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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

2022 Comparative Literature Conference (Virtual)

Truth in the Late Foucault


University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
February 11th -13th, 2022

download the conference posters [pdf]

The registration deadline (February 9th, 2022) has passed. If you are still interested in participating in our conference, please send a request with your name, email address, and affiliation/institution information to us at

download the conference program [pdf]

Conference Directors: Allen Miller, Alexander Beecroft, and Jie Guo

Sponsors: The Program in Comparative Literature, The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, The Department of Anthropology, The Department of PhilosophyThe Department of English & The Women's and Gender Studies Program

Keynote Speakers:

  Sandra Boehringer (Université de Strasbourg)
Alex Dressler Alex Dressler (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Edward F. McGushin Edward McGushin (Stonehill College)

Special Event: "Foucault: A Polemical Dialogue"

Prof. David Greven David Greven (University of South Carolina) and 
Prof. Marc Démont Marc Démont (Centre College)

At A Glance Schedule - All times listed are Eastern Standard Time (EST). 

Friday | Feb. 11th, 2022




9:00 AM



First Plenary


Chair: Allen Miller

Sandra Boehringer (Université de Strasbourg):


Nothing to Do with the Truth? New Reflections on Foucault's Reading of Artemidorus



10: 30-12:00



Session 1


Chair: Krista Van Fleit

Sukhdev Singh (National Institute of Technology Patna) & Miranda Das (Patna Women’s College):

A Critique of Subjectivisation in Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, Volumes 1-4

Leihua Weng (Kalamazoo College):

The Late Foucault in Contemporary China: The Care of the Self and Sexuality

Laurie Laufer (Université de Paris):

Foucault’s Herculine Barbin: A Step in the Genealogy of Psychoanalysis




Second Plenary


Chair: Christopher Tollefsen

Edward McGushin (Stonehill College):


On Dreams, Truth, and the Aesthetics of Existence






Session 2



Jeanne Britton

Alec Parry (University of South Carolina):

Uncovering Sexuality through the Unconscious

Lauren Flinner (University of South Carolina):

Les jeux de Madame Bovary: Emma as the Desiring Subject

Marce Butierrez (Universidad Nacional de Salta):

Confess Me Your Gender! Inquiries about Truth, Gender Roles and Transvestism in Gonzalo Demaría's Play Siglo de Oro Trans


Special Event


Chair: Ed Madden

David Greven (University of South Carolina) & Marc Démont (Centre College)


Foucault: A Polemical Dialogue

Saturday | Feb. 12th, 2022






9:00-10:30 AM



Session 3


Chair: Anne Gulick

Clyde Tilson (University of South Carolina):

Modern Patristics: An Affirming Reading of Both Scripture and Fathers

Niki Clements (Rice University):

Between True-Confessions and True-Discourse

Ahmed Ghaleb (King Khalid University):

Sufi Spiritual Practices: Experiencing Self-Discovery and Spiritual Awareness



Third Plenary


Chair: Alexander Beecroft

Alex Dressler (University of Wisconsin - Madison):


Confessing in Communities: The Genealogical Exclusion of Joy from Late Antique Christianity 









Session 4


Chair: Jorge Camacho

Maximilian Gindorf (University of South Carolina):

Foucault, Nietzsche, Emerson – What is the Conduct of Conduct?

Arash Shokrisaravi (University of South Carolina):

Politics of Plato’s Cave

James Richie (University of Louisville):

Foucauldian-Nietzschean Genealogy in Eva Luna and Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

Sunday | Feb. 13th, 2022



8:45-10:15 AM


Session 5


Chair: Jie Guo

 Ju Wan (Lanzhou Jiaotong University):

“Language” and “Simulation”: Deconstructing the Myth of Truth—On Nietzsche and Michel Foucault

Suanmuanlian Tonsing (Jawaharlal Nehru University):

Truth/Simulation in Foucauldian Discourse






Session 6


Chair: Yvonne Ivory

Paul Allen Miller (University of South Carolina):

The Problem of the Dandy in the Aesthetics of Existence

Adesanya Alabi (Karabuk University):

Exploring the Concept of Foucaultian Truth-telling: the Nexus Between Truth and its Consequence of Expression

Ren Jiyuan (University of South Carolina):

The Transformation of Subject’s Pleasure: Aphrodisia in Pederasty and a New Code in Marriage









Session 7


Chair: Alexander Ogden

Guilherme Oliveira (Miami Dade College):

Truth and Critique in Late Foucault: An Educational Approach to the Intellectual’s Role

Thomas Alexander (University of South Carolina):

“Foucault’s Counter-conduct to Pastoral Power – Misticismo in San Juan de la Cruz and Santa Teresa de Ávila”

Gwendolyn Walker (University of South Carolina):

The Split Between Raskolnikov and His Truth: An Analysis of Raskolnikov’s Identity as Seen through Foucault’s Work on Truth as a Process of Subject-formation

Sherry Huang (University of South Carolina):

Foucault’s Philology of Truth: An Alethurgic Reading of Narratives of Tyranny in Herodotus



Call for Papers [pdf]

With the publication of the long-awaited volume 4 of the History of SexualityConfessions of the Flesh, the shape of the final Foucault is now brought into stark relief.  During the last five years of his life, Foucault was above all concerned with how the subject formed itself to be a teller of truth, both about and to itself and about and to others. This involved both the genealogy of sexuality but also political truths and truths relative to the technologies and aesthetics of our existence. 

All of these elements, Foucault argues, have a complex history that can be studied.  None of this means that there is no such thing as truth, that truth does not refer to things that are real, or that truth is merely a ruse for power.  It does mean that truth is never simple, never self-evident, and always constructed within history and between people and their institutions.  As Foucault observes in Subjectivity and Truth, “We have to ask ourselves about the fact that there exists, beyond simply things, discourses.  We have to pose this problem: why is there, beyond the real, the true” (240). 

This conference invites paper and panel proposals on all aspects of truth in the late Foucault. Possible topics might include: 

  • Truth and confession
  • Sexuality and truth
  • What is truth in Foucault
  • Foucault and Hadot on Ancient Philosophy
  • Truth in Heidegger and Foucault
  • Nietzschean truth in the late Foucault
  • Foucault on Kant’s “What is Enlightenment”?
  • The aesthetics of truth
  • The technology of truth
  • Spiritual practices
  • Truth and power
  • Governing the self and others

For updated information, please visit the conference webpage:     

The conference directors anticipate the publication of selected papers in a book and/or special issue of a journal. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.