Most feminist theorists over the last forty years have held that a basic tenet of feminism is that women as a group are oppressed. The concept of oppression has never had a very broad meaning in liberal discourse, however, and with the rise of neo-liberalism since 1980 it has even less currency in public debate. This article argues that, while we may still believe women are oppressed, for pragmatic purposes Michel Foucault’s concept of practices of freedom is a more effective (...) way to characterize feminist theory and politics. (shrink)
Queer defies categorization and resists preset developmental trajectories. Practices of queering identities emerged near the end of the twentieth century as ways of resisting normalizing networks of power/knowledge. But how effective are queer practices at resisting networks of power/knowledge (including disciplines) that are not primarily normalizing in their functioning? This essay raises that question in light of expanding neoliberal discourses and institutions which, in some quarters at least, themselves undermine normalized identities in favor of a proliferation of personal styles susceptible (...) to governance through market forces. Special attention is given to Security, Territory, Population and The Birth of Biopolitics in this analysis. (shrink)
Charles Scott has always encouraged his students to take up the questions they find most troubling, difficult, and even possibly unanswerable. For him, philosophy is about movements of thinking themselves rather than arrival at reasonable conclusions. In tribute to Scott as a teacher, this paper takes up a troubling and perhaps unanswerable question: How might we teach our students today so as to prepare them for life in a world of ecological instability beyond what any member of our species has (...) ever experienced? It looks at the question of ethics in the midst of pollution, peak oil, and climate change. (shrink)
: For many years feminists have asserted an "intersection" between sex and race. This paper, drawing heavily on the work of Michel Foucault, offers a genealogical account of the two concepts showing how they developed together and in relation to similar political forces in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Thus it attempts to give a concrete meaning to the claim that sex and race are intersecting phenomena.
: Bodies and Pleasures has been characterized as a confessional discourse that manages to subvert confessional practice. Here it is characterized and discussed as an askesis that works to transform confessional practice as it transforms the writer/reader. Two questions emerge through that transformation: (1) How is race (in particular, whiteness) to be lived? (2) What are the possibilities for political subjectivity in the absence of dualism and the intensification of awareness of our normalization?