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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Common Courses

Undergraduate Course: Biopower: Troubling Control Practices from Foucault to Agamben (ELCC10023)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe work of power is evident in our societies. Bodies with power thrive. Those without do not. The need for radical change is in the rhetoric of many. Practices, however, remain embodied in tough-to-shift power regimes. In sharing and challenging premises in French and Italian Biopolitics, the course aims high, troubling biopower also through what course participants uniquely unpack as part of innovative practice-led delivery formats.
Course description The course is a Vertically Integrated Programme open to all students eligible for Levels 10 and 11 study at Edinburgh. Biopower is practice-led, and does not require previous study of political theory. Students are able to customise both contents and methods. Level 10 students share in the cocreation of the course, taking coleading and coproduction roles. Level 11 students take coleading roles and contribute to the coproduction of knowledge exchange materials. These are shared with the wider learning community online as part of the Final Portfolio Submissions. The overall aim of the course is to encourage learning as shared process, empowering participants to reflect on the kinds and variables of biopower we engage in every day.

Biopower is organised in three parts, Theories and Methods (wks 1-3), Laboratories and Seminars (wks 4-10), and Portfolio Submissions (wks 11-12), for a total 30 engagement hours. Part I (wks 1-3) presents course contents and methods. Students present and colead Seminars in Part II (wks 4-10). Students also work toward the final Portfolio Submissions (wks 11-12) as part of the weekly Laboratories (wks 4-10). Course participants are able to customise course contents and methods to suit their research interests, and contribute to the cocreation of knowledge exchange materials to be shared online through a variety of platforms.

Delivery: Practice-led. Language: English. Quota: 18.
Full Reading List: Online Resource Lists Services.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of a range of sources as well as a good understanding of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks needed to analyse them;
  2. Consolidate knowledge and skills, employ relevant technical terminology, develop research methods appropriate to subject studied, accommodate ambiguities and show awareness of nuance;
  3. Use a range of study tools including online resources, form coherent arguments which engage effectively with sources and their contexts, and present material with a high level of clarity in both oral and written form;
  4. Demonstrate finely honed communication, presentation and interaction skills across a wide range of media and circumstances, both formal and informal, for lay and specialised audiences;
  5. Consistently exercise autonomy and initiative, taking significant responsibility for the work of others and for a range of resources to bring about new thinking.
Reading List

Agamben, Giorgio. 1998 (1995). Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford UP.

Alliez, √Čric and Maurizio Lazzarato. 2017. Wars and Capital. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e).

Baudrillard, Jean. 2010. The Agony of Power. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e).

Beck, Ulrich. 1992. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Berardi, Franco (Bifo). 2017. Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility. London and New York: Verso.

Braidotti, Rosi. 2019. Posthuman Knowledge. Cambridge: Polity.

Butler, Judith. 2006. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London and New York: Verso.

Cavarero, Adriana. 2016. Inclinations: A Critique of Rectitude. Stanford: SUP.

Cooper, Melinda. 2008. Life as Surplus: Biotechnology and Capitalism in the Neoliberal Era. Seattle: Washington UP.

Crist, Eileen. 2019. Abundant Earth: Towards an Ecological Civilization. Chicago: Chicago UP.

Dabashi, Hamid. 2015. Can Non-Europeans Think? London: Zed Books.

Dixon, Douglas. 2018. After Man. A Zoology of the Future. London: Breakdown Press.

Esposito, Roberto. 2011. Immunitas: The Protection and Negation of Life. Cambridge: Polity.

Foucault, Michel. 2003. Society must be defended. London: Penguin.

Grusin, Richard. 2018. After Extinction. Minneapolis: Minnesota UP.

Han, Byung-Chul. 2018. The Burnout Society. Stanford: Stanford UP.

Haraway, Donna. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making King in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke UP.

Hardt, Michael and Toni Negri. 2017. Assembly. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Hodder, Ian. 2018. Where Are We Heading? The Evolution of Humans and Things. New Haven: Yale UP.

Ingold, Tim. 2018. Anthropology: Why It Matters. Cambridge: Polity.

Kaku, Michio. 2018. The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel and Our Destiny Beyond Earth. London: Penguin.

Keller, Catherine. 2005. Apocalypse Now and Then: A Feminist Guide to the End of the World. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Klein, Naomi. 2008. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. London: Penguin.

Latour, Bruno. 2011. We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge MA: Harvard UP.

Luisetti, Federico. 2019. On the States of Natures of Late Capitalism. In European Journal of Social Theory, 22.3: 342-363.

Massumi, Brian. 2014. What Animals Teach Us About Politics. Durham: Duke UP.

McKibben, Bill. 2019. Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? London: Wildfire Press.

Mignolo, Walter. 2011. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham: Duke UP.

Morton, Timothy. 2016. Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence. New York: Columbia UP.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. 1991. The Inoperative Community. Minneapolis: Minnesota UP.

O'Connell, Mark. 2018. To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death. London: Granta.

Rosling, Hans. 2018. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We Are Wrong About the World, and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. New York: Flatiron Books.

Stoler, Anna Laura. 2013. Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination. Durham: Duke UP.

Tarizzo, Davide. 2017. Life: A Modern Invention. Minneapolis: Minnesota UP.

Tsing, Anna L. 2015. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton: Princeton UP.

Yusoff, Kathryn. 2018. A Billion Black Anthropocene Or None. Minneapolis: Minnesota UP.

Zylinska, Joanna. 2018. The End of Man. A Feminist Counterapocalypse. Minneapolis: Minnesota UP.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop graduate skills across four clusters of ability:

a) research and inquiry;
b) personal and intellectual autonomy;
c) communication;
d) personal effectiveness.
KeywordsAgamben,Biopolitics,Butler,Cavarero,Ecocriticism,Esposito,Foucault,Negri,Post humanities
Course organiserProf Federica Pedriali
Tel: (0131 6)50 3642
Course secretaryMiss Fiona Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3635
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