By Stijn De Cauwer
The Academische Stichting Leuven provides funding for what they call IdeaLabs: these are groups of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers from different departments and faculties who will organize research activities or public events around a cutting-edge topic. In December 2014, the proposal for an IdeaLab on “The Biopolitical Condition” was approved for a period of two years. This group consists of researchers from Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, Philosophy, Social Sciences and Art History and together we will study the impact of Foucault’s theories of biopolitics on important new scholarship in our research fields. The fact that researchers from different faculties are interested in this topic already shows how great and diverse the influence of Foucault’s theories of biopolitics is: from philosophy of medicine to disability studies, from contemporary political philosophy to sociological studies about the current situation of refugees, from gender studies to biopolitics as a topic in literature and the arts… Especially in contemporary critical theory, with influential scholars such as Giorgio Agamben or Antonio Negri, the notion of biopolitics has become increasingly important. A good selection of some of the most important theoretical texts about biopolitics has recently been published by Duke University Press, titled Biopolitics: a Reader, edited by Timothy Campbell and Adam Sitze.
During the next two years we will organize readings groups in which we discuss key texts and invite relevant speakers. Anyone who is interested in this topic can always join our reading group or come to our events!
For more information about the events of the IdeaLab: https://thebiopoliticalcondition.wordpress.com/
For more information about IdeaLabs and the Academische Stichting (in Dutch): https://www.kuleuven.be/asl/idealab/