Issue 44 of Critique & Humanism journal:

Critique of Ourselves? Foucault – current uses”

(co-edited by Momchil Hristov and Lea Vaisova; expected publication in December 2015)

One of the most widely read French philosophers of the 20th century, Michel Foucault is known for his constant polemics against every attempt of identification in the fields of philosophy and politics. His strategy of disidentification is notoriously articulated in Archeology of knowledge: “Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order”. Foucault in a way insisted on his multiple and suddenly changing scholarly and political identity.
This research ethics is visible in the whole oeuvre of the author: from madness to sexuality, from the literature of transgression to the birth of clinic and prison, from classical philology and political epistemology to the multiplicity of repressive mechanisms of the Ancien Regime and the (neo)liberal forms of governmentality, Foucault combines a variety of analytical tools – as phenomenology, hermeneutics, historical philosophy of science, Marxist critique of capitalist mode of production, Nietzschean genealogy, etc. – every time in order to construct a different type of genealogy of a specific segment or dimension (be it, practice, institution or form of rationality) of what he called “the present”.
This is why Foucault liked to describe the products of his work as a “toolkit” that could serve other researchers for their own historical analyses of the situations they are caught in. But at the same time Foucault insisted on the political character of his work and once even changed the metaphor of the toolkit for that of the “bomb”: “I would like to write bomb-books, he said. I mean, books that will be useful at the precise moment when they are being read or written. Then they would disappear.”
The aim of this issue of Critique and Humanism is to invite the contributors to share their own uses of different tools from the Foucaultian toolkit, in order to demonstrate the political and analytical pertinence of Foucault’s works for our own present.