Michel Foucault’s Les anormaux. David J McInerney. Abstract. On 29 January Foucault spoke of two political monsters in revolutionary France: one of them. From: David McInerney ; Date: Tue, 31 Mar 20 +; Subject: [Foucault-L] Abnormal/Les Anormaux lecture 29 January. Gallimard: “Il faut défendre la société” (), Les anormaux (), Michel Foucault, Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, , trans. Graham.
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Valerio Anomaux, Antonella Salomoni, trans. London and New York: Students of history usually encounter major thinkers in a condensed form. They may associate the name of Michel Foucault with the term medicalization or remember having learnt that sexual discourses are sites of power.
The book under review here is to be recommended as an antidote to such summaries of Foucault’s oeuvre. Instead, the volume allows us to observe Foucault in the laboratory, at the threshold of a major re-orientation in his thinking.
Between andFoucault’s public courses evolved in a series of interconnected themes: Course by course, tapes of Foucault’s lectures are currently being edited and translated into English, complete with markers of oral delivery. As do other volumes in this series, the book contains Foucault’s own course synthesis, an expert introduction by Arnold Davidson, a competent afterword by the editors, and an excellent foucaupt.
A critical apparatus provides relevant bibliographical citations and cross-references to Foucault’s other writings.
The volume is eminently readable. Occasionally, its readability comes at the expense of philological rigour. Its title is somewhat emblematic in that regard.
To be sure, this solution is much in tune with Foucault’s theoretical vision. Such a rendering de-emphasizes, however, the project’s contradictions. It may even misrepresent its academic and political impetus. The motiveless crime served, so Foucault argues, aonrmaux a motor for the development of early criminal psychiatry.
Les Anormaux : Michel Foucault :
The case of a mother eating her own child, for example, required the expert to explain how an individual could have behaved so inexplicably; he alone came to command the expertise to detect in a person what remained hidden to non-experts. Intriguingly, as Foucault points out, such a gaze shifts attention away from the deed itself or the question of a anogmaux culpability at the time of the crime to foucajlt of an existence that were not themselves criminal, a person’s body and biography.
Yet psychiatry’s development did not stop here. It proceeded to morph into a discipline concerned not only with the abnormal but with all humans.
Yet if psychiatry came to wield a position of scientific, social, and cultural prominence, this emergence was in large part due to its profound entanglement with the theme of human sexuality, especially the ever-present dangers of abnormal sexual behaviour: The eighteenth-century anti-masturbation campaign served as both a precursor aonrmaux a model for nineteenth-century psychiatry.
It set a fundamental anxiety into motion that revolved around the sexuality of children, a danger so persistent and elusive that it has stayed with us ever since.
Michel Foucault bibliography – Wikipedia
The strengths of the genealogical approach to the writing of history are clearly in evidence on almost every page of this volume: By sidestepping conventional understandings of historical agency and narrative sequence, Foucault the genealogist carves out historically situated, interconnected configurations. It is fair to say that Foucault’s own expertise varies greatly within the expansive reach of this argument.
While his command of nineteenth-century forensic literature is impressive, his familiarity with medieval predecessors to the early modern phenomena he describes at some length is spotty. Surprisingly, eighteenth-century physiognomy makes no appearance, to pick only one of many omissions. Even so, reading these thought experiments and historical sketches remains tremendously inspiring, not least because Foucault’s musings continue to spur critical engagement and dissent.
From the vantage point of this volume, some of Foucault’s grand formulations in his better known book publications qualify as condensations of arguments he developed more extensively in lectures like the ones published in Abnormal.
This is why this text is indispensable reading for anybody interested in the history of medicine, psychiatry, sexuality, or the fluctuations of Foucault’s thinking.
If only we knew more about the original audience’s responses, their mumbling or their laughter. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Journal List Med Hist v.
Les Anormaux : Cours Au College de France, 1974-1975