by Christopher Castiglia

About Christopher Castiglia

Christopher Castiglia is Distinguished Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University. He is author of The Practices of Hope: Literary Criticism in Disenchanted Times and Interior States: Institutional Consciousness and the Inner Life of Democracy in the Antebeullum US.


An amorphous space located somewhere “inside” the human body, generating conviction (“That’s just how I feel inside”), satisfaction (“I felt all warm inside”), and even identity (“I have to be who I am inside”), “interiority” and the questions raised by this keyword arguably stem from the influence of Michel Foucault’s ([1975] 1995) analysis of the institutional discourses shaping, implementing, and managing subjectivity and will. Interiority, in a Foucauldian context, is the precondition and outcome of power as new knowledge regimes (pedagogical, medical, and penal) have shifted social control from forces exerted on the body (punishment) to institutional incentives to increase the productive forces of the body in managed systems of normalcy (discipline).