Foucault’s theatres – Q&A with Tony Fisher and Kélina Gotman

Posted by Bethan Hirst - Monday, 4 Nov 2019


1. How would you like someone who has read your book to sum it up in one sentence?
This is the best book ever written on Foucault’s relationship to theatre; it has completely changed the way I’ll teach Foucault and think about theatre, politics, power and knowledge.

2. What book in your field has inspired you the most?
Mark D. Jordan, Convulsive Bodies: Religion and Resistance in Foucault

3. Did your research take you to any unexpected places?
Yes, as research always does. We had a strong hunch about the productive possibilities of reading Foucault’s work again in the context / through the prism of theatre studies; we further discovered the theatricality of his work.

4. Which writing process do you use (computer, longhand, dictate, other)?

5. Why did you choose to publish with MUP?
Prior contact with one of the series editors.

6. What are you working on now?
Aesthetic philosophy; language; translation; philosophy and writing; history of ideas; theories of crisis; poetics; play; histories of work; Foucauldian critique; esoteric theatres

7. If you could go back and give yourself once piece of advice when starting out on project, what would it be?
None to note – enjoy the process, which we did. Find collaborators we enjoy working with.

8. If you could have been the author of any book, what would it be and why?
Michel Foucault, The History of Madness; Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths; Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. All three of these, in different ways, are remarkably rigorous, heterodox in their approach to the relationship between form and subject matter; dazzlingly original; and they transcend the space between fictional and theoretical.

9. What other genres do you enjoy reading?
Philosophy; literature (international); 1930s spy books; Stoic and Buddhist writings

10. Which authors (academic and not) would you invite to a dinner party?
Karen Barad; Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing; Stuart Hall; Edward Said; Fred Moten; Leonard Cohen; Susan Sontag; Patti Smith; Svetlana Alexievich; George Perec; Michel Foucault and Daniel Defert

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