Aarhus Universitets segl

The Genealogy of Genealogy: Foucault, Nietzsche, History, Philosophy, and Race

by Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm in association with the extended seminar programme ‘A New History of Humanity?'

Oplysninger om arrangementet


Onsdag 4. oktober 2023,  kl. 13:00 - 14:00


Aarhus University, Nobel building 1451, room 216


To non-specialists who stumble across our literature, it can be striking that the term “genealogy” has such a peculiar meaning in humanities’ scholarship. Scholars of religion routinely deploy the notion of “genealogy” to indicate a particular research mode emphasizing historical contingency and rupture. But to non-specialists genealogy suggests first and foremost a kind of heredity or familial relationship, often associated with evolution, antiquarianism, or perhaps even Mormonism.

First and foremost, this talk - based on a monograph in progress - aims to de-reify genealogy and to show how these two meanings of genealogy (historical, biological) have been subtly entangled in way that undercut the former. To do so the work turns scholarly genealogy back on itself- tracing the history of this particular style of historiography. In so doing, the talk will show how the term all along has carried messy connections to older notions of race and eugenics, even as in scholarly circles it suggested a skeptical liberation from previous historical conventions. Along the way, the talk attempts to upend common (but mistaken) readings of Nietzsche, Foucault and to answer crucial philosophical questions about the relationship between philosophy and history.

All are welcome.

This lecture is part of the 2023 extended seminar programme at the School of Culture and Society "A New History of Humanity?"