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Bíos
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This class will introduce and clarify the contemporary buzz around the notions of biopower and biopolitics - the political power and the power of biotechnologies on the 'forms of life' (from the scale of biology to the scale of social subjectivities and sexual behaviors) as introduced first by Foucault in History of Sexuality and then rearticulated in the last decades by Agamben, Negri, Esposito (and others). Additionally, we will ask what are different forms of bio-resistance? It would begin with a discussion of Bíos: Biopolitics and Philosophy by Roberto Esposito. In Bíos, Esposito outlines an affirmative biopolitics that applies the immunisation paradigm (taken from biology via Donna Haraway) to the radical transformation of the political into biopolitics. Esposito both builds off of Foucault and breaks from his contemporaries, such as Negri and Agamben, in a number of important ways so having some background in these philosophers would be helpful. That being said, Timothy Campbell's introduction to Bíos does a good job of situating Esposito's project and can provide a background for those less familiar with the notion of biopolitics and biopower. As a critique of Esposito's positions a text by Judith Revel "Identity, Nature, Life" can be taken as a reading companion.  Subsequent sessions will go on to explore further conceptions like community, immunity, biopolitical production, technologies of the self/body, biotechnology and bioinformatics and so on. A Berlin based research group, Lebensformen, has created a bibliography that can provide a framework for further exploration depending on the interest and desire of the class.  Additionally, Roberto Esposito, Judith Revel and the queer philosopher Beatriz Preciado will be in Berlin for a conference organised by Transmediale (see the Lebensformen website for more information) in the early February 2011.

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caleb berlin's picture

just a reminder that we are meeting tmr at 13:00 @ The Public School, Invalidenstrasse 115 (around the back). We'll be discussing: Roberto Esposito. Bíos. Biopolitica e filosofia (Milano: Einaudi, 2004). Trans. Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy (University Of Minnesota Press, 2008). Chapters: Introduction, “The Enigma of Biopolitics“, ”Biopower and biopotentiality“ & Judith Revel. “Identity, Nature, Life: Three Biopolitical Deconstructions”. Theory Culture Society: Special issue on Foucault, Vol 26, n. 6 (2009) as well as some other things listed here:http://berlin.thepublicschool.org/node/3115

see you soon,
-c

fotini's picture

got it, thanks!

caleb berlin's picture

here ya go: http://ifile.it/cl641uy

let me know if it doesn't work...

fotini's picture

Could anyone provide a new link to "Bíos: Biopolitics and Philosophy"? The one on aaaarg seems to be expired. Thank you!

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