Who speaks and acts?

The title of this blog comes from Gilles Deleuze. In the widely published 1972 conversation between Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, the two theorists discuss the relationship between theory and practice vis-à-vis the distribution of power and changing role of intellectuals in society [1]. Deleuze applauds Foucault for his work with the Group for Information on Prisons (G.I.P.) that provided space to prisoners from which to speak and act. He gives credit to Foucault for drawing (intellectual) attention to the “indignity of speaking for others … to appreciate the theoretical fact that only those directly concerned can speak in a practical way on their own behalf” [2].

This blog reflects on the question, “who speaks and acts?” from within and beyond the limits of the referenced conversation. Specifically, it is an online record of my project on social and political values of space, one that takes into account the conceptual approaches to producing spatial and temporal conditions that speak to wider social meanings. For me the question of what can be said, how, and by whom involves a careful consideration of the various experiences and practices implicated in a given setting. And this interest connects my research, teaching, and publicly engaged work.

I am Kush Patel, pursuing my Ph.D. in Architectural Design Studies at the University of Michigan.

[1] “Intellectuals and power: A conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze” in Michel Foucault, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1980), 205-217.
[2] Ibid, 209.

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