Culture and the Media
The Carceral Subject
Foucault, M. (1991). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Sheridan, A., trans. London: Penguin, pp. 195-209.

In this extract from his account of the development of modern prisons, Michel Foucault compares two very different ways in which power was exercised over individuals. Both the plague and the panopticon (a new kind of prison), required that people be segregated and surveyed, but whereas plague victims were kept hidden and private, the panopticon's inmates were visible and public. The latter model, Foucault argues, has given rise to new, contemporary forms of subjectivity, even outside the prison.

Further Reading

Bentham, J. (1995). Panopticon. In: Bozovic, M. (ed.) The Panopticon Writings. London: Verso, pp. 29-95. Retrieved 3 January 2006 from here. Bentham's original letters published as Panopticon (1791).

DeLanda, M. (2001). Panspectron. In: Garnett, J., Rocket Science (exhibition catalogue). Retrieved 25th August 2006 from here. DeLanda updates and expands Foucault's understanding of the panopticon.

Dimitriadis, G. and McCarthy, C. (2003). Creating a New Panopticon: Columbine, Cultural Studies, and the Uses of Foucault. In: Bratich, J. Z., Packer, J. and McCarthy, C. (eds) Foucault, Cultural Studies, and Governmentality. New York: SUNY Press. Examines increasing surveillance and discipline within schools and colleges following the Columbine massacre..

Elliott, A. (2001). Concepts of the Self. Cambridge: Polity, pp. 78-102 (Chapter 3). Chapter on Foucault, including a brief discussion of the panopticon and power.

Foucault, M. (1980). The Eye of Power. In: Power/Knowledge. Gordon, C. (ed.). Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 146-65. Interview with Foucault from 1977 exploring his analysis of the panopticon.

Foucault, M. (1991). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. London: Penguin. Foucault's careful analysis of the rise of the disciplinary society during in the 18th and 19th centuries (the original title was Surveiller et Punir).

Foucault, M. (2003). Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-75. Burchell, G., trans. New York: Picador. On the historical development during the nineteenth century of the notion of abnormal individuals, particularly within juridical and psychiatric discourse.

Gandy, O. H. (1993). The Panoptic Sort: A Political Economy of Personal Information. Oxford: Westview Press. Applies Foucault's notion of the panopticon to the ever-increasing collation of individual information by government and business.

Guidi, Marco (2004). 'My Own Utopia': The Economics of Bentham's Panopticon. European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 11.3 (September), pp. 405-31. A detailed account of the projected economics of Bentham's project.

Land, R. and Bayne, S. (2002). Screen or Monitor? Surveillance and Disciplinary Power in Online Learning Environments. In: Rust, C. (ed). Improving Student Learning Using Learning Technology. Proceedings of the 9th Improving Student Learning Symposium. Edinburgh, pp. 125-38. On the panoptic implications of virtual learning environments.

Parry, D. (2011). Ubiquitous Surveillance. Open Humanities Press. <http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org/books/Ubiquitous_Surveillance>. A collection of essay on different aspects of contemporary surveillance.

Schwan, A. and Shapiro, S. (2011). How to Read Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. London: Pluto. On panopticism, see pp. 127-139.

Smart, B. (2002). Michel Foucault. London: Routledge. Succinct, comprehensive overview of the trajectory of Foucault's research through his key texts. On the carceral subject, see pp. 71-93.


Surveillance and Society 1(3) (2003), 'Foucault and Panopticism Revisited'. Retrieved 3 January 2006 from here. Special issue of the journal Surveillance and Society devoted to the panopticon.