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Critique and Power in the Work of Michel Foucault

Seminar, 9 June 2015, 9am - 5:30pm

organised by Dr. Ruth Mas

The aim of this seminar is to examine how the Enlightenment notion of critique has played a central role in the formation of secularising modernity’s response to religious experience. We will examine the modern notion of critique as the consequence of questions and issues that remain unresolved within the Enlightenment, as well as the concepts of rationality, subjectivity, and history through which secularism continues to be articulated in opposition to religion. The purpose of this examination is to rethink the division between religion and the secular and the concept of critique on which that division is founded. An important focus of our discussion will be the centrality of the notion of power in Michel Foucault’s thinking and how it emerges as the object of critique in his work. Finally, we will turn to Foucault’s understanding of genealogy and its relation to the practice of criticism. Here, seminar participants will be asked to consider the methodological implications of Foucault’s thinking for the use of critique in their own work.


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