A workshop on Michel Foucault’s writings on the Iranian Revolution led by Professor Michael Dillon (Lancaster University).
In 1978, Michel Foucault visited Iran twice as the Revolution began
to unfold and subsequently interviewed the Ayatollah Khomenei in his
Paris exile. He went on to write some 15 articles for the Corrierre della sera, Le nouvel observateur and Le monde
reflecting upon the implications of the Islamic Revolution. To be sure,
Foucault’s writings upon Iran are now some of the notorious in his body
of work and have been roundly criticised by scholars for at best
political naivete and at worst complicity with Khomenei’s regime.
However, after more than 30 years of radical political Islamism of all
persuasions, the ‘Iranian’ Foucault also begins to seem remarkably
prescient, almost prophetic: Foucault was arguably one of the first
western thinkers to grasp the complex nexus of religion and
revolutionary politics that has become one of the defining challenges to
neo-liberal modernity. What, then, are we to make of the Iranian
Foucault today? How might we read it in the light of subsequent debates
around resistance, biopolitics, political theology, not to mention a new
set of revolutions in the Middle East? Why does Foucault speak of a new
‘political spirituality’ beginning to be born in the Islamic
2-5 pm, Tuesday 17th December, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster University.
Please note: this event is free but places are strictly
limited. In order to reserve a place, contact Arthur Bradley on
More information: http://www.northerntheoryschool.co.uk/