Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish is one of the best-selling works of critical theory and a key text on many undergraduate courses. However, it is a long, difficult text which makes Anne Schwan and Stephen Shapiro's excellent step-by-step reading guide a welcome addition to the How to Read Theory series. Undergraduates across a wide range of disciplines are expected to have a solid understanding of Foucault's key terms, which have become commonplace in critical thinking today. While there are many texts that survey Foucault's thought, these are often more general overviews or biographical précis that give little in the way of robust explanation and discussion. In contrast, How to Read Foucault's Discipline and Punish takes a plain-speaking, yet detailed, approach, specifically designed to give students a thorough understanding of one of the most influential texts in contemporary cultural theory.
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Anne Schwan is Lecturer in English Literature at Edinburgh Napier University.
Stephen Shapiro is Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.
"Renders the dense and difficult language of the original in clear and simple terms..."first encounter"... readers will certainly benefit... but so too will more seasoned ones. [It] enhances one's appreciation of the original." -- Max Rosenkrantz, Foucault Studies
"I use How to Read Foucault's Discipline and Punish as a source not only because it clearly and systematically discusses the book itself, but also its context: the French intellectual and political debates of the 1970s." -- Victor Onrust
"This is a useful and illuminating companion to Foucault's book, and will clarify much that remains puzzling about this proteiform thinker, dispelling misunderstandings and sending the reader on new and more fruitful paths." -- Fredric Jameson, William A. Lane Jr. Professor of Comparative Literature at Duke University
"[A] highly readable guide to one of Foucault's best-known but often misinterpreted works. ... This book will be of great assistance to students and others looking for a clear introduction to Discipline and Punish and for pointers on its theoretical contexts." -- Clare O'Farrell, author of Michel Foucault (2005) and founding editor of Foucault Studies
"An excellent aid to Foucault's classic text." -- Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson, Department of Philosophy, University of Warwick
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