Stuart Elden,’Foucault’s Confessions of the Flesh’- London, 9 May

24th Apr 2018

The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths invites you to:


Foucault’s Confessions of the Flesh

A talk by Stuart Elden


May 9, 3-5pm

Richard Hoggart Building room 137

Goldsmiths, University of London

New Cross

SE14 6NW


In February 2018 the fourth volume of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality was finally published. Les Aveux de la chair [Confessions of the Flesh] was edited by Frédéric Gros, and appeared in the same Gallimard series as volumes 1, 2 and 3. The book treats the early Christian Church Fathers of the 2nd-5th century. This talk will discuss the book in relation to Foucault’s other work, showing how it sits in sequence with volumes 2 and 3, but also partly bridges the chronological and conceptual gap to volume 1. It will discuss the state of the book and whether it should it have been published, despite Foucault’s stipulation of ‘no posthumous publications’. It will outline the contents of the book, which is in three parts on the formation of a new experience, on virginity and on marriage. There are also some important supplementary materials included. The talk will discuss how it begins to answer previously unanswered questions about Foucault’s work, and will also say something about how the book might be received and discussed.

Stuart Elden is Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of books on territory, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, and Henri Lefebvre. Shakespearean Territories will be published by University of Chicago Press in October 2018. He is currently writing books on Georges Canguilhem and on the very early Foucault, as well as editing a collection of Lefebvre’s writings on rural sociology with Adam David Morton.

All welcome.