Étienne Balibar y Judith Butler sobre Marx, Foucault y La société punitive

Originally posted on multipliciudades:

El colectivo de teoría crítica de Berkeley ha publicado el audio del reciente evento en el que Étienne Balibar, arropado por Judith Butler, discute las intersecciones de Marx y Foucault, a la luz del último volumen de sus cursos publicado, La société punitive. El curso se desarrolló en paralelo a la investigación que condujo a Vigilar y castigar y comparte temáticas e hipótesis, aunque varios estudiosos, especialmente Stuart Elden (ver materiales aquí y aquí), han llamado la atención sobre el mayor peso de una perspectiva económico-política en el curso, que desaparecería posteriormente en el libro publicado. Balibar hace un recorrido que le lleva más allá del libro, uno más de los intentos de encontrar complementariedades entre dos pilares del pensamiento crítico.

Precisamente tengo la edición francesa del libro —aún no hay versión en inglés ni castellano, aunque no tardarán— preparada para leerla estas fiestas, así que todas estas…

View original 4 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sartre refuses the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964 (in English)

I’ve finally made good on my promise to translate this. As always, comments/encouragement/critiques are welcome!

Original post (in French): https://didierbazy.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/sartre-refuse-le-nobel-de-litterature-en-1964/

In 1964, Sartre wrote and published The Words. A short time before it was officially announced the rumor circulated that Jean Paul Sartre was going to receive the Nobel Prize, Sartre wrote a letter of apology to the secretary of the Nobel academy around October 14, 1964.

Mr. Secretary,

According to certain news which I read today, I would this year have some chance of winning the Nobel Prize. Although it is presumptuous to decide a vote before it is cast, I am now taking the liberty to write you to avoid a misunderstanding. I assure you first, Mr. Secretary, of my profound esteem for the Swedish academy and the prize which has honored many writers. Even so, for reasons that are personal to me and for others that are more objective, I do not desire to figure on the list of possible laureates I can not and will not, not in 1964, not later, accept the honorific distinction.

Please, Mr. Secretary, accept my apologues and believe my highest consideration.

But the letter was not opened and, anyway, the vote had already occurred. On October 22, 1964 a member of the academy officially announced: “This year, the Nobel Prize in literature has been awarded to the French author Jean Paul Sartre for his work in the spirit of liberty and research on truth, which has exercised a great influence on our time.”

Sarte wrote a letter to the academy explaining why he was refusing this prize. Here are some extracts of that letter:

I deeply regret that the affair with the prize has an appearance of scandal: a prize was distributed and someone refused it.

[?] I have invoked two types of reasons: personal reasons and objective reasons.

The personal reasons are the following: my refusal is not an improvised act. I have always declined official distinctions. When after the war, in 1945, someone nominated me for the legion of honor, I refused although I had friends in government. Also, I never had the desire to enter the College of France like some of my friends have suggested to me. [?]

It is not the same thing if I sign Jean Paul Sartre or if I sign Jean Paul Sartre, Nobel Prize winner. [?] The writer therefore has to refuse to let himself be transformed into an institution even if it is under the most honorable form, as is the case. [?]

My objective reasons are the following: the only combat now possible on the front of culture is that for the peaceful coexistence of two cultures, those of the east and those of the west. I do not want to say that it is necessary for us to embrace one another, I know well that the confrontation between the two cultures necessarily takes the form of a conflict, but it has to have a place between the men and the culture, without institutional intervention. [?] My sympathies are undeniably with socialism and what is called the eastern bloc, but I was born and I was raised in a bourgeois family. [?] However, I of course hope “the best wins,” that is to say, socialism.

This is why I cannot accept any honor distributed by the high cultural authorities, no more east than west, although I completely understand their existence. Even though my sympathies fall on the side of the socialists, I would however be incapable of accepting the Lenin prize if someone wanted to give it to me, but that is not the case. [?] During the war of Algeria when we had signed the “Manifesto of 121,” I would have accepted the prize in secret, not because it would have honored me but also the freedom for which I struggled. But that did not happen and it was not until the end of combat that I was awarded the prize.

The refusal was a lot of talk, and it was also a bit of a scandal. André Maurois asserted the same, and that if Sartre had to refuse the Nobel Prize, it was that he knew he was unable to mask himself.

[Maurois, presumably:] Why did you refuse the Nobel prize in literature in 1964?

I refused the Nobel prize because I refused to be consecrated as Sartre before death. Any artist, any writer, any man does not deserve to be consecrated while alive, because it has the power and freedom to change everything. The Nobel Prize was going to put me on a pedestal where I was not going to accomplish things, to take my freedom to act, to commit myself. All acts would be futile afterwards, as already recognized retrospectively. Imagine: A writer could receive this prize and let himself decay, and another could become even better. Which of these two deserves his prize? He who was on top and who descended from the peak or he who was commended before reaching the summit? I could have been one of the two, and no one could have predicted which I would have been. It is what has been done. I never will be the recipient of the Nobel prize, as long as I can still act in refusal.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

#ACSP2014 Deleuze and Planning

Originally posted on Urban ethics and theory:

So one of the sessions I attended today came out of a reading group at the University of Washington, which I think is a really cool idea–get your faculty together, have them work with the same texts, and then see where you go. And then, if you get somewhere, go out and give some talks on it so that the rest of us benefit. We had:

Keith Harris: Doing Well by Doing Good: Comprehensive Planning and Seattle’s Kindler, Gentler War-Machine

Cheryl Gilge: Citizen Participation as Microfascism: The Darker Side of Creative Austerity

Mark Purcell and Branden Born: Planning, Deleuze & Guttari and the Food Movement


James Potter: Assembling Developmental State Cities: The Oil Crisis, Democracy, and Korea’s Two Million Houses Policy.

To say that I am not qualified to weigh in on these would be a massive understatement as I haven’t read any Deleuze and Guattari, nor have…

View original 41 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Michel Foucault’s ‘apology’ for neoliberalism (2014)

Originally posted on Foucault News:

Mitchell Dean, Michel Foucault’s ‘apology’ for neoliberalism. Lecture delivered at the British Library on the 30th anniversary of the death of Michel Foucault, June 25, 2014, Journal of Political Power, Volume 7, Issue 3, 2014, pages 433-442

Further info

This lecture evaluates the claim made by one of his closest followers, François Ewald, that Foucault offered an apology for neoliberalism, particularly of the American school represented by Gary Becker. It draws on exchanges between Ewald and Becker in 2012 and 2013 at the University of Chicago shortly before the latter’s death. It places Foucault in relation to the then emergent Second Left in France, the critique of the welfare state, and, more broadly, the late-twentieth-century social-democratic take-up of neoliberal thought. It indicates three limitations of his thought: the problem of state ‘veridiction’; the question of inequality; and the concept of the economy. It also indicates how these might…

View original 9 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

dissertation wisdom

Everything you’ve been trying to wrangle for hours starts coming together in an incredibly graceful way seven minutes before the library closes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t worry, y’all, Vulcan is building a better city for YOU!

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 2.14.49 PM

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foucault and Neoliberalism – a few thoughts in response to the Zamora piece in Jacobin

Originally posted on Progressive Geographies:

FoucaultI’ve been away, but several people have been sending me links to a recent string of articles on Foucault’s supposed sympathies to neoliberalism. The start of the debate – in English at least – was the translation of an interview with Daniel Zamora at Jacobin. The interview relates to a book entitled Critiquer Foucault: Les années 1980 et la tentation néolibérale which has just been published. Clare O’Farrell rounds up the key pieces at Foucault News.

The book is a collective work, edited by Zamora. I’ve not read it yet, and suspect that very few of those commenting on it have either. Anything said now is necessarily provisional.

The first thing that struck me was the question – is this news? Foucault’s 1979 lectures on neoliberalism – the misnamed The Birth of Biopolitics – have been widely available for a decade. They were first published in French…

View original 994 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment