Foucault & the Politics of Hearing: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Foucault & the Politics of Hearing

1st Edition

By Lauri Siisiäinen


168 pages

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Paperback: 9781138851306
pub: 2015-04-27
Hardback: 9780415519267
pub: 2012-07-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203108567
pub: 2012-08-21
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The issue of the senses and sensual perception in Michel Foucault’s thought has been a source of prolific discussion already for quite some time. Often, Foucault has been accused of overemphasizing the centrality of sight, and has been portrayed as yet another thinker representative of Western ocularcentricism. This innovative new work seeks to challenge this portrait by presenting an alternative view of Foucault as a thinker for whom the sound, voice, hearing, and listening, the auditory-sonorous, actually did matter.

Illustrating how the auditory-sonorous relates most integrally to the most pertinent issues of Foucault - the intertwinement and confrontations of power, knowledge, and resistance - the book both presents novel readings of some of Foucault’s most widely read and commented-on works (such as Discipline and Punish, the first volume of History of Sexuality), and discusses the variety of his lectures, essays, and interviews, some of which have not been noted before.

Moving beyond a commentary on Foucault, Siisiainen goes on to examine other philosophers and political thinkers (including Roland Barthes, Jean-Luc Nancy and Jacques Rancière) in this context in order to bring to the fore the potentials in Foucault’s work for the generation of a new perspective for the political genealogy of the sound, hearing, and listening, approaching the former as a key locus of contemporary political struggles.

This work will be of great interest to students and scholars in a range of areas including political theory, philosophy, and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

1.From the Empire of the Gaze to Noisy Bodies: Empirical Regimes and the Archaeology of Sound 2. From Panoptic to Panacoustic/Panauditory 3. Pastoral Power, Confession and Sexuality: Dispositives of Hearing and the "Sensualization of Power" 4. The Problem of Noise and the Governmentality of Sound 5. Music and the Politics of Friendship (Foucault and Boulez) 6. Voices of Multitude, Voices of Crowd: Foucault’s Final Voice?

About the Author

Lauri Siisiainen is a researcher in the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins ( and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General