To Die is to Become: Death and the Self in the Philosophy of Foucault

Presented with Berg'n


Philosopher and historian Michel Foucault is best known for his profoundly influential scholarship on the history of knowledge, sexuality, madness, power, and the body. Less noted, though present in nearly all of his work, is the philosopher’s fascination with death. In this Olio we will explore Foucault’s ideas about death, and how these ideas shaped his larger works on sexuality and the modern self. What is the relationship, for example, between the policing of sexual deviance and death?


We will grapple with Foucault’s controversial ideas about suicide, the state’s power to compel us to live, and most importantly, we will explore Foucault’s claim that death is a primary site for becoming what one is. “It is in death,” Foucault claimed, “that the individual becomes at one with himself, escaping from the monotonous lives and their leveling effect; in the slow, half-subterranean, but already visible approach of death, the dull, common life, at last becomes an individuality…and gives it the style of its truth.”



Location: Berg'n

899 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Hip, late-night beer hall featuring microbrews & food vendors in a spacious, industrial-chic venue. Classes will be held in the private room. 


Other upcoming Olios


Mar 24

Dharma in a Crumbling Democracy: Ancient Wisdom for Troubling Times

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Mar 27

Work is Dead: Questioning the Promise of Basic Income Guarantees

Taught by Manuel Rodeiro
7 p.m. at Strong Rope Brewery

Sign Up - $12

Mar 28

Apr 8

Apr 9

Apr 12

She's Not Your Mother: Ecofeminism and the Gender of Agriculture

Taught by Jamie Warren
7 p.m. at WeWork Williamsburg

Sign Up - $15

Apr 21

Buddhist Realism and Dark Comedy: It's Funny Because It's True

Taught by Christopher Kelley
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Apr 28

Human Rights at the Edge of Darkness: We are the Resistance

Taught by Phelim Kine
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!