Indeterminate Reading with Foucault: Performing Critical Distance through Textual Analysis

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Overview

Title
Indeterminate Reading with Foucault: Performing Critical Distance through Textual Analysis
Contributors
Schmeyer, Jennifer L (creator)
Ophir, Adi (Reader)
Richter, Gerhard (Advisor)
Brown University. Department of Comparative Literature (sponsor)
Doi
10.7301/Z0057DDS
Copyright Date
2017
Abstract
Abstract of "Indeterminate Reading with Foucault: Performing Critical Distance through Textual Analysis," by Jennifer L. Schmeyer, A.M., Brown University, May 2017. This thesis is an exploration of Michel Foucault’s genealogical/historical method for engaging in “writing the history of the present” in terms of the past to escape, or to achieve sufficient distance from, categories given by the present discourse of power. In his Security, Territory, Population, what I feel to be one of the most clearly-stated outlines of this historical project, Foucault opens the possibility of using the vantage point of a past discourse to observe the moments when current forms of power can first be recognized as new. Rather than attempting to return to a single moment in the history of thought to restart his efforts to think, Foucault believes that to achieve a fresh viewpoint on his own paradigm he may position himself in the past and look forward to the breaks between past and present discourses, breaks that I argue are necessarily the places where two discourses overlap and for a brief time coexist. I argue that it is through analysis of this overlap, the space where two paradigms are held open as at once equally-possible frameworks for thought, that we provide a new viewpoint on current manifestations of power. I will explore what this speech between discourses could look like and what it can achieve, the theatricality of madness required for such speech, and its application as a method for reading, first reading D.A. Miller reading Victorian prose, and finally applying these methods to a new reading of John Milton’s “The Passion.”
Keywords
Critical theory
Literature
European poetry--Renaissance
Literary theory
victorian literature
British literature
Continental philosophy
Philosophy, French
novel studies
Notes
Thesis (A. M.)--Brown University, 2017
Extent
iv, 69 p.

Citation

Schmeyer, Jennifer L., "Indeterminate Reading with Foucault: Performing Critical Distance through Textual Analysis" (2017). Comparative Literature Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0057DDS

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