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The Michel Foucault Toolbox: How to think and work in a Foucauldian way

Date: May 25, 2021 - CANCELED
Time 12:15-16:00
 Place: Online - Zoom link will be sent to participants prior to the course 
Registration: Deadline May 10th, 2021 - mailto: 
ECTS: 0,5 (4-hours course + 8 hours preparation)
Teachers:  Dag Heede, Associate Professor, Dept. for the Study of Culture, SDU
Outline of your project:   Deadline is May 15th, to 
 The course is offered in English but we might switch to Danish if all participants are most comfortable with that.
 For information: For questions about the course, contact Associate Prof. Cindie Maagaard at
For questions about registration, contact Program Secretary Jeanet Dal at  



The Michel Foucault Toolbox
How to think and work in a Foucauldian way

Michel Foucault (1924-1984) repeatedly stated that he wished his work to be used as a toolbox over which he wanted no control. Taking him on his word, this workshop will introduce a number of key concepts of his philosophy and explore how they can be put to use in individual projects and explorations. Therefore, the 
participants’ projects will partly define the outline of the course.

I will begin by giving a brief introduction that outlines the body of Foucault’s oeuvre beginning with the large 1960 volume Histoire de la folie (Madness and Civilization), which became an important tool in the anti-psychiatry movement. Then we will discuss the ”structuralist” phase with Foucault’s critique of medicine, La naissance de la clinique (The birth of the clinic), the critique of the humanities and the notion of man, Les mots et les choses (The order of things) and the critique of language, L’archéologie de savoir (The archeology of knowledge). From there we will focus on the famous and highly influential critiques of power in Surveiller et punir (Discipline and punish) and the first volume of the Histoire de la sexualité (The history of sexuality), La volonté de savoir (The will to know). Finally we shall discuss the last two volumes, L’Usage des plaisirs (The Uses of pleasure) and Le souci de soi (The care of the self) plus the posthumously published Les aveux de la chair (The confessions of the flesh) and the ”activist” writings in the four volume publication, Dits et Écrits.

Depending on the research interests of the participants we can discuss Foucault’s influence on pedagogy, sociology, political science, discourse analysis, governmentality studies, postcolonialism, deconstruction, feminism and queer theory.



Outline of your project
In advance of the course, I ask that the participants email me a brief outline of their projects and research interest in advance so I can tailor the course to work as the best possible toolbox for your needs. There are so many “Michel Foucaults” and I look forward to help you construct the Foucault that will work for you.

Deadline is May 15th, to



Required reading:

“The Subject and Power”
Author(s): Michel Foucault
Source: Critical Inquiry, Vol. 8, No. 4, (Summer, 1982), pp. 777-795
Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL:

A PDF of this text will be sent to participants who register.

Optional, but recommended, preparation:
A four-part radio series on Foucault. Link to the first program:

In-course presentation of your project
Students will be asked to give a short presentation (5 to 10 minutes) of their their projects that includes some preliminary reflections on how Foucault is relevant to the project.

The course is offered in English but we might switch to Danish if all participants are most comfortable with that.



Our events are open free of charge to PhD students from our own program, and from all other programs provided they also offer tuition free of charge to our students. ’Soon-to-be’ Phd students may also attend with permission from the event instructors and the Program Director, whom you should first contact if this applies to you (Cindie Aaen Maagaard at We are also very happy if members of staff wish to attend, particularly PhD supervisors, and will accommodate them in lieu of space. We ask all who attend an event to register. You’ll find the online registration form on the same page as the event description.

Sidst opdateret: 18.05.2021