Book Launch & Discussion: Foucault's Orient: The Conundrum of Cultural Difference, from Tunisia to Japan

Wed, November 29, 2017 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts is proud to host Professor Marnia Lazreg and the launch of her new book:

Foucault's Orient: The Conundrum of Cultural Difference, from Tunisia to Japan

Suggested contribution:

$10 General Admission l $5 Students and Seniors

A limited number of books will be available for purchase at the event.

For online purchases please visit and use 50% discount code LAZ225 at checkout. Valid through November 30th, 2017. *Shipping charges will apply.

Doors open at 6:30 pm

Foucault lived in Tunisia for two years and travelled to Japan and Iran more than once. Yet throughout his critical scholarship, he insisted that the cultures of the "Orient" constituted the "limit" of Western rationality.

Using archival research supplemented by interviews with key scholars in Tunisia, Japan and France, this books examines the philosophical sources, evolution as well as contradictions of Foucault's experience with non-Western cultures. Beyond tracing Foucault's journey into the world of otherness, the book reveals the personal, political as well as methodological effects of a radical conception of cultural difference that extolled the local over the cosmopolitan.

"A serious and pivotal book that shows the limits of Foucault's rejection of univesalism and humanism. Lazreg's book allows us to re-read Foucalt within his boundaries." - Massimiliano Tomba, University of Padua

About the Author

Marnia Lazreg is a professor of sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research focuses on the structures that inform cultural change as well as shape conceptions of self, identity and gender relations in socieities undergoing the transition from colonial and/or econcomic dependence to political sovereignty. Her scholarship also probes and theorizes the frequent gap between theoretical concepts applied to non-Western societies and the reality they intend to explain, which may hamper cross-cultural understanding.

Her publications include Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algiers to Baghad (Princeton, 2008) is a case study of the systematic use of torture by the French during Algeria's war of independence (1954-1962) and Questioning the Veil: Open Letters to Muslim Women (Princeton, 2009) which historicizes and demystifies re-veling by exploring the main reasons invoked for its occurrence.


Alwan for the Arts is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council of the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Last updated: 2017-11-27 19:17:39

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