This class will introduce the concept of biopolitics, and its application in contemporary human geography. Biopolitics is typically associated with French philosopher Michel Foucault, who conceived it as a mode of power concerned with managing life itself, through the disciplining of individual bodies and the measurement and regulation of populations. In recent years however, the concept has been applied to a wide range of social and political problems, most notably ideas of sovereignty, community, violence and security. The class will explore the varied theoretical trajectories of this concept, and its development within social and political geography.
2 – 4. Foucault: discipline, governance, population, calculation
5 – 7. Agamben: sovereignty, exception, homo sacer
8 – 10. Esposito: immunity and affirmative biopolitics
11 – 12. Future directions
Short lectures, pair work and group discussion, in-class reading and writing, and video and audio clips. The class will be conducted entirely in English, and there will be reading assignments for homework each week.
Student assessment will be based on participation, homework assignments, and a final essay.
Will distribute handouts.
Will specify at class time.
The course will be taught entirely in English.