Michel Foucault’s account of the subject has a double meaning: it relates to both being a “subject of” and being “subject to” political forces. This book interrogates the philosophical and political consequences of such a dual definition of the subject, by exploring the processes of subjectivation and objectivation through which subjects are produced. Drawing together well-known scholars of Foucaultian thought and critical theory, alongside a newly translated interview with Foucault himself, the book will engage in a serious reconsideration of the notion of “autonomy” beyond the liberal tradition, connecting it to processes of subjectivation. In the face of the ongoing proliferation of analyses using the notion of subjectivation, this book will retrace Foucault’s reflections on it and interrogate the current theoretical and political implications of a series of approaches that mobilize the Foucaultian understanding of the subject in relation to truth and power.
Introduction. Foucault and the Making of Subjects: Rethinking Autonomy between Subjection and
Subjectivation, Laura Cremonesi, Orazio Irrera, Daniele Lorenzini and Martina Tazzioli / 1. Foucault, the Iranian Uprising, and the Constitution of a Collective Subjectivity, Laura Cremonesi, Orazio Irrera, Daniele Lorenzini, Martina Tazzioli / 2. There Can’t Be Societies without Uprisings, Michel Foucault, Farès Sassine / Part 1: Productions of Subjectivity / 3. From Subjection to Subjectivation: Michel Foucault and the History of Sexuality, Arnold I. Davidson / 4. Foucault, Regimes of Truth, and the Making of the Subject, Daniele Lorenzini / 5. Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: The Case of Sexual Avowal, Judith Butler / Part II: Autonomy, Critique, and the Norms / 6. Philosophy, Critique, and the Present: The Question of Autonomy in Michel Foucault’s Thought, Laura Cremonesi / 7. Foucault and the Refusal of Ideology , Orazio Irrera / 8. Becoming a Subject in Relation to Norms, Guillaume le Blanc / Part III: The Power over/of Governed Subjects / 9. The Government of Desire, Miguel de Beistegui / 10. Between Politics and Ethics: The Question of Subjectivation, Judith Revel / 11. Foucault and the Irreducible to the Population: The Mob, the Plebs, and Troubling Subjectivities in Excess, Martina Tazzioli
Laura Cremonesi specialises in 20th Century French Philosophy and has published articles and
book chapters on Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot. She has published a book on Foucault’s
interpretation of the ancient world, Michel Foucault e il mondo antico. Spunti per una critica
dell’attualità (ETS, 2008), and translated from French into Italian the book by Pierre Hadot, Études
de philosophie ancienne (Les Belles Lettres, 2010): Studi di filosofia antica (ETS, 2015).
Orazio Irrera is Associate Researcher at the Centre de philosophie contemporaine de la Sorbonne,
University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal
materiali foucaultiani and the co-director of the permanent workshop “Race and Colonialism:
On the Political Epistemologies of Decolonisation” at the Collège international de Philosophie. He
is the co-editor of Foucault e le genalogie del dir-vero (Cronopio, 2014) and La pensée politique de
Foucault (Kimé, 2016).
Daniele Lorenzini is Temporary Lecturer in Philosophy and Ethics at the University of Paris-Est
Créteil. He is the author most recently of Éthique et politique de soi: Foucault, Hadot, Cavell et les
techniques de l’ordinaire (Vrin, 2015) and the co-editor of Michel Foucault’s lectures About the
Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self (The University of Chicago Press, 2015), Qu’est-ce que
la critique? Suivi de La culture de soi (Vrin, 2015), and Discours et vérité (Vrin, 2016). He is also a
member of the editorial board of the journal materiali foucaultiani.
Martina Tazzioli is Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Aix-Marseille and Research
Assistant at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of Spaces of Governmentality:
Autonomous Migration and the Arab Uprisings (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), co-author of Tunisia
as a Revolutionized Space of Migration (Palgrave Pivot, 2016), and co-editor of Foucault and the
History of Our Present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). She is also a member of the editorial board of
the journal materiali foucaultiani.
This fascinating set of essays brings together some of the best known French and Anglophone commentators on Foucault’s work today. The result is a splendid collection of engagements with Foucault’s late reconceptualization of subjectivity that ranges widely over the late lecture courses at the Collège de France, and beyond. Foucault and the Making of Subjects takes a subject we thought we knew well – Foucault and the subject – and makes it new (and urgent, again) for us. Endlessly interesting and provocative.
This is an excellent collection including work by established scholars as well as some of the leading members of a new generation of continental Foucault scholarship. The focus on Foucault's concern with the making of subjects' sustains its coherence across a diverse range of contributions. Critically probing and extending Foucault's work across topics of autonomy, truthfulness, sexual avowal, ideology, desire, and collective subjectivities, it demonstrates the salience of, and resources offered by, Foucault's work for social and political theory.
In this inspiring collection, which features a very significant and newly available interview with Foucault, the authors mount an engaging and detailed case for Foucault's practical utility in conceptualising ethical and political action at both the individual and social levels. Carefully refuting a number of commonly held misconceptions about Foucault's work on this score, this book is essential reading.
In the fast growing field of research on Foucault, this volume stands out. It provides careful and expert appraisals of recently published textual sources, as well as offering strikingly novel insights on the important issue of collective political resistance.