An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Leader as Subject: Michel Foucault’s Last Lectures

Presenters: Nathan Harter and A.J. Grant

Date: 12 August 2015


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French scholar Michel Foucault is one of the most cited social scientists, yet only recently have his final three years of lectures been translated into English. Although an untimely illness prevented him from being able to write a book based on his research, Foucault’s work during this period is particularly interesting to those with an interest in leadership. Peering at leadership through the lens of pagan philosophers and playwrights from the first and second centuries, he discovered an emphasis on leaders becoming a Subject first — that is, an agent committed to constituting a beautiful life based on governing oneself. Join Nathan Harter in this Leadership Perspectives webinar as he delves into Foucault’s Last Lectures and explores their meaning for leadership.

Outcome of Attending

  • Learn what Foucault meant by “practices of subjectivation.”
  • Discover how developing these practices are important to leadership and developing a person’s ability to lead others.
  • Explore Foucault’s understanding of power and how practices of subjectivation can help leaders extricate themselves from it and hold it to account.

Speaker Information

Nathan Harter is currently a professor in the Department of Leadership and American Studies at Christopher Newport University and the author of numerous articles, chapters, and books on leadership that utilize a critical or postmodern lens. His most recent book, Leadership and Coherence: A Cognitive Approach, (Routledge, 2014) uses phenomenology to explore how leaders make decisions and participate in shared vision and sense of purpose with followers.

A.J. Grant is a University Professor of Organizational Leadership at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA. Grant’s research interests include historical and contemporary topics in rhetoric, ethics, the humanities and leadership. Grant has recently published articles on the humanities and leadership and leadership education.