Stockholm, 14 Apr. A lecture on normativity and abnormality

April 7th, 2014

A lecture within the Normalcy project at the Royal Institute of Art.
Monday 14 April 17:00-18:00 at Kungl. Konsthögskolan, Mellanrummet

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Georges Canguilhem’s milestone work The Normal and the Pathological(1943, 1966) was the main inspiration for Foucault’s conceptualization of the notions of biopolitics. The power that normalizes society—the power that according to Canguilhem started to distinguish between the normal and the abnormal in the post-Napoleonic French society by the introducing of new medical and social Norms against the domain of the Law—was the theoretical introduction that inspired Foucault’s work on the normalization of sexuality. Specifically it is in the course Abnormal (started in January 1975 at the Collège de France) that Foucault introduced “les techniques de normalisation de la sexualité”. Accidentally, it is in the same course that Foucault introduces for the first time the term ‘dispositif’ in relation to such a power of normalization of sexuality. My talk will try to illuminate the history of these words and concepts in Foucault without any desire of a unifying theory, yet looking at the real sources of these genealogies with the help of a philological lens and some anecdotes about Foucault’s visit to Sweden.   

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