Foucault's theatres

Edited by Tony Fisher and Kélina Gotman

Foucault's theatres


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3208-6
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: November 2019
  • BIC Category: Theatre studies, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory, Theatre Studies, LITERARY CRITICISM / Drama, Humanities / Social & political philosophy, Theatre Direction & Production, The arts / Theatre studies
  • Series: Theatre: Theory - Practice - Performance


The volume contributes to a new articulation of theatre and performance studies via Foucault's critical thought. With cutting edge studies by established and emerging writers in areas such as dramaturgy, film, music, cultural history and journalism, the volume aims to be accessible for both experienced researchers and advanced students encountering Foucault's work for the first time. The introduction sets out a thorough and informative assessment of Foucault's relevance to theatre and performance studies and to our present cultural moment - it rereads his profound engagement with questions of truth, power and politics, in light of previously unknown writings and lectures set in relation to current political and cultural concerns. Unique to this volume is the discovery of a 'theatrical' Foucault - the profound affinity of his thinking with questions of performativity. This discovery makes accessible the 'performance turn' to readers of Foucault, while opening up ways of reading Foucault's oeuvre 'theatrically'.


This book comes at a time when Foucault's concerns with power, truth and knowledge could not be more pressing. So the focus here is on Foucault as a theatrical thinker. Taking the philosopher 'at his word', essays deploy the tropes and optics of theatre to examine Foucault's own methods and the practices of governance and workings of power he made it his life's work to engage with. Demonstrating different ways of responding to the question that underpinned so much of Foucault's project: 'What are the practices that permit the daily work of desubjugation?' the possibilities voiced here could not be more pertinent; a fortification against the perils of the day.
Jane Rendell, Professor of Critical Spatial Practice, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.


Introduction: theatre, performance, Foucault - Tony Fisher and Kélina Gotman
1 Foucault's philosophical theatres - Mark D. Jordan
2 The dramas of knowledge: Foucault's genealogical theatre of truth - Aline Wiame
3 Foucault live! 'A Voice That Still Eludes the Tomb of the Text.' - Magnolia Pauker
4 Foucault, Oedipus, Négritude - Kélina Gotman
5 Foucault's critical dramaturgies - Mark Robson
6 Heterotopia and the mapping of unreal spaces on stage - Joanne Tompkins
7 Foucault and Shakespeare: the theatre of madness - Stuart Elden
8 Philosophical phantasms: 'the Platonic differential' and 'Zarathustra's laughter' - Mischa Twitchin
9 Cage and Foucault: musical timekeeping and the security state - Steve Potter
10 Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: reassessed - Tracey Nicholls
11 Sightlines: Foucault and Naturalist theatre - Dan Rebellato
12 Theatre of poverty: popular illegalism on the nineteenth century stage - Tony Fisher
13 The philosophical scene: Foucault interviewed by Moriaki Watanabe - translated by Robert Bononno
14 After words, afterwards: teaching Foucault - Ann Pellegrini


Tony Fisher is Reader in Theatre and Philosophy and Associate Director of Research at the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama, University of London

Kélina Gotman is Senior Reader in Theatre and Performance Studies at King's College London and Hölderlin Guest Professor in Comparative Dramaturgy at the Goethe Universität Frankfurt'

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