Spring 2021 Reading Circle: Foucaulting Around

It is time for my Spring 2021 Reading Circle. This time there will just be one Reading Circle and it’ll continue the conversations (and welcome new conversations from new people!) to the Gender, Sexuality, and Faith Reading Circle. It is subtitled “Foucaulting Around” because we will be discussing the three volumes of The History of Sexuality over nine weeks. To sign up for the Reading Circle, click here.

For more information on the Reading Cricle:

A Reading Circle that discusses texts on Gender, Sexuality, and Faith. Everyone is welcome to apply; however, the Circle is capped at 15 people.

The third iteration of this Circle will discuss Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality (volume 1, Introduction; volume 2, The Use of Pleasure; volume 3, The Care of the Self). While not a religious or spiritual text, necessarily, it is a foundational text in sexuality studies and informs a lot of the current scholarship occurring around sexuality and its use by individuals, by the State, and, subsequently then, by religion. As such, I think it’s good to attend to certain foundational texts in sexuality and gender studies.

Foucault’s text can be difficult. It is in translation from the original French and Foucault is continuing conversations that have occurred in academia and are still occurring in academia. As such, the text can feel disconcerting. The point of a Reading Circle is meant to not just figure out exactly what the text is saying or the author is wanting to portray; it is to discuss those things, yes, but it’s also to further our own knowledge in community with other people. As such, we struggle together through the text, trying our best to summarize, to discuss, and to attend to the thinking that Foucault expresses in his writing.

I have discussed Foucault in classes I have taken; however, I am not a Foucauldian nor would I argue I understand him well. Although I will be leading the Circles, it will be an open discussion of Foucault’s work on sexuality, in which I am learning and you are too.

If you would like a primer on Foucault, I recommend Foucault’s entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/foucault/

The Reading Circle will occur over nine weeks. We will be meeting online on Sundays at 5 p.m. Pacific/6 p.m. Mountain/7 p.m. Central/8 p.m. Eastern. The meeting will last an hour to an hour and a half. I recognize that some may not be able to attend for an entire hour and a half meeting, so it is open for people who might need to leave early. In each meeting, we ask one or two people to summarize brief portions of the whole and then we attend to a close reading of each part by walking through the text itself, bringing up what we thought about each part and if we had any questions.

You will need to purchase this text or find it at your local library. I have access to PDF copies of the first two volumes, so if chosen and if needed, I’ll send those out.

Syllabus

April 11: Volume 1, Part 1 to Part 3 (~80 pages)
April 18: Volume 1, Part 4 and Part 5 (~90 pages)
April 25: Volume 2, Introductory Chapters and Part 1 (~95 pages)
May 2: Volume 2, Part 2 and Part 3 (~90 pages)
May 9: Volume 2, Part 4, Part 5, and Conclusion (~80 pages)
May 16: Volume 3, Part 1 and Part 2 (~70 pages)
May 23: Volume 3, Part 3 and Part 4 (~75 pages)
May 30: Volume 3, Part 5 and Part 6 (~60 pages)
June 6: Volume 3,, Conclusion, and Overview (~20 pages)

If you have any questions, please let Adam know on the sign up form. Newcomers are very welcome and encouraged to apply!