Heidi Trautmann

Jan 30 - Sidestreets in Kyrenia - The 13th event in Sidestreets’ “Conversations on Culture” series

“Michel Foucault’s ‘Madness and Civilization’: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.”


The 13th event in Sidestreets’  “Conversations on Culture” series in Kyrenia will be a presentation by Dr. Johann Pillai on “Michel Foucault’s ‘Madness and Civilization’: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.”


Johann Pillai’s visual presentation, the third and final one in a Sidestreets series of three on Michel Foucault (earlier talks focused on Foucault’s study of medical perception, “The Birth of the Clinic”; and on his study of the development of penal systems, “Discipline and Punish”) provides a clear and accessible overview of this brilliant philosopher’s work on the relations between madness and insanity, which has been described by reviewers as “superb scholarship rendered with artistry.”


Madness and Civilization: “What does it mean to be mad? In recent years the question of madness and how to define it has become the center of a great deal of discussion. This is the question Michel Foucault seeks to answer by studying madness from 1500 to 1800 – from the Middle Ages when insanity was considered part of everyday life and fools and madmen walked the streets, to the point when these people began to be considered a threat, asylums were built for the first time, and a wall was created between the insane and the rest of humanity.”


Michel Foucault (1926-1984) was a French philosopher, sociologist, historian and professor of the “History of Systems of Thought” at the Collège de France, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of California at Berkeley. His major works include social histories of prisons, medical perception, insanity, and sexuality. In 2007, The Times Higher Education Guide listed Michel Foucault as the most cited intellectual in the humanities.


The event (presentation and full Sunday luncheon) is scheduled for Sunday, 30 January at 12:00, at Onar Village in Kyrenia. The cost of admission is 30 TL, and seats should be reserved in advance at Sidestreets, Tel: 229-3070.


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