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Dr. Geoffrey Baym

Associate Professor

Geoffrey Baym

The Archaeology of Knowledge by Michel Foucault

The Archaeology is not one of Foucault’s more celebrated works, but for me it has been extremely influential. As a scholar of news media, I am ultimately a scholar of the social and political uses of language. More than any other work, Foucault’s Archaeology offers a powerful excavation of the shape of language and the power relations that underlie it. He moves deftly from consideration of the individual statement to a deconstruction of the discursive formation itself. Along the way, he examines the shifting foundations of objects, social authorities, cultural practices, and epistemological concepts. In so doing, the Archaeology opened intellectual avenues for me that still profoundly shape my understandings of media, journalism, politics, and public discourse.