The Centre for Post-Colonial Studies and Globalisation marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Michel Foucault with a conference to reflect on the influence of his work, 25 June, Magill Campus.
Twenty five years after his death, reflecting on Foucault is an enormous task. His influence permeates disparate and innumerable fields and informs so much of our thinking, along with that of many great theorists who have followed him. Foucault's influence is one of ramifying and far-reaching interdisciplinary complexity, but he draws us together too, providing a common theoretical baseline to diverse disciplinary endeavours. He shows us the connections between things. Just as his life and his work connect up theoretical pursuits as diverse as queer theory and postcolonial studies, so his influence forges bridges between theorists. In so doing, Foucault's legacy muddies the theoretical waters, forcing strange synergies and theoretical configurations such as the antifoundational humanist. Growing from the murky ferment of French colonial history, the father of poststructuralism's story is as complex as that encounter, and his legacy is as mutating, unsettling and transformative. A reflection on Foucault needs to accommodate a consideration of the enormity of the shadow that such a legacy casts over continuing intellectual production.