Cultural Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (via Zoom)


Monday, November 23, 2020, 1:00pm to 2:30pm


Online Only

"From Athens to Paris: Foucauldian Ethics and the Cross-Cultural Politics of Asceticism"

Attend this event via Zoom (advance registration required)


William Tilleczek, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, Harvard University.


Ilana Freedman

This event is online only. Please click the "Read More" link for full instructions on how to attend this seminar.


Panagiotis RoilosFaculty Associate. George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies, Department of the Classics; Professor of Comparative Literature, Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University.

Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Department of Anthropology, and the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University.

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Please note: This event requires registration in advance in order to receive the meeting link and password.


In this talk, I will discuss Foucault’s ethical thought in its close relation to his particular vision of the political. I will focus on Foucault’s theoretical investigation of ancient Greek philosophical ways of life and the ancient “culture of the self,” and show how he used these cases to build a general theory of ethics that can be helpfully employed across time and place. Of particular interest is Foucault’s focus on the ‘ascetic’ or practicing dimension of ethical life. I conclude with some reflections on the impact of these ideas for our understanding of industrial discipline and the ‘entrepreneurship of the self’ in contemporary Europe and North America.