SOC 16
The Lives of Infamous Men Winter 2023

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Class Details

Michel Foucault is famous for his analysis of how power and knowledge are interwoven in institutions such as the prison or the clinic. Less well known are the life stories that Foucault exhumed from the archives of these institutions. These stories, such as that of a parricidal peasant assumed to be insane and an intersex individual raised in a convent but later legally identified as a man, provoke questions about the self, identity, knowledge, power, and resistance. We will explore the violence done to lives when they are made to conform to the neatness of the archive and ask how we might do justice to these lives as historians. This class will include a research project in which students will collaborate to curate a biographical exhibit in the Williams Library.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 30
Expected: NA
Class#: 1047
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Final project or presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: seniority
Unit Notes: William Stahl is a political theorist researching the politics of biography. Previously, he has taught at New York University, Abu Dhabi and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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