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Special Topics in Knowledge & Politics (469-0-20)


Jacqueline Stevens
Scott Hall, Rm 304

Meeting Info

Scott Hall 107 Burdick Room: Wed 9:00AM - 11:50AM

Overview of class

This course will explore how scholars represent states reproducing, maintaining, or destroying a particular body politic. In doing so we will engage theories of "biopolitics" and "biopower," broadly conceived. The objective is to understand the uses and disadvantages of Michel Foucault's critiques of discourses of sovereignty for analyzing current political conflicts situated in practices of the nation, race, class, and the family, as well as the subject positions associated with these, e.g., citizens, immigrants, Whites, Asians, rich, poor the 1%, dependents, women, men, LGBT, queer, and many more. The course will attend to the intellectual and political history informing Foucault's critiques of, and elaborations on, the discourse of sovereignty, including legal discourses. During class meetings we will discuss Foucault's historical periodizations of changing discourses of power/knowledge relations associated with biopolitics and evaluate the metanarrative that informs his heuristics. Lectures will discuss the readings in the context of Foucault's own intellectual history. The class will read extensively from works by Foucault as well as texts by Giorgio Agamben, Judith Butler, Nancy Fraser, Bruno Perreau, Jacques Rancière, Ann Stoler, and others. Students are encouraged to reflect on how the readings are in conversation with their own research interests and highlight these in class

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for Graduate Students.