SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

Post-structuralism - from theory to practice.

Professor Mark Hobart

Date: 13 February 2019Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 13 February 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B211

Type of Event: 0

Although the post-structuralists were defined in significant part negatively by their shared critique
of the presuppositions of European thinking, in retrospect perhaps the greatest impact has been on
ideas about power and knowledge, sexuality and practice, stemming from the work of Foucault.
(There is, of course, other intellectually influential work, for example by Lacan and Derrida. On
most accounts however, Lacan is a Hegelian rather than a post-structuralist. Derrida’s work is very
important, but slightly beyond the scope of this general introduction.) Foucault’s retrospective
account of his own work emphasized his concern with the conditions under which humans are made
into subjects of knowledge, in Western Europe notably through ideas of sexuality. There was also a
significant shift from grand ‘archaeological’ analysis of structures to a concern with tracing how
power works through an analysis of the genealogy of its daily practices. These arguments have now
been normalized in Anglo-Saxon scholarship, but do not always bear much relationship to the
arguments that were going on.

Discussion theme: How might post-structuralist ideas be relevant to understanding

media and communication?