Video School

Michel Foucault: The Culture of the Self, first lecture (part 1 of 5)

In 1983, approximately a year before his death, French philosopher Michel Foucault delivered three lectures in English at the University of California, Berkeley, in which he traced the development of the idea of the self, or the individual subject, in Western culture. In the first of these lectures, “The Culture of the Self” (Reel 61 in the Foucault Archives at Berkeley), Foucault draws on ancient Greco-Roman traditions to consider technologies of the self and how they develop alongside and give rise to particular forms of subjectivity. An excellent question-and-answer session with Foucault, held the day after he delivered this lecture, is also available.

Kate Steinmann’s Video School program explores various perspectives on the neoliberal subject.