Michel Foucault’s Collège de France Lectures (1970-1984): 13 Years at the Collège, 13 Seminars at Columbia

Race war, biopolitics, the hermeneutics of the self, governmentality, the examination of one’s conscience, sécurité, the courage of truth, illégalismes, juridical forms, governing through truth, the “punitive society,” truth-telling, judicial apparatuses of repression, the Nu-pieds rebellions of 1639, parrhesia . . . Michel Foucault’s 13 years of lectures at the Collège de France introduced us to new concepts and novel research avenues. For many of us, those avenues have been fertile ground for our own theorization, for others, fertile ground for critique. They represent, as Foucault intended, rich and productive “pistes de recherches.”

With the publication of the entire series of lectures at the Collège de France—the last, Théories et institutions pénales (1971–1972) just released in May 2015—it is now time to read them chronologically: to grasp the overall project of those lectures at the Collège, to discuss the full trajectory, and to continue to excavate our own “pistes de recherche” building on Foucault’s.

The Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and the Columbia Society of Fellows, with the support of the Maison Française, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, are delighted to host 13 seminars on the 13 courses. The seminar series—Foucault 13/13—will extend over the full 2015–2016 academic year at Columbia University. The seminar series will be open to Columbia faculty, fellows, and students, as well as faculty and students from other New York universities.

Each seminar will be led by distinguished scholars from different disciplines. The seminars will take place on Monday evenings in the fall semester (2015) and Thursday evenings in the spring semester (2016) from 6:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. For more detailed locations and times visit our schedule page.


Reading the Foucault Collège de France Lectures with us:

David Armitage, Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, Veena Das, François Ewald, Didier Fassin, James Faubion, Nancy Fraser, Frédéric Gros, Daniele Lorenzini, Nancy Luxon, Achille Mbembe, Paul Rabinow, Judith Revel, Pierre Rosanvallon, Ann Stoler, and Linda Zerilli

In conversation with our Columbia University colleagues:

Etienne Balibar, Richard Brooks, Partha Chatterjee, Jean Cohen, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Katherine Franke, Robert Gooding-Williams, Stathis Gourgouris, Axel Honneth, Jeremy Kessler, Lydia Liu, Anna Lvovsky, Sharon Marcus, Alondra Nelson, John Rajchman, Emmanuelle Saada, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Kendall Thomas, Adam Tooze, and Nadia Urbinati

All seminars moderated by:

Bernard E. Harcourt and Jesús R. Velasco


The seminars will be offered to students and faculty from Columbia University and other New York universities (please bring university ID). If you are interested in attending, please apply by sending an email explaining your interest to Claire Merrill at cm3325@columbia.edu.