Here is a week by week list of readings for the seminar:

Week 1:  The Politicization of Life/What’s So Great About Life, Anyway?
January 10

  • Michel Foucault, “From the power of sovereignty to power over life”, lecture (17 March 1976), in Michel Foucault, Society Must be Defended. Lectures at the College de France 1975-1976, Mauro Bertani and Alessandro Fontana, eds, New York: Picador 2003, 239-264.
  • Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: the birth of the prison. New York: Knopf Doubleday, 1995. (Excerpts)
  • Nikolas Rose, “Politics and Life,” in The politics of life itself: biomedicine, power, and subjectivity in the twenty-first century. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. Pp. 41-76.
  • Melinda Cooper, Anna Munster, Andrew Goffey, “Biopolitics, For Now,” CultureMachine 7 (2005),

Week 2: Life and Capital: Modes of Production
January 17 is MLK Day: a different day/time TBA

Week 3: Power Over Life: Sovereignty, Nation-State, Camp
January 24

  • Giorgio Agamben. Intro and Part 3 from Homo Sacer: sovereign power and bare life. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998.
  • Giorgio Agamben, “On Hannah Arendt’s ‘We Refugees’,
  • Hannah Arendt, Chs 42-45 from The Human Condition; Ch 9 from Origins of Totalitarianism.
  • Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. Trans. George Schwab. Boston: MIT Press, 1988.

Week 4: Life and Death in the Neocolony
January 31

  • Ann Laura Stoler, Ch. 3 from Race and the education of desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995); Ch. 6 from Carnal knowledge and imperial power: race and the intimate in colonial rule (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002)
  • Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics.” Public Culture 15:1 (2003), 11-40.
  • Elizabeth Povinelli, “The Child in the Broom Closet: States of Killing and Letting Die”, South Atlantic Quarterly 107: 3, 509—530.
  • Angela Mitropoulos, “Notes on the Frontiers and the Borders of the Postcolony.” Sarai Reader 7 (2007),
  • Angela Mitropoulos, “The materialisation of race in multiculture”, Dark Matter 2 (2008),
  • Joseph Pugliese, “Civil modalities of refugee trauma, death and necrological transport.” Social Identities 15: 1 (2009), 149—165.
  • Jasbir Puar, “The Turban Is Not A Hat: Queer Diaspora and Practices of Profiling.” In Terrorist Assemblages: homonationalism in queer times. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.

Week 5: Micropolitics/Individuation
February 7

  • Gilles Deleuze, “Postscript on the Societies of Control.” October 59 (1992), 3-7.
  • Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, “Micropolitics and Segmentarity,” in A Thousand Plateaus.
  • Franco Berardi (“Bifo”), “Biopolitics and Connective Mutation,” trans. Melinda Cooper and Tiziana Terranova, CultureMachine 7 (2005),
  • Maurizio Lazzarato, “Biopolitics and Bioeconomics”,
  • John D’Emilio, “Capitalism and Gay Identity”, in Ann Snitow, Christine Stansell, & Sharan Thompson (eds), Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1983.
  • J Banks, L Prior. “Doing things with illness. The micro politics of the CFS clinic.” Social Science and Medicine 52: 1 (2001), 11-23.

Week 6: Theorizing biotech I: capital, media, ethics
February 14

  • Cooper, Melinda. Life as Surplus: biotechnology and capitalism in the neoliberal era. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008. (Excerpts)
  • Thacker, Eugene. Biomedia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004. (Excerpts)
  • Zylinska, Joanna. Bioethics in the age of new media. Boston: MIT Press, 2009. (Excerpts)
  • Nikolas Rose, The politics of life itself: biomedicine, power, and subjectivity in the twenty-first century. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. (Excerpts)

Week 7: Theorizing biotech II: kinds of cells
February 21

  • Hannah Landecker. “Immortality In Vitro: A History of the HeLa Cell Line,” in Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Anxieties, Ethics, edited by Paul Brodwin, Indiana University Press (2000), pp. 53?72.
  • Cory Hayden, “From market to market: Bioprospecting’s idioms of inclusion.” American Ethnologist 30(3):359–371
  • Hannah Landecker, “Living Differently in Time: Plasticity, Temporality and Cellular Biotechnologies.” Culture Machine, Vol 7 (2005)
  • Margaret Lock, “The Alienation of Body Tissue and the Biopolitics of Immortalized Cell Lines.” Body & Society 2001 7: 63-91
  • Kalindi Vora, “Others’ Organs: South Asian Domestic Labor and the Kidney Trade.” Postmodern Culture Volume 19, Number 1, September 2008.
  • Catherine Waldby, “Stem Cells, Tissue Cultures and the Production of Biovalue.” Health (London) 2002 6: 305.
  • Kaushik Rajan, “Banking (on) Biologicals Commodifying the global circulations of human genetic material.” Sarai Reader (2002).

Week 8: Bios and Immunity
February 28

  • Esposito, Roberto. Bios: biopolitics and philosophy. Trans. Timothy Campbell. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Week 9: Biopolitics and Reproductive Labor
March 7

  • Leopoldina Fortunati, The Arcane of Reproduction. Excerpts.
  • Melinda Cooper and Catherine Waldby, “The Biopolitics of Reproduction: Post-Fordist Biotechnology and Women’s Clinical Labour.” Australian Feminist Studies 23: 55 (2008), 57-73.
  • Haraway, Donna. “The Biopolitics of Postmodern Bodies” in Simians, cyborgs and women: the reinvention of nature. New York: Routledge, 1990.
  • Inhorn, Marcia. Reproductive Disruptions: Gender, Technology, and Biopolitics in the New Millennium. London: Berghahn Books, 2008.
  • Luciana Parisi, “The Nanonengineering of Desire” in Noreen Giffney and Myra J. Hird (eds),  Queering the nonhuman (London: Ashgate, 2010), 283—310.

Week Ten: Race and the Human: Genomics
Spring Break—Reading week, no class (or class to be rescheduled)

  • Lennard Davis, “Stumped by Genes: DNA as Prosthesis,” in Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra, eds., The Prosthetic Impulse: Towards a Biocultural Future(Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2006).
  • A. Hedgecoe, “Reinventing Diabetes: Classification, Division and the Geneticization of Disease.” New Genetics and Society, 21: 1 (2002), 7-27.
  • Nikolas Rose, “Race in the Age of Genomic Medicine”, in The Politics of Life Itself: : biomedicine, power, and subjectivity in the twenty-first century. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.
  • G. Pálsson, “How Deep Is the Skin? The Geneticization of Race and Medicine.” BioSocieties 2: 2 (2007), 257-72.

Week 11: New and Old Divisions of Reproductive Labor
March 21

  • Gayatri Chaktravorty Spivak, “Scattered Speculations on the Question of Value,” in In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (New York: Routledge, 1988), 154-75.
  • Wanning Sun, “Symbolic Bodies, Mobile Signs: the Story of the Rural Maid in Urban China”, Asian Studies Review, 33: 3 (2009), 275-288.
  • Pheng Cheah, “Biopower and the New International Division of Labor,” boundary 2 2007 34(1):79-113.
  • Martin Manalansan, “Queering the Chain of Care Paradigm”, Scholar and Feminist Online 6: 3 (2008),

Week 12: 27 Years Of HIV
March 28

  • Paula A. Treichler, “AIDS, Homophobia, and Biomedical Discourse” in How To Have Theory In An Epidemic: cultural chronicles of AIDS. Durham: Duke UP, 1999.
  • Patton, Cindy. Globalizing AIDS. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
  • Cindy Patton, Inventing AIDS. New York: Routledge, 1990. (Excerpts TBA)
  • Eric Michaels, Unbecoming. Durham: Duke UP, 1990.

Film: Fig Trees, dir. John Greyson, 2009.

Week 13: Reading Affect
April 4

  • Patricia Clough, Introduction to The Affective Turn. Durham: Duke UP, 2007.
  • Michael Hardt, “Affective Labor.” PDF.
  • Sandro Mezzadra, “Taking Care: Migration and the Political Economy of Affective Labor.” PDF.
  • Melissa Ditmore, “In Calcutta, Sex Workers Organize.” In The Affective Turn.
  • Lauren Berlant, “Nearly Utopian, Nearly Normal: Post-Fordist Affect in La Promesse and Rosetta.” Public Culture 19: 2 (2007): 272-301.
  • Brian Massumi, Introduction and Chapter One from Parables of the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham: Duke UP, 2002.

Week 14: Free reading week
April 11

  • Everyone makes something they’re reading available for the class to read this week. We’ll discuss each person’s text together.

Week 15: Refusal, Resistance, Exodus, Incoherence
April 19

  • Augusto Illuminati, “Unrepresentable Citizenship” in Michael Hardt and Paolo Virno, Radical Thought In Italy: Potential Politics. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2002.
  • Sergio Bologna, “The Tribe of Moles”. In Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, (eds), Autonomia: Post-Political Politics. New York: Semiotext(e), 2007.
  • Tiqqun, “Theses on the Imaginary Party”,
  • More TBA.

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