Rachel Adams

Dr Rachel Adams is a Chief Researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa.

Michel Foucault: Discourse

Key Concept The idea of discourse constitutes a central element of Michel Foucault’s oeuvre, and one of the most readily appropriated Foucaultian terms, such that ‘Foucaultian discourse analysis’ now constitutes an academic field in its own right. This post therefore sets out to describe Foucault’s notion of discourse, and to define in broad terms the…

Michel Foucault: Archaeology

Key Concept In 1968, Jean Hyppolite,1 chair in ‘The History of Systems’ at the Collège de France, died. By 1970, Michel Foucault had been elected into Hyppolite’s vacant position, as the Chair of ‘The History of Systems of Thought’.2 It was a position he, too, remained in until his death in 1984. But it was…

Michel Foucault: Biopolitics and Biopower

Key Concept Despite their prominence in subsequent academic writing,1 the concepts of “biopower” and “biopolitics” are perhaps the most elusive, and arguably the most compelling (given the attention they have subsequently received), concepts of Michel Foucault’s oeuvre. Within his published work, these concepts featured only in the last chapter of the slim first volume of…