Foucauldians for Corbyn

This week I taught my class introducing students to the work of Michel Foucault. As I do every year, in preparation I went back to some of his writings to refresh my memory and to re-engage myself with the ideas. Every time I do this, something different stands out. This time around, I was more…

Picturing Convicts’ Bodies in Colonial Burma

The end of the teaching term last year coincided with the British Library releasing over one million images on their Flickr account. Making the most of this, I immediately began trawling through them to see what images of Burma I could find. Among the many I came across were two contrasting images of convicts. This…

Archives, Material Histories and Anxieties

At a recent conference on histories of material life in South Asia that I attended there were two excellent papers that touched on the physical creation of archives. The keynote lecture on pre-colonial records in Maharashta,┬ádelivered by Rosalind O’Hanlon, described the use of inscribed rocks and copper plates to document and preserve the rites held…

Teaching the F-Word (Foucault that is…)

Taught my favourite class this week: a fun-packed two hours introducing students to Foucault’s Discipline and Punish with the aid of the torture scene from Braveheart (sovereign power), the chilling footage of prison dance routines in the Philippines (docile bodies), and Bunny Colvin’s speech in The Wire about ‘brown paper bags’ (delinquency). Took me ages…