Foucault and the Problem of Justice Part II: Security, Territory, and Population

“What characterizes the act of justice is not resort to a court and to judges; it is not the intervention of magistrates (even if they had to be simple mediators or arbitrators). What characterizes the juridical act, the process or the procedure in the broad sense, is the regulated development of a dispute. And the intervention of judges, their opinion or decision, is only ever an episode in this development. What defines the juridical order is the way in which one confronts one another, the way in which one struggles. The rule and the struggle, the rule in the struggle, this is the juridical.” Michel Foucault, Penal Theories and Institutions

Power and Governmentality at the Intersection of the Individual and the Population considers Foucault’s lectures at the College de France between 1975 and 1980, which includes Society Must be Defended (1976-1977), Security, Territory, and Population (1977-1978), The Birth of Biopolitics (1978-1979), and On the Government of the Living (1979-1980). This course will begin, however, with an earlier series of lectures which have only recently just been published in English: Penal Theories and Institutions. Extending the earlier course in which we discussed the problem of justice in relation to truth, knowledge, and juridical procedure in the first four years of Foucault’s lectures (The Will to Know, Punitive Society, Psychiatric Power, and Abnormal), this second part will examine subjectivity in relation to justice through the lens of government and population at the level of economy, security, biology, and politics. Keeping in mind that these discussions intersect directly with the contemporary field of political debates around issues of equity, law, and responsibility we hope that this course furthers our commitment to raise questions that enable us to consider not just the problematic of what is the configuration of justice today, but also what is our relation to government and whether political power exists as the continuation of civil war, of society against itself.

Classes will meet for five sessions every two weeks on Tuesday evenings at the Central Library on Grand Army Plaza. Registered students will receive complimentary books related to the course. 

This series will be taught by Peter Macapia. Marcapia is a philosopher, artist, architect and founder of Peter Macapia Studio and labDORA, an internationally recognized research and design studio. Macapia studied under Rosalind Krauss, John Rajchman, Gayatri Spivak, and Akeel Bilgrami.  Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Macapia moved to the Northeast to study art and philosophy at RISD and Brown for his Bachelor’s, American history at Harvard University for his Masters, and finally Columbia University for his PhD in Theory and Criticism.  He has exhibited and published internationally and collaborated with such artists as Vito Acconci.  Macapia has taught at Columbia University, The New School for Social Research/Parsons, and elsewhere.  He is currently Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture at Pratt institute where he teaches political philosophy and architectural design.

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