April 19, 2010


Truly mad, or sexually deviant?

Queer theorist and professor of women’s studies Lynne Huffer hasn’t always loved the works of Michel Foucault. But her perception of him and his works changed a few years ago when she rediscovered the philosopher/historian’s first book, “A History Of Madness.” On this reading, Huffer honed in on Foucault’s descriptions of many occupants of insane asylums, who were there simply because of their so-called sexual deviance.

In her new book, “Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory” (Columbia University Press, 2009), Huffer lifts up the connections historically made between people labeled “mad” and “sexually deviant.” As she talks about with Emory Report, she’s showing — for the first time — a new perspective on Foucault and on those who have been (and are still) cast out as being “other” — for whatever reason.

book report

>>Listen to Lynne Huffer discuss her new book.

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