Daniel Defert’s Une vie politique (A Political Life)

This article is part of the series:

Une vie politiqueUne vie politique [A Political Life]

Interviews with P. Artières and E. Favereau, with the collaboration of Joséphine Gross.

by Daniel Defert

Editions du Seuil, Paris, 2014


On 25 September 1984, Daniel Defert wrote a letter to his friends proposing that they create a non-profit organization to address an emerging disease: AIDS. “In face of a medical crisis and …


Etienne Balibar’s Identity and Difference

Identity and Difference:
John Locke and the Invention of Consciousness

By Etienne Balibar
Introduction by Stella Sanford
Translated by Warren Montag
Verso, 2013, 158 pp

Multi-layered, multi-dimensional, and in important respects multi-lingual, the English edition of Etienne Balibar’s groundbreaking Identity and Difference presents a layered approach to one of the most significant philosophical debates of our age.

John Locke’s Essay

In the Journals

Cultures of the internet: a special issue of Transcultural Psychiatry

The latest issue of Transcultural Psychiatry is devoted to “Cultures of the Internet” – also the title of the 2011 McGill Advanced Study Institute (ASI) in Cultural Psychiatry at which many of the papers were originally presented.  In our introductory essay to the issue, Laurence Kirmayer, Sadeq Rahimi and I examine some of the issues which the Internet and other …


Agency, biogenetic discourse and psychiatric disorder

In recent years, a growing (and pleasingly interdisciplinary) literature has developed around the intersecting themes of neurogenetic ‘explanatory’ narratives, largely pharmaceutically-driven processes of medicalization, stigma and socioclinical identity in the context of psychiatric disorder.  In this post I aim to briefly review two of the most immediate and provocative of these publications, and then launch a more free-ranging reflection on …


Ian Hacking – “The New Me: What Biotechnology may do to Personal Identity”

I recently came across a video of a relatively recent lecture which Ian Hacking gave at Huron University College, entitled, “The New Me: What Biotechnology may do to Personal Identity.”  The short (15 min) talk — embedded below — reprises many of the issues Hacking has been dealing with for the past several years (e.g.”Ian Hacking on commercial genome-reading

In the Journals

"Keywords" in Current Anthropology

The latest issue of Current Anthropology includes an interesting new section called “Keywords.” Like the book by Raymond Williams after which it is named, the new section contains essays discussing terms which are both “significant, binding words in certain activities and their interpretation” and “indicative words in certain forms of thought,” (Willams 1976 cited in Aldenderfer 2011).  The

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