Foucault und die Affekte

Warum uns genealogische Kritiken affizieren?


  • Dominik Herold Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main


In my paper I draw the connection between Michel Foucault’s way of using genealogy as a critical method and the role of affects. I argue that genealogy as critique works because of its affective dimension insofar as it offers us an experience of thinking and acting differently once we have been confronted with the genealogical text. Foucauldian genealogies tell us stories about power relations and subjectivations that take their starting point from a current political problem. I show that these stories unfold their critical intention because they both affect us and tell us something about affection in general. Reading genealogy as critique in this way can enrich the affect theory for a valuable position that is capable of analyzing power structures and practices of subjectivations. Thus, the aim is to qualify affects not so much as something irrational or repressive but useful for an emancipatory interest.