The plague and the Panopticon

Sharpe, Matthew 2015, The plague and the Panopticon, Thesis eleven, vol. 133, no. 1, pp. 59-79, doi: 10.1177/0725513616636383.

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Title The plague and the Panopticon
Author(s) Sharpe, MatthewORCID iD for Sharpe, Matthew orcid.org/0000-0002-8165-5775
Journal name Thesis eleven
Volume number 133
Issue number 1
Start page 59
End page 79
Total pages 21
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-01-01
ISSN 0725-5136
1461-7455
Keyword(s) Camus
disciplinary power
Foucault
legitimacy of modernity
plague
Summary Albert Camus's 1947 novel La Peste and 1948 drama L'État de Siège, allegories of totalitarian power using the figure of the plague (Part I), remarkably anticipate Foucault's celebrated genealogical analyses of modern power (Part II). Indeed, reading Foucault after Camus highlights a fact little-remarked in Discipline and Punish: namely, that the famous chapter on the 'Panopticon' begins by analysing the measures taken in early modern Vincennes following the advent of plague. Part III argues that, although Camus was cited as an inspiration by the nouveaux philosophes, he does not accept the reactionary motif of the total bankruptcy of the modern cultural and political worlds as hopelessly implicated in the totalitarian crimes. Indeed, Part IV highlights how Camus defends modern, descriptive scientific rationality against its totalitarian appropriations, alongside 'the power of passion, doubt, happiness, and imaginative invention' - positions which Part V suggests as Camus's continuing poignancy and relevance in the period after post-structuralism (Camus, 1952: 301).
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/0725513616636383
Field of Research 220210 History of Philosophy
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Sage
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083616

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