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Research Fundamentals: Michel Foucault - Panopticism

A guide to print and online resources for starting your research.

Essay Options

From Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Readers:


"Perhaps the most surprising thing about Foucault's argument in "Panopticism" is the way it equates prisons with schools, hospitals, and workplaces, sites we are accustomed to imaginging as very different from a prison...Write an essay in which you explore one of these possible resemblances."


"Write an essay in which you explain Foucault's understanding of the Panopticon as a mechanism of power. You will need to paraphrase Foucault's argument, translate his terms, and, where appropriate, cite and deploy his terms."

DMC Studio

Want to create a multimedia presentation as part of your assignment?

The DMDS (Digital Media Design Studio) provides services, technologies, and instructional support for recording, digitizing, and editing audio, video, and image resources, enabling you to create new digital scholarly work.

Biographical Materials

Read about the life and work of Michel Foucault or Jeremy Bentham.

Biography in Context

International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Images of Panopticon


To view additional images of Panopticon, check ARTstor and AP images

Subject Guides

The Library offers a number of discipline-based Subject Guides to help you locate resources.  Which Guides might assist you?

Some possibilities include:


Criminal Justice

What other topics are covered in this essay - Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, English and American Literature, Political Science?

Searching for books and articles


Learn more about the concepts of power, power relations, surveillance, or panopticism itself.

Some possibilities include:

International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Encyclopedia Britannica

Cambridge Histories Online

Primary Sources

Review question:  What is a Primary Source?

Read an excerpt from Jeremy Bentham's Will.

The Jeremy Bentham Papers Archive is housed at University College, London.


Review question:  What is a scholarly article?

Try the Library's Scholar OneSearch service for a Google-style approach to searching. 

Not sure where else to look?  Look for selected article search tools in our Subject Guides