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Title: Review of the book Foucalt’s last decade, by S. Elden
Authors: Borg, Kurt
Keywords: Books -- Reviews
Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984 -- Criticism and interpretation
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Copenhagen Business School
Citation: Borg, K. (2017). [Review of the book Foucalt’s last decade, by S. Elden]. Foucault Studies, 1(22), 263-268.
Abstract: Recent scholarship on the work of Michel Foucault has been significantly influenced by his 1970-1984 Collège de France lecture courses that started being published in 1997, culminating in the publication of all the thirteen courses by 2015. Although it can never supplant the monographs, the material of these lecture courses informs how Foucault’s works are to be approached, particularly the three volumes that make up The History of Sexuality series. Stuart Elden’s Foucault’s Last Decade, which he describes as “a book about a book, a history of the History of Sexuality” (5), is a masterly intervention in this regard. Elden argues that Foucault’s last decade is characterised by a “long-standing interest in the question of confession” (204), and that this question must be fore-grounded if one wants to properly understand the multiple shifts and apparent digressions in The History of Sexuality series, a project which occupied and preoccupied Foucault throughout his last decade. Elden shows how this privileging of the question of confession in Foucault’s work brings out the unsuitability of “the older reading that the subject ‘returns’ in Foucault’s late work” (205). The approach to Foucault’s work in this book also counters the commonplace periodisations and divisions of Foucault’s work, showing how rather than swift breaks from archaeology to genealogy, or from power to ethics, Foucault’s work is marked by more interesting and nuanced progressions.
ISSN: 18325203
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacEduES

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