Bioethics Blogs

Top of the Heap: Paul Rabinow by Hannah Gibson

For this installment of the Top of the Heap series, I spoke with Paul M. Rabinow, who is a Professor of medical and sociocultural anthropology at the University of California at Berkley.


Alexander Kluge & Oskar Negt, History and Obstinacy, translated by Richard Langston, edited and with an introduction by Devon Fore, Cambridge: Zone Books, 2014.

Michael Foessel: Le Temps de la Consolation, Paris: Editions du Seuil, 2015.

Marielle Macé, Le temps de l’essai, Histoire d’un genre en France au XX siècle, Paris Belin, 2006.

Tim Blanning, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, New York: Random House, 2016.

Stephen Parker, Bertolt Brecht, a Literary Life, London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Ben Ratcliff, John Coltrane, The Story of a Sound, New York: Picador, 2007.


As we have long since passed through the moment of the politics and poetics of ethnography, I find my reading still fits into something like the ethics and aesthetics of life. In that light, here are some of the books I have been reading lately.

The Kluge & Negt is the most ambitious as well as the most experimental of the lot. They are (were) well known for their interventions in the public sphere discussions offering a more Marxist interpretation than that of Habermas. This volume is a new English translation of a much longer book in German that the authors collaborated in reducing in size and perhaps increasing in coherence. It is a weird book assembling a heterogeneous range of materials ranging from concept definitions, to German folklore, to a very long term history of capitalism and the micro forms of resistance, “obstinacy” that they claim have always existed.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.