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Hist 400-02 - Presentation Notes.docx

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Queen's University
HIST 402
Steven J Maynard

PRESENTATION NOTES Andrew Cantarutti – Hist 400-02 OKSALA:  “Instead of ruling over a territory and its inhabitants, the object of modern forms of government is a population: an object of statistical analysis and scientific knowledge with its own intrinsic regularities.” P. 82  “[Governmentality] is exercised through administrative institutions, forms of knowledge as well as explicit tactics and strategies.” P. 83  Two main features of governmental rationality: centralization of political power, and individualizing power (pastoral power).  Shifts focus on disciplinary power from repressive institutions to productive practices.  “Because government refers to strategic, regulated and rationalized modes of power that have to be legitimized through forms of knowledge and specific truth claims, the idea of critique as a form of resistance now becomes crucial.” P. 85  The “politics of truth” becomes an important mode of justification for governments.  “Resistance is therefore not a blind spot in practices of power, but is rather an important aspect of the practices of knowledge that form the level of justification for power relations.” P. 86  Habermas critique.  Foucault opposed to universalistic discourse of Enlightenment emancipation – no inherent human nature that justified these claims. HISTORICAL CONTEXT – Foucault Interview:  Interview conducted by Paul Rabinow, a professor of Anthropology at Berkeley.  He was both Foucault’s friend and editor.  Interview published in Skyline magazine in 1982.  By 1980, Foucault was a visiting teacher at Berkeley. Concept of biopower already formulated in 1979, but was now leaving his “genealogical” phase and entering hermeneutics/ethics.  Habermas, among others, had begun to criticize Foucault. Habermas entertained universal, generalizing ideas while Foucault rejected them. Often, their differences came down to problems of definition.  The 1950s/60s saw the rise of modernist architecture in Europe, represented by architects such as Le Corbusier in France. They believed that architecture could be used to directly improve the of various oppressed peoples (working class, colonial populations, etc.)  Discourse about architecture’s liberating potential is important to Foucault’s response. He considers rationality and whether or not architecture could liberate or oppress at all. FOUCAULT INTERVIEW:  Architecture becomes a reflection on the aims and techniques of governments in the 18 century.  Only then did architecture become a staple in discussions about “politics as the art of the government of men.” P. 240  Cities became models for governmental rationality that could be applied to the whole of the territory.  Police function to apply a set of regulations that would ensure the “tranquility of the city.” P. 241  Police as “program of government rationality.” Ibid  Railroads as example of relations of space and power. They provoked resistance, transformed populations, and changed people’s behaviours.  According to Foucault, architecture cannot be inherently liberating or oppressing. These two things emerge as a function of resistance or interaction between people and the space they occupy.  Le Corbusier and the Familistère are examples whereby the architects’ intentions were not met by the practice of people within those spaces.  The bathhouse recognized sexuality as a social pleasure. Their removal placed this same role on the brothels, but the brothels’ sociality wasn’t public, and was less acceptable.  Spacialization of knowledge – classifications of Linnaeus, anatomy, racial hierarchies.  Techne – “a practical rationality governed by a conscious goal.” P. 255 WATTS:  Census-making is central to defining a population – outlining racial criteria in the formation of “racial government.”  “Statistics are an integral part of the technology of power in a modern state.” P. 28  “Official statistics do not merely hold a mirror to reality. They reflect presupposition sand theories about the nature of society. They are products of social, political and economic interests that are often in conflict with each other.” P. 29  Racial government depends on dividing practices – separation of population into distinct groups using “racial criteria.” Censuses acted as tools towards this end.  Batman’s purchase of land was in question because the “savage tribes” couldn’t have had the land rights to begin with – treaty of enfeoffment with local aboriginal chiefs. Terra Nullius  First census at Port Philip in 1836 – 77 persons became residents.  This was
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