When read in conjunction with his description of regimes of torture, punishment, and the disciplines in Discipline and Punishment, Michel Foucault’s analytics of governmentality raises questions about the narrative that represents modern governments as a product of an unfolding of liberal democratic ideals or even as simple historical development. Talal Asad analyzes secularism as a particular, historically situated means of apprehending the world by questioning its claim to a transhistorical perspective on history. In this seminar, Thomas Wilson is interested in questions of how to analyze pre-modern governing institutions and practices without inadvertently privileging modern secular assumptions of human action. How does our understanding of pre-modern practices affect how we analyze modern practices? Is it useful or possible to “temporalize” the methods of modern, secular human sciences?
Thomas A. Wilson is Professor of History at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. His research focuses on Confucian thought and ritual He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Recently, Professor Wilson co-authored Lives of Confucius with Michael Nylan.
Since lunch will be provided at this event we would kindly ask you to register for this workshop by May 22nd with Stefanie Schäfer (firstname.lastname@example.org, 838-60423).
May 27, 2015 | 12:00 PM c.t. - 02:00 PM
Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS)