“To Get Free of Oneself”: Power, Self, and the Possibility of Beauty in the Work of Michel Foucault

Jamie Warren at Online

Tue, May 18 at 6 p.m.   |   90 minutes
Courses: Participants will be able to engage on their own time with the pre-recorded lectures and curated materials (readings, podcast links, interviews, and film). These will be used as the fuel for the live Zoom discussions with the professor.

By the end of the course, you will be familiar with Foucault’s major works and major claims. But more importantly, you will find yourself transformed. Seriously. Foucault never fails to change me at my core, and I am always thankful for the ride.


Near the end of his life, the philosopher historian Michel Foucault wrote that the point of living was to “leave to others memories of a beautiful existence.” As I read and reread these words, I am always struck by their beauty and their strange meaning. To live for the craft of beauty-making, to know oneself so deeply that the self disappears altogether, and only memories of experience remain, to live in the present by thinking only of the end, of death, of history—this may be the closest Foucault ever came to articulating a sense of ethics or a moral code.

Wanna give it a try?

Please join us for a six-week deep dive into the work and the labyrinth of Michel Foucault. We will start at his beginning, Madness, and wonder and weave our way through his prisons, his clinics, his Order of Things, and of course, his wondrous and sexy sexuality, arriving at his end, the self. We will study his analysis of modern power and his creative histories of modern institutions, and we will see how such curiosities led Foucault to take on the most challenging endeavor of mind, to reveal oneself to oneself, to “appear at last to eyes I will never have to meet again.” 

This course is designed for all—you need not be familiar with his work, you only need a curious mind, and a willingness to at least try to read through excerpts of his work. I promise you—his writing may seem dense and difficult at first, but with the help of my reading guides and essay maps, you will soon be breezing through Foucault’s prose. By the end of the course, you will be familiar with Foucault’s major works and major claims. But more importantly, you will find yourself transformed. Seriously. Foucault never fails to change me at my core, and I am always thankful for the ride.

Teacher: Jamie Warren

Jamie Warren has a Ph.D. in American History from Indiana University, and she is an Assistant Professor at BMCC-CUNY where she teaches American history, the history of women and gender, and women’s studies. Her research focuses on slavery in antebellum South with a particular focus on death, the body, and the philosophy of history.


Venue: Online

Zoom link will be sent upon signup.


Add to Calendar May 18, 20216 p.m. May 18, 2021 America/New_York Think Olio | “To Get Free of Oneself”: Power, Self, and the Possibility of Beauty in the Work of Michel Foucault By the end of the course, you will be familiar with Foucault’s major works and major claims. But more importantly, you will find yourself transformed. Seriously. Foucault never fails to change me at my core, and I am always thankful for the ride. Online

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

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Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.