those elements which critique owes to its philosophical origins” (Habermas), albeit in a nonfoundationalist manner. This focus on—if not obsession with—the theoretical problem of how to ground one’s own critique arose largely as an intervention into the now longstanding debate over positivism and scientism in figurations of the relation between theory and practice. As important as this intervention has been for exposing the dangers of, and social/political philosophy’s implication in, a purely technocratic order, it has not been without costs to the very idea of critique itself: namely the crucial connection between critique and social/political transformation.
Seyla Benhabib has usefully characterized the two tasks of critical theory as “explanatory-diagnostic” and “anticipatory-utopian.” In this seminar we aim to explore what each of these tasks might be and how they are connected. Central to our discussions will be an examination of how the loss of the second of these tasks, that is, of providing an anticipatory-utopian vision of what might supersede our current social and political predicament, results in a failure to adequately fulfill the first task of critically analyzing that very predicament. To speak with Cornelius Castoriadis, how might we refigure theory as “critical” (of what exists) by means of its capacity to posit “new forms/figures of the thinkable”?
Readings include classic works by Arendt, Castoriadis, Cavell, Foucault, Habermas, Wittgenstein and a selection of writings by contemporary critical, political, and feminist theorists.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Book Discussion with Bernard Harcourt
On the Punitive Society: Lectures at the College de France 1972-1973
Book Culture, 536 West 112th Street
Join Book Culture on Thursday, October 22nd at 7pm for a discussion with Bernard Harcourt on Michel Foucault's On the Punitive Society: Lectures at the College de France 1972-1973, which he edited.
Synopsis: These thirteen lectures on the 'punitive society,' delivered at the College de France in the first three months of 1973, examine the way in which the relations between justice and truth that govern modern penal law were forged, and question what links them to the emergence of a new punitive regime that still dominates contemporary society. Presumed to be preparation for Discipline and Punish, published in 1975, in fact the lectures unfold quite differently, going beyond the carceral system and encompassing the whole of capitalist society, at the heart of which is the invention of a particular management of the multiplicity of interweaving illegalisms.
Bernard E. Harcourt joined the Columbia Law School faculty in July 2014. His scholarship intersects social and political theory, the sociology of punishment, and penal law and procedure. He is the author most recently of The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order (Harvard University Press 2011) and of Occupy: Three Inquiries in Disobedience (with W. J. T. Mitchell and Michael Taussig, University of Chicago Press 2013). He is the editor of Michel Foucault’s 1973 Collège de France lectures, La société punitive (Gallimard forthcoming) and the co-editor with Fabienne Brion of Michel Foucault's Mal faire, dire vrai (Louvain 2012).
International Affairs Building, Room 707 (Lindsay Rogers Room)
What would it mean to foreground the capacity to judge critically and reflectively as a central feature of modern democratic citizenship? In plural democracies, democratic citizens find themselves increasingly called upon to make judgments about practices not always their own, judgments that require what Hannah Arendt called the imaginative practice of “representative thinking,” thinking from standpoints one does not necessarily share. To engage in such thinking is to resist the temptation, on the one hand, to employ one’s own concepts as rules with which to subsume the particulars calling for judgment and, on the other hand, to assume that in the absence of rules, one cannot judge at all. The idea that something must underwrite a democratic practice of judgment, something must ground mutual intelligibility in the political realm risks entangling judging subjects in fantasies concerning that nature and power of rules that lead them to lose track of their own part or voice as democratic citizens in deciding what will or will not count as a matter of common concern. How might this demand for a rule-governed account of democratic normativity and judgment be challenged without falling back into the nonrationalist approaches that figure the other face of Neo-Kantianism’s tenacious hold on contemporary political thought?
Co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and the Columbia University Political Theory Workshop.
Linda Zerilli explores what the historian of science Ruth Leys has decried as the “nonintentionalism” of affect theory and its implications for critical feminist practices of judgment. To insist, as Leys does, on intentionalism as concept possession, argues Zerilli, does not adequately account for the fascination with nonconceptualism. Such fascination must be understood in relation to a wholly intellectualist view of conceptual rationality, according to which knowing how to do something involves a highly abstract and disembodied form of rule-following. Far from unique to affect theory, this view is shared by certain phenomenological philosophers and postfoundational feminist theorists who have been eager to recover the idea of human practice as a form of nonrational and nonconceptual embodied coping. Zerilli draws on ordinary language philosophers such as Gilbert Ryle, Cavell, and Wittgenstein to uncover the misunderstandings that animate the turn to nonconceptualism as the only alternative to intellectualism.
Friday, October 9, 2015
Workshop with Christopher Berk
"Democratic Exclusions: Prisoners, patients, and children in democratic politics"
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Room 546, Jerome Greene Hall
Children, prisoners, and the cognitively disabled present a thorny boundary problem for theorists of aggregative and deliberative democracy. For these schools of thought, custodial populations lack maturity, lack rationality, or lack sociality -- all of which are conceptually necessary to decide, deliberate, or participate in the polity. Wrapped in this 'exclusion thesis' is an assumption that the boundaries of competence can be determined prior to political contest. Berk demonstrates that this assumption neither stands to reason, nor produces a normatively appealing model of democratic politics. Faced with an analytic impasse, he flips the motivating assumption of the exclusion thesis. Instead of asking about entry and exit from the category 'competent citizen' (under what conditions is someone rightfully labeled insane, what criteria ought to be used to assess maturity), he asks what it means to be a self-governing individual in a society where citizens are constantly entering and exiting the category of competence. A society where well over 90 percent of those currently in prison will be released; where children can be tried as adults; where cognitive disability at some point in the life course is an expectation, not an exception. Drawing from a series of extended case studies, and an eclectic group of social and political thinkers, Berk describes how those in custody negotiate and re-imagine the boundaries of democratic politics.
Christopher Berk is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago in the Department of Political Science. His writing centers on the theory and practice of punishment, and his research interests span political theory, public law, and American politics. His dissertation, *On Self Government: Participation in Prisons, Asylums, and Boarding Schools*, is about the social and political dynamics of civic disqualification in democracies.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Bernard Stiegler at Columbia University
Lecture and Mini-Seminar
On 29 September 2015, Columbia University will be host to one of today's leading thinkers: French philosopher and activist, Bernard Stiegler. Professor Stiegler will be delivering a public lecture, and a by-application seminar. Both will be in English.
Details about the lecture, and how to apply for the seminar, are below.
1. Public lecture
TUESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2015 Bernard Stiegler "Invention and neganthropology in the society of hypercontrol" with respondent Professor Reinhold Martin, GSAPP
6-8pm Maison Francaise, Columbia University Seating is Limited and available on a first come first served basis
Mainstream anthropology, from Lévi-Strauss to contemporary paleoanthropology, has often downplayed the fundamental role of technical development in defining the human. Opposed to that view, in accordance with André Leroi-Gourhan, Bernard Stiegler argues that human life is tightly related to a process of externalization of life into tools and artifacts: humanity is co-extensive with technics. He proposes a "neganthropology" that considers the transformations that technical development impose on our internal and external milieu. A radical example of how technics impact our environment is the way our economic system is subordinated to data in today's absolutely computationalist 24/7 capitalism. In it, the “society of control” has become a society of hypercontrol. In this lecture Stiegler will argue that an “art of hypercontrol” would allow us to reformulate creation, politics, law, economics, science and technology through practices of invention that pertain to the order of "neganthropology."
2. Mini Seminar (application required)
TUESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2015 Bernard Stiegler Mini-Seminar: General Organology and Pharmacology
2-4pm The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Common Room Columbia University
In this seminar, we will discuss the question of technics in the contemporary world. In No Apocalypse, Not Now, Derrida writes about what he calls “the absolute pharmakon” – that is, the nuclear weapon. In Speed and Politics, Virilio shows that the Russian and American military powers convinced Brezhnev and Nixon to negotiate in order to avoid the release of a nuclear war automatically “decided” by computers. In the same vein, we are now confronted with the question of speed in emergency situations provoked by the Anthropocene, the new geological period to which we belong. To understand this periodization and sketch an answer, we need an organological and pharmacological approach based on Canguilhem’s and Leroi-Gourhan’s works.
Reading List: -André Leroi-Gourhan, Gesture and speech (trans. Anna Bostock Berger, MIT Press, 1993). -Georges Canguilhem, The normal and the pathological (trans. Carolyn R. Fawcett with Robert S. Cohen, Zone Books, 1989). -Bernard Stiegler, What makes life worth living. On pharmacology (trans. Daniel Ross, Polity Press, 2013). -Paul Virilio, Speed and politics (trans. Marc Polizzotti Semiotext(e), 2006) -Jacques Derrida, No apocalypse, not now, (trans. Catherine Porter and Philip Lewis, Diacritics, 14(2), 1984).
Bernard Stiegler is a philosopher and social activist. He has published some thirty books on philosophy, aesthetics, technology and economy, among other subjects. His most well-known work, Technics and Time, dwells on the social, political and psychological mutations brought about by new technologies. He has taught at the Collège International de Philosophie and directs the Institut de Recherche et Innovation at the Centre Georges Pompidou. He is president of the Ars Industrialis association, which researches the role of technology for proposing a political economy beyond capitalism.
Reinhold Martin is Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, where he directs the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. Martin is a member of Columbia’s Committee on Global Thought and was a founding co-editor of the journal Grey Room. His books include The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space (MIT Press, 2003), Utopia’s Ghost: Architecture and Postmodernism, Again (Minnesota, 2010). Currently, Martin is working on a history of the nineteenth century American university as a media complex, and a set of theoretical essays on the contemporary city. The latter is excerpted as an e-book, Mediators: Aesthetics, Politics, and the City (Minnesota, 2014).
Amphithéâtre François Furet, EHESS, 105 boulevard Raspail, Paris 75006
Professor Harcourt and the French Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, address the state of criminal justice and social science. Professor Harcourt's lecture, "The Dangerousness of Knowledge," will follow the Minister's allocution.
President of the EHESS (Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur), French Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals (Christiane Taubira), and Professor Bernard E. Harcourt.
Wednesday May 6, 2015
The Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, and The Hispanic Institute for Latin American & Iberian Cultures invite you to a presentation and informal discussion surrounding the release of the last volume of Michel Foucault's series of seminars at the Collège de France.
Wednesday May 6 at 7pm at the Casa Hispanica
Penal Theories and Institutions (Collège de France Lectures, 1972) (Hautes Études, Gallimard and Seuil, 2015)
"Foucault and May 68"
François Ewald (CNAM; general editor of the series) Bernard E. Harcourt (Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought; volume editor) Jesús R. Velasco (LAIC Chair, Columbia University)
Presentation of the book and informal discussion (and champagne celebration)
Casa Hispánica Room 201 612 West 116th Street Wednesday, May 6, 7PM Reception to follow
Tuesday May 5, 2015
Panel Discussion with Martin Collet, Pierre Collin, and Francois Ewald
"Digits & Treasuries: How to Address the Fiscal Challenges of the Digital Economy"
The digital revolution has taken place. It has given rise to a digital economy that challenges our concept of value creation. Increasingly, start-ups and global companies serving millions of users are changing the rules and bringing radical transformation to all sectors of the economy: through their innovative business models; though the abundant financing accessible to them; through the special relationships that they forge with the users of these applications; and through the use that they make of the data derived from the users’ activities. The digital economy has become an intimate part of millions of individuals’ lives, but its value added is slipping through our grasp. The productivity gains achieved through the digital economy have not led to increased tax revenues for large countries. One common feature of global digital economy companies is the low level of tax on their profits. Even though they are not the only businesses to engage in tax planning, which is something all multinational groups do, it is easier for digital economy companies to take advantage of tax competition between countries. A response is urgently needed to break a spiral that is potentially lethal for the economies of the industrialized countries. This workshop will explore what this fiscal response could look like and how states might regain the power to tax profits earned by digital economy companies.
Pierre Collin is a member of the Conseil d’Etat, the highest French court in matters of administrative and tax law. He also teaches at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II). He is the former Chief Adviser of the French Minister for Economy and Finance. With Nicolas Colin, he submitted a special report on Taxation of the Digital Economy to the Minister in 2013. He also published Procédures fiscales (Presses universitaires de France, 2ème éd., 2014) with Professor Martin Collet.
Martin Collet is Professor of Law at Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), where he manages the Masters program in tax law. He is the author of many publications on taxation, public finance and administrative law and is also a board member of several law journals. He has experience as a consultant and has been a partner of Corpus Consultants since its creation in 2011 by Robert Badinter, former French Minister of Justice and former President of the French Constitutional Counsel. Professor Collet recently published Droit fiscal (Presses universitaires de France, 5ème éd., 2015), L’impôt confisqué (Odile Jacob, 2014) and Procédures fiscales (Presses universitaires de France, 2ème éd., 2014) with Pierre Collin.
The Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought announces its Spring 2015 special seminar: "Secrets" with Professor Renata Salecl from Birkbeck College, University of London and the University of Ljubljana. The seminar will take place the week of April 20, 2015, and is open to faculty and graduate students. If you are interested in attending, and for more information about the timing and readings, please see below.
Inadvertently, we tell our secrets. Sometimes, we do so to keep others, or hide them. Occasionally, we listen to others tell their secrets—we might desire to know their secrets or we are horrified by them. The very telling of secrets might give us joy or might cause others and us enormous pains. Often, others can’t tell us what we want to know. Sadly, we kill people for their secrets. Sometimes, it’s because they know ours. Secrets do a lot of work. The question, in the end, is what do secrets want? Or what do we want from them?
In this special seminar, we will explore the work that secrets do, through readings of texts by Freud, Foucault, Lacan, and others. We will experiment with ideas and theories, and create a space, perhaps a secret space, for our imagination and intellectual experimentation.
Professor Salecl is professor of psychology/psychoanalyis and law at the School of Law at Birkbeck, University of London, and a senior researcher in criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is a leading scholar on the subject of psychoanalysis and law, and she has a long association with the critical legal studies movement. Professor Salecl is author of The Spoils of Freedom: Psychoanalysis and Feminism After the Fall of Socialism (Routledge: 1994), (Per)versions of Love and Hate (Verso: 1998), On Anxiety (Routledge: 2004) and Tyranny of Choice (Profile Books: 2010). She also was named the title Slovenian Woman Scientist of the Year by the Slovenian Ministry of Science in 2010.
Monday April 13, 2015
Tianna Paschel, Univeristy of Chicago
Kendall Thomas, Chair and Moderator
"Contaminating Racial Paradise: Social Movements, the State and the Unmaking of Brazil"
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 807
Tianna Paschel will present a chapter from her new book project, "Exporting Racial Paradise," which explores how transnational spaces often become key sites in the production, reproduction and challenging of nationalist narratives.
Tianna Paschel is the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Her work has examined questions of race and nation, social movements and globalization. Tianna is currently finishing a book manuscript entitled Becoming Black Political Subjects, which draws on archival and ethnographic fieldwork to examine the shift away from colorblind nationalist narratives toward the adoption of ethno-racial legislation in Colombia and Brazil in the 1990s and 2000s. She is the co-editor of Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas and has published in a number of journals including the American Journal of Sociology, Dubois Review, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society and Ethnic and Racial Studies. Tianna will be joining the faculty of the African American Studies Department at the University of California - Berkeley starting July 1 of this year. She will present a chapter from her new book project, "Exporting Racial Paradise," which explores how transnational spaces become key sites in the production, reproduction and challenging of nationalist narratives.
Nash Professor of Law and co-founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia University in the City of New York, Kendall Thomas joined the faculty in 1984. His teaching and research interests include U.S. and comparative constitutional law, human rights, legal philosophy, feminist legal theory, Critical Race Theory and Law and Sexuality. He has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School, and a Visiting Professor in American Studies and Afro-American Studies at Princeton University. He has taught or lectured in France, The Netherlands, England, The Czech Republic, Germany, Haiti and South Africa. His writings have appeared in several academic journals and volumes of collected essays. He is a co-editor of Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings that Founded the Movement (The New Press, 1996) and What's Left of Theory? (Routledge Press, 2000). Thomas was an inaugural recipient of the Berlin Prize Fellowship of the American Academy in Berlin, Germany and a member of the Special Committee of the American Center in Paris, France. He was the past chair of the Jurisprudence and Law & Humanities sections of the Association of American Law Schools and is a founding member of the Majority Action Caucus of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, Sex Panic! and the AIDS Prevention Action League. He is a former member and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Gay Men's Health Crisis.
Monday April 6, 2015
Workshop with John Rajchman
"Citizen Four: Edward Snowden and the question of truth and power"
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 807
The posthumous publication of Foucault’s lecture-courses 1970-1984, read as whole, shows a constant preoccupation with an on-going project, left unfinished with his untimely death -- a new ‘history of truth’ and the role of juridical institutions in it. But how in fact did Foucault formulate the question of truth? What did he mean in talking about a ‘general politics of truth’ as a new focus for the contemporary ‘function of the intellectual’? In this lecture/workshop, I look at the case of Edward Snowden to help elucidate these questions and these questions to help think about the nature and implications of Snowden’s act.
John Rajchman is a philosopher who teaches in the Department of Art History, Columbia University. He has written widely on art, architecture and philosophy; his books and essays have been translated into many languages. He has written several studies of Foucault, notably Truth and Eros (Columbia, 1991) concerned with the themes in his lecture. With Etienne Balibar, he co-edited French Philosophy Since 1945: Problems, Concepts, Inventions (The New Press, 2011). A former editor at October, a founding editor of Semiotexte, he is currently a contributing editor at Artforum.
Wednesday March 25, 2015
Workshop with Michael Taussig
"NYPD Blues, Again"
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 646
In this workshop, Michael Taussig will reflect on recent NYPD controversies following the Staten Island grand jury's failure to indict officers for the death of Eric Garner and place these reflections in the larger context of stop-and-frisk policing under former Mayor Bloomberg, NYC's real estate boom, and policing post 9/11.
Michael Taussig, Ph.D., is an anthropologist known for his provocative ethnographic studies and unconventional style as an academic. He is currently a professor of anthropology at both Columbia University and the European Graduate School (EGS) in Switzerland. In spite of his numerous publications in his field, especially in medical anthropology, Taussig is most acclaimed for his commentaries on Karl Marx and Walter Benjamin, especially in relation to the idea of commodity fetishism. Michael Taussig is the author of the following books: What Color is the Sacred? (2009); Walter Benjamin's Grave (2006); My Cocaine Museum (2004); Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in a Colombian Town (2003); Defacement (1999); Magic of the State (1997); Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses (1993); The Nervous System (1992); Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing (1987); and The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (1980). Michael Taussig is the author of numerous articles, including: “What Do Drawings Want?” (Culture, Theory and Critique: 2009); “The Corn Wolf: Writing Apotropaic Texts” (Critical Inquiry: 2008); “Zoology, Magic, and Surrealism in the War on Terror” (Critical Inquiry: 2008); “Redeeming Indigo” (Theory, Culture & Society: 2008); “Getting High with Walter Benjamin and William Burroughs” (Cabinet: 2008); “Zoology, Magic, and Surrealism” (Critical Inquiry: 2008); and many more.
In the Spring 2015, W.J.T. Mitchell, University of Chicago professor and editor of Critical Inquiry will co-teach a full-length CDI Mellon seminar, “Spectacle and Surveillance,” with Bernard E. Harcourt. The seminar will be co-taught at both at the UChicago and at Columbia.
Spectacle and surveillance have been central tactics in the production of political power since at least the early modern era when the pageants of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, were accompanied by the spies of Cardinal Richelieu, who kept careful watch for potential rebellion in the provinces. The British empire’s musterings of uniforms, ribbons, and banners in mass formations of loyal subjects were probably as important to the maintenance of imperial power as the actual mustering of armed conflict. At the same time, Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon envisioned a world of incarcerated subjects, which would all be exposed to the gaze of power at all times. How does it stand with the relation of spectacle and surveillance today in the age of total information storage, retrieval, and big data?
The overall purpose of this seminar will be to reflect on the dialectical pairing of spectacle and surveillance as modes of image power—that is, power over subjects in the case of spectacle, over objects in the case of surveillance—and as modes of governing in our contemporary age of big data. While we are interested in the history of this pairing in theoretical discourses on visual culture, politics, law, media, and iconology, our major emphasis will be on contextualizing and analyzing the present state of the surveillance/spectacle dynamic as well as exploring all the forms of resistance.
Readings will include Michel Foucault, Guy Debord, George Orwell, and Glenn Greenwald. Selected films will also deal with surveillance and spectacle.
The seminar will meet on Mondays at Columbia and will start at 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
en liaison avec le seminaire "Gouverner, Echanger, Securiser: Big Data et la Production du Savoir Numerique"
9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Salle de Conference, Columbia Global Centers - Europe, Reid Hall, 4 rue de Chevreuse 75006 Paris
L’émergence et, maintenant, la domination du numérique se confrontent et se plient aux arts de gouverner, aux impératifs du profit, aux intérêts sécuritaires de nos démocraties libérales. Gouverner, échanger, sécuriser : une nouvelle forme de rationalité semble traverser ce savoir numérique – une rationalité qui se définit selon les critères de l’identité et d’une transparence au prétexte de laquelle en scènes et en images s’exhibe l’intime. Comment penser ce nouveau savoir numérique à l’âge avancé, bientôt mondialisé sous divers costumes, de la politique néolibérale ? Cette journée d’étude complémente le séminaire de B. Harcourt à l'EHESS. Mardi 16 décembre 2014 au Columbia Global Centers | Europe, Reid Hall, 4 rue de Chevreuse, 75006, Paris
The emergence of Big Data challenges the conventional boundaries between governing, exchange, and security. It ambiguates the lines between commerce and surveillance, between governing and exchanging, between democracy and the police state. The new digital knowledge reproduces consuming subjects who wittingly or unwittingly allow themselves to be watched, tracked, linked and predicted in a blurred amalgam of commercial and governmental projects. Linking back and forth from consumer data to government information to social media, these new webs of information become available to anyone who can purchase the information. How is it that governmental, commercial and security interests have converged, coincided, and also diverged in ways, in the production of Big Data? And how are citizens resisting today? This day of study complements B. Harcourt's seminar at the EHESS. Tuesday December 16 2014 at the Columbia Global Centers | Europe, Reid Hall, 4 rue de Chevreuse, 75006, Paris.
"Methods, Madness and Montage: Aby Warburg to A Beautiful Mind"
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 646
Professor Mitchell (University of Chicago) will present on "Method, Madness, and Montage: Aby Warburg to A Beautiful Mind". His lecture will explore the phenomenon of the multiple image array as an operational form, ranging from the art historical slide lecture to the situation room, the forensic evidence wall, the Bilderatlas, and the refrigerator door. Questions of memory, pattern recognition, information overload, and paranoia will be central.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Workshop with Sacha Raoult
Picking on Piketty. An Analysis of the Reception of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty First Century: On Social Status and Academic Standing
In a relatively short amount of time, Thomas Piketty's book, "Capital in The 21st Century", has generated a considerable amount of discussion in academic circles as well as in the general press. Like any research with public policy implication, this debate operates on three distinct levels. At the factual level, actors discuss the accuracy and relevance of the data presented. At the interpretative level, actors discuss the meaning of the facts in a broader context, the hypotheses, "laws", and predictions that those facts entail. At the normative level, actors discuss the policy recommendations that one ought to draw from these particular interpretations of those particular facts. In this quantitative study, I analyze discussions of Piketty's book at those different levels in relation to the social positions of the actors. Certain aspects of an academic's life course that relate to scientific prestige and social recognition are predictors of agreement or disagreement with Thomas Piketty at different levels of the debate. Agreement with Thomas Piketty is related to media presence, academic responsibilities and scholarly influence. Similarly to other heavily polarized and political issues in scientific research, top schools tend to produce more homogeneous conclusions. We will explore those aspects, compare them to other fields and try to make sense of the patterns uncovered.
About Sacha Raoult
Sacha Raoult is an assistant professor (maître de conférences-HDR) in Law and Criminology at the University of Aix-Marseille (Aix-en-Provence, France) and a Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the University of Chicago (The College, Social Sciences Division).
His current scholarly focus is the relation between the social position of academics and their research conclusions around diverse questions related to public policy. His first publication on this subject was on death penalty deterrence studies ("Des Méthodes et des Hommes. La production sociale du savoir sur l'efficacité de la peine de mort", Déviance et Société, forthcoming), and he now works on the comparison of several crime and inequality research questions ("Research Conclusions and Social Position of Academics in Public Policy. A Quantitative Study.").
The center and the Maison Française will co-sponsor a workshop on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, with Seyla Benhabib, Francois Ewald, Bernard E. Harcourt, George Kateb and Emmanuelle Saada on Michel Foucault’s work.
In his late Collège de France lectures, Michel Foucault opened up new paths for research, or what he so often referred to as "des pistes de recherche," many of which have only come to light now because of the recent publication of the lectures. Ranging from the concept of security to the notion of truth-telling to the relationship between veridiction and juridiction, the arts of governing, the hermeneutics of the self, and the notion of "voluntary inservitude," the late lectures represent a font of new material to allow us to think with Foucault. At the same time, they offer a new lens through which to reread the earlier published works, from the History of Madness to Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison and to the History of Sexuality. This colloquium will discuss a number of the ideas and concepts that were born and sketched out in the lectures, but that still remain to be explored today.
Biographies of Participants
Seyla Benhabib is the Eugene Meyer professor of political science and philosophy at Yale University and was director of the Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics from 2002 to 2008. Just this April 2014, Professor Benhabib was awarded the Meister Eckhart prize, one of the most prestigious philosophy prizes in Germany. Her most recent books include Dignity in Adversity: Human Rights in Troubled Times (Polity Press, 2011) and The Democratic Disconnect: Citizenship and Accountability in the Transatlantic Community (with David Cameron et. al., Transatlantic Academy, Washington D.C., 2013). Her other honors include the 2009 Ernst Bloch prize, for her contributions to cultural dialogue in a global civilization, and the 2012 Leopold Lucas Prize of the Evangelical Academy of Tubingen.
François Robert Ewald chairs the Precautionary Principle Observatory, the Scientific Committee of the Universite de l'Assurance, and the Scientific Council of the Fondation pour l’innovation politique (Paris). He is also a fellow of the French Technological Academy. Ewald recently retired as professor of insurance at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Paris) and as director of the École nationale d’assurances (Paris). His research interests are in the fields of risk and the philosophy of risk, and his publications include L’Etat providence (1986) and Le Principe de precaution (2001, 2008). Born in Paris, Ewald pursued his interests in philosophy, law, and psychoanalysis in a university setting and obtained his Ph.D. in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris). He was Michel Foucault's assistant at the Collège de France (Paris) and is the editor of Foucault's Dits et Ecrits (with Daniel Defert) and Foucault’s Lectures at the Collège de France (with Alessandro Fontana).
George Kateb is the William Nelson Cromwell professor of politics emeritus at Princeton University. He has been one of the most respected and influential political theorists of the last quarter century. His books include Hannah Arendt: Politics, Conscience, Evil (1984); The Inner Ocean: Individualism and Democratic Culture (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1992); Emerson and Self-Reliance (Sage, 1994; 2d edition Rowman and Littlefield, 2002); and Patriotism and Other Mistakes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006). He has also written a number of articles on issues involving the Bill of Rights and constitutional law. At Princeton, he was also the former director of the Program in Political Philosophy, director of the Gauss Seminars, and director of the University Center for Human Values.
Emmanuelle Saada joined the department of French and romance philology at Columbia University in 2006. She received her academic training in France, where she studied sociology and history at the École Normale Supérieureand and, in 2001, received her Ph.D. from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). Saada's main field of research and teaching is the history of the French empire in the 19th and 20th centuries, with a specific interest in law. Her first book, Les enfants de la colonie. Les métis de l'Empire français entre sujétion et citoyenneté, was published in France in 2007 and translated in 2012 under the title Empire’s Children: Race, Filiation, and Citizenship in the French Colonies (University of Chicago Press). Saada is currently writing a historiographical book that reflects on French and European colonization as a history of the present. She is also working on a project on law and violence in Algeria and France in the 19th century.
Monday, November 3, 2014 to November 7, 2014
Fall 2014 Seminar: “Power, Knowledge, Subjectivity, Truth: Rethinking Juridical Power”
By application only.
Seminar Faculty: Professors Francois Ewald and Bernard E. Harcourt
Juridical power, jurisdiction, norms and legality, and legal institutions: These are, paradoxically, both everywhere and nowhere in the work of Michel Foucault. A number of scholars have gone so far as to say that Foucault did not have any theory of law and legal institutions. However, legal practices and institutions appear pervasively throughout practically all of the different facets of his work.
Another paradox is that, traditionally, commentators who have studied juridical power in Foucault’s work have explored the topic predominantly through the lens of power or, more exactly, relations of power. But it is becoming increasingly clear, especially with the most recent publication of his earliest lectures at the Collège de France, that law and jurisdiction should also be studied in relationship to the larger questions of truth and veridiction.
This seminar will explore both puzzles and the consequences of this change in perspective from power/knowledge to veridiction, or toward the integrated notion of veridiction and juridiction at the heart of, for instance, a book, such as Foucault’s Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: The Function of Avowal in Justice. The seminar will proceed by examining a number of different facets of Foucault’s writings as they relate to the question of norms, juridical power, judicial institutions, and juridiction. The purpose of this intensive weeklong seminar will be to rethink the question of juridical power, normalization, truth, and law with and after Foucault.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Talk at Book Culture: Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling
Three years before his death, Michel Foucault delivered a series of lectures at the Catholic University of Louvain that until recently remained almost unknown. These lectures, which focus on the role of avowal, or confession, in the determination of truth and justice, provide the missing link between Foucault's early work on madness, delinquency, and sexuality and his later explorations of subjectivity in Greek and Roman antiquity. Ranging broadly from Homer to the 20th century, Foucault traces the early use of truth-telling in ancient Greece and follows it through to practices of self-examination in monastic times. By the 19th century, the avowal of wrong-doing was no longer sufficient to satisfy the call for justice; the question of who the “criminal” was and what formative factors contributed to his wrong-doing remained. The call for psychiatric expertise marked the birth of the discipline of psychiatry in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as its widespread recognition as the foundation of criminology and modern criminal justice. Published here for the first time, the 1981 lectures have been superbly translated by Stephen W. Sawyer, and they have been expertly edited and extensively annotated by Fabienne Brion and Bernard E. Harcourt. They are accompanied by two contemporaneous interviews with Foucault in which he elaborates on a number of the key themes. An essential companion to Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: The Function of Avowal in Justice will take its place as one of the most significant works of Foucault to appear in decades, and will be necessary reading for all those interested in his thought.