Catalysts and converts: sparking interest for Foucault among Francophone geographers

Fall, Juliet J. (2007). Catalysts and converts: sparking interest for Foucault among Francophone geographers. In: Crampton, Jeremy W. and Elden, Stuart eds. Space, knowledge and power: Foucault and geography. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited, pp. 107–128.



About the book: Michel Foucault’s work is rich with implications and insights concerning spatiality, and has inspired many geographers and social scientists to develop these ideas in their own research. This book, the first to engage Foucault’s geographies in detail from a wide range of perspectives, is framed around his discussions with the French geography journal Hérodote in the mid 1970s. The opening third of the book comprises some of Foucault’s previously untranslated work on questions of space, a range of responses from French and English language commentators, and a newly translated essay by Claude Raffestin, a leading Swiss geographer.
The rest of the book presents specially commissioned essays which examine the remarkable reception of Foucault’s work in English and French language geography; situate Foucault’s project historically; and provide a series of developments of his work in the contemporary contexts of power, biopolitics, governmentality and war. Contributors include a number of key figures in social/spatial theory such as David Harvey, Chris Philo, Sara Mills, Nigel Thrift, John Agnew, Thomas Flynn and Matthew Hannah. Written in an open and engaging tone, the contributors discuss just what they find valuable – and frustrating – about Foucault’s geographies. This is a book which will both surprise and challenge.

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