Symposium Introduction


Suze Berkhout
Katarina Bogosavljevic
Jennifer M. Kilty
Erica R. Meiners
Kelly Struthers Montford
Hasana Sharp



This book brings together Foucault’s writings on crime and delinquency, on the one hand, and sexuality, on the other, to argue for an anti-carceral feminist Foucauldian approach to sex crimes. The author expands on Foucault’s writings through intersectional explorations of the critical race, decolonial, critical disability, queer and critical trans studies literatures on the prison that have emerged since the publication of Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality.

Drawing on Foucault’s insights from his genealogical period, the book argues that those labeled as sex offenders will today be constructed to re-offend twice over, once in virtue of the delinquency with which they are inculcated through criminological discourses and in the criminal punishment system, and second in virtue of the manners in which their sexual offense is taken up as an identity through psychological and sexological discourses. The book includes a discussion of non-retributive responses to crime, including preventative, redistributive, restorative, and transformative justice. It concludes with two appendixes: the original 19th-century medico-legal report on Charles Jouy and its English translation by the author.

Foucault, Feminism, and Sex Crimes will be of interest to feminist philosophers, Continental philosophers, Women’s and Gender Studies scholars, social and political theorists, as well as social scientists and social justice activists.


Reviews and Endorsements

“This is a rich, rigorously argued, and provocative volume that makes a distinctive new contribution to the Foucauldian feminist literature on sex crimes . . . At every turn, the argumentation is thoughtful, measured and politically dedicated to advancing feminist alternatives to punishment. For Foucauldians, it offers a rigorous engagement with Foucault’s writings on rape and paedophilia, and feminists responses to them. For any reader interested in feminism, sex crimes, and criminal punishment, it extends Foucauldian insights to new issues (such as sex work, animal sexual abuse and serial killers) in ways that will make this book an indispensable resource for subsequent debates and research on crime, punishment, and justice.” – Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


“Taylor’s powerful scholarly intervention uses Foucault’s work—while being critical of it—to problematize feminist conceptions of the relation between sex and justice and promises to be a landmark work in the debates around Foucault’s relation to feminism.” – Mark G. E. Kelly, Western Sydney University


“Chloë Taylor has written an exciting critique of feminism’s responses to sex crimes. Even in the face of atrocious sexual violence, the usual calls for more police, harsher sentences, and sustained mass imprisonment are thoroughly mistaken. Instead, Taylor demonstrates that we need to respond without criminalizing or pathologizing sex offenders, and gives concrete examples how we can so.” – Frieder Vogelmann, University of Bremen

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