Seminar in French Philosophy: Biopolitics After Foucault

This is an interdisciplinary course, drawing on literatures grounded in contemporary French philosophy — the mid- period work of Michel Foucault — and its ongoing impact on race, gender and sexuality studies. It considers the contemporary legacy of Michel Foucault in these domains with a focus on figures including Achille Mbembe, Jasbir Puar, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Ann Stoler, Lauren Berlant, Sharon Holland, and Alex Weheliye Participants will spend about the first section of the course reviewing Foucault’s College de France lectures from 1973- 1979. We will track their impact on the development within post-Foucauldian biopolitics of the concepts of  necropolitics, thanatopolitics, and reproductive biopolitics, giving attention on the one hand,  to the role within these fields of critiques of Foucault by Esposito and Agamben, and new understandings of the reproductive biopoliticization of both gender and race . In light of the increasing focus in the field of post-Foucauldian theory of necropolitics and thanatopolitics, the courses ends with a focus on a number of new directions after Foucauldian biopolitics: such as vitalism, utopianism, futurism, the reconfiguration of life,  or alternatively, the “anti-social thesis.”