Critical Work

Friday, April 19 12:15-2:15 pm

Join the CCCCT and affiliated scholars on April 19th from 12:15-2:15 to hear about recent and on-going work in the field of critical theory. Scholars at the forefront of such research will present their current projects and discuss with other participants.

RSVP here.

This event will include presentations from:

Clécio Lemos, Ph.D. of Law, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

Daniele Lorenzini, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick & Fellow of the CCCCT

Dr Jacopo Martire, Senior Lecturer in Legal Theory, University of Bristol School of Law

Michaela Soyer, CUNY Hunter College


Clecio Lemos - "The Third Foucault and His Possible Impacts on Criminology"

This presentation aims to discuss the theoretical frame government-truth-subjectivation of the so called "third Foucault" (1980's) and its possible impacts on criminology.

Daniele Lorenzini - On Possibilizing Genealogy

Genealogy, that is, a narrative describing how a certain belief or concept came about, has shaped the history of Western thought from Herodotus to Freud, Weber, and Foucault. In recent years, genealogy has increasingly become central to debates in both epistemology and critical theory. However, genealogy has so far seemed to only be capable of either clarifying our use of a concept (when ‘vindicatory’) or problematizing it (when ‘debunking’). In this paper, I argue that genealogy also has a creative function and that this function has so far remained obscure because the ‘possibilizing’ nature of genealogy has not yet been acknowledged. Possibilizing genealogy presents history as a laboratory in which concepts are created and modified. Therefore, from it we learn not only how a concept has come about, but also how it has been transformed, or might be imagined to be transformed. In other words, we learn not only that a given concept could be transformed (again), but also how this transformation might be realized. Possibilizing genealogy is thus essentially empowering and should play a central role in critical theory.

Jacopo Martire - "A Foucauldian Interpretation of Modern Law"

Although Foucault is certainly one of most influential scholars of our age, it is safe to say that law for Foucauldian scholarship is something like an “undigestable meal”. In fact, a challenge, which goes by the name of the “expulsion thesis”, haunts Foucauldian approaches to law : how is it possible to analyse law through Foucauldian lenses if Foucault himself claimed (albeit cursorily) that law, in modern times, has been ousted from the locus of power? The key to solving this dilemma is to demonstrate that modern law and modern (biopolitical) forms of power are not opposite but rather isomorphic, both rooted in the paradigm of the norm. Performing a genealogical analysis of law as a sui genesis subjectivating dispositif, we can delineate the absolute limits of the modern legal discourse and investigate in novel critical ways its transformations in the face of the shifting dynamics of power.

Michaela Soyer - Lost Childhoods: Poverty, Trauma, and Violent Crime in the Post-Welfare Era

Lost Childhoods focuses on the life-course histories of thirty young men serving time in the Pennsylvania adult prison system for crimes they committed when they were minors. The narratives of these young men, their friends, and relatives reveal the invisible yet deep-seated connection between the childhood traumas they suffered and the violent criminal behavior they committed during adolescence. By living through domestic violence, poverty, the crack epidemic, and other circumstances, these men were forced to grow up fast all while familial ties that should have sustained them were broken at each turn. The book goes on to connect large-scale social policy decisions and their effects on family dynamics and demonstrates the limits of punitive justice.