Nancy Luxon

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Political Science
1350 Social Science Building

267 19th Ave S


Professor Nancy Luxon joined the faculty at Minnesota after two years at the University of Chicago’s Society of Fellows. Her work in contemporary political and social theory concentrates on questions of power, subjectivity, and speech and has been published in Inquiry, Political Theory, Contemporary Political Theory, PS, and Perspectives, with work recently in Review of Politics and materiali foucaultiani. Her first book, Crisis of Authority (Cambridge UP, 2013), considers political authority as a process in which individuals learn to author themselves, and so come to engage differently in political contest. She recently edited the first English translation for Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault's Disorderly Families (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), and her companion scholarly volume, Archives of Infamy (2019) draws on that volume to offer a new reading of power, agency, and the event. She also is editing Foucault's Berkeley lectures from the 1980s, which will be published as Discourse and Truth (University of Chicago, 2019). In 2017-18 she served as co-PI (with Robert Nichols and Jean O'Brien) of the Mellon Sawyer Seminar, The Politics of Land . Other interests include: psychoanalysis (theory and clinical practice); French political thought; the adaptation of literary theories of narrative for politics; and the intersection of ethics and politics. Her current research focuses on the decolonization, colonial subjectivities, and counter-publics of the Maghreb.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D: Political Science, University of California, San Diego.

Curriculum Vitae


  • contemporary political and social theory; French political thought; literary theories of narrative; psychoanalysis and psychiatry (in western and colonial contexts); anti-colonial struggle in French North Africa
Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Ideas and Protest in Postwar French Politics
  • Contemporary Political Theory
  • Revolution, Democracy, Empire
  • Graduate: Language and Politics
  • Graduate: Practices of the Self
  • Graduate: Modernity and its Discontents
  • Graduate: French Marxisms and Postcolonial Theory
  • Graduate: Understanding Political Theory
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Member: Editorial board, University of Minnesota Press , 2016 - 2019


  • co-PI: Mellon Sawyer Seminar, The Politics of Land, 2017 - 2018
  • co-PI: NEH Enduring Questions, What Makes Political Community?, 2016 - 2018
  • Discourse and Truth. Luxon, Nancy, by Michel Foucault, University of Chicago Press, Editor, 2019.
  • Archives of Infamy. Luxon, Nancy, University of Minnesota Press, Editor, 2019.
  • Disorderly Families: Infamous Letters from the Bastille Archives. Luxon, Nancy, by Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault, Trans. Thomas Scott-Railton, University of Minnesota Press, Editor, 2016. Link
  • Crisis of Authority: Politics, Trust, and Truth-telling in Freud and Foucault. Luxon, Nancy, Cambridge University Press, Author, 2013. Link
  • Disordering Discourse: Voice and Authority in the GIP: Luxon, Nancy, eds. Perry Zurn and Andrew Dilts, Palgrave, Active Intolerance: Critical Essays on Foucault and the Prisons Information Group, 2015. Link
  • Luxon, Nancy Lynn. "Beyond Mourning and Melancholia: Nostalgia, Anger, and the Challenges of Political Action." Contemporary Political Theory 15.2 (May 2016): 139-159.
  • Luxon, Nancy Lynn. "Foucault on Freedom and Trust." Review of Politics 77.4 (Fall 2015): 653-59. Link
  • Luxon, Nancy Lynn. "Inside/Outside Clinical and Colonial Encounters." Contemporary Political Theory 15.1 (February 2016): 119-138. LinkDownload
  • Luxon, Nancy Lynn. "Teaching What We Don't Know." PS 48.1 (January 2015): 44-47. LinkDownload
  • Luxon, Nancy Lynn. "Authority, Interpretation and the Space of the Parrêsiastic Encounter." materiali foucaultiani 3.5-6 (2014): 71-90. Link
  • Luxon, Nancy Lynn. "Risk and Resistance: The Ethical Education of Psychoanalysis." Political Theory 41.3 (June 2013): 380-408. Link
  • Luxon, Nancy Lynn. "Ethics and Subjectivity: Practices of Self-Governance in the Late Lectures of Michel Foucault." Political Theory 36.3 (June 2008): 377-402. Link
  • Luxon, Nancy Lynn. "Truthfulness, Risk and Trust in the Late Lectures of Michel Foucault." Inquiry 47.5 (October 2004): 464-489. Link
  • Talle Faculty Research Award (for Staging the Political: Colonial Encounters in North Africa and France), 2017 - 2019
  • Mellon Sawyer Seminar, "The Politics of Land", 2017 - 2018
  • University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Award: Négritude and Radical Politics, 2017
  • National Endowment for the Humanities- Enduring Questions Grant, 2016-2018
  • University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Award: Archives of Infamy, 2016
  • IAS Residential Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Fall 2009
  • Harper-Schmidt Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago, September 2005 - June 2007