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Keywords:

  • historiography;
  • apophasis;
  • Foucault

Abstract

In Anglophone educational research in the United States, the name Foucault has been more pointedly celebrated in some subfields such as curriculum studies relative to its more noticeable censorship in subfields such as history of education. This paper illustrates how such differential epistemological politics might be accounted for through reapproaching the challenges to historiography that Histoire de la Folie (Madness and Civilization) raised. Through the formalist lens of performative apophasis, and with attention to the dependencies of discourse that characterize narrative prosthesis, this paper re-engages the least referenced of Foucault's major histories in the educational field to bring into noticeability other ‘conditions of possibility’—ones that explicate how an apophatic turn might account for divergent reactions to less familiar philosophies of history and/or to ‘alternative’ approaches to documents through which history is now being narrated and critiqued in education and beyond.