Daniel Defert

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Daniel Defert
Daniel Defert par Claude Truong-Ngoc février 2015.jpg
Daniel Defert (2015)
by Claude Truong-Ngoc
Born (1937-09-10) September 10, 1937 (age 79)
Alma mater École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud
Occupation Sociologist
Spouse(s) Michel Foucault (partner)

Daniel Defert (born September 10, 1937) is a French sociologist and HIV/AIDS activist. He is the co-founder of AIDES and the heir to Michel Foucault's estate.

Early life[edit]

Daniel Defert was born on September 10, 1937. He graduated from the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud. He earned the agrégation in philosophy.[1]


A professor of sociology, Daniel Defert has been assistant (1969–1970), maître-assistant (1971–1985), then maître de conférence (from 1985) at the Centre Universitaire of Vincennes, which became in 1972 Université Paris VIII Vincennes. He has been a member of the scientific committee for human sciences of the International Conference on AIDS (1986–94); member of the World Commission for AIDS (World Health Organization) (1988–93); member of the National Committee for AIDS (1989–98), of the Global AIDS Policy Coalition of Harvard University (1994–1997), and of the French "Haut Comité de la Santé Publique" (from 1998).

After the death of his partner, Michel Foucault, Defert founded AIDES, the first AIDS awareness organization in France.[1] He served as its president from 1984 to 1991.[1]

Defert is author of numerous articles in the domain of ethno-iconography and public health.[2] He has been awarded the decoration of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and received in 1998 the Alexander Onassis prize for the creation of AIDES.

Personal life[edit]

Defert met Foucault while he was a philosophy student at the University of Clermont-Ferrand in France and their relationship lasted from 1963 until Foucault's death in 1984. Defert inherited Foucault's estate.[3] It was Foucault's death from AIDS, a disease about which little was known at the time, that led Defert to enter the field of AIDS activism. He co-edited with François Ewald volume 4 of Dits et Ecrits of Michel Foucault (1994), a posthumous collection of Foucault's writing. In 2012, he sold Foucault's notes to the Bibliothèque nationale de France to redecorate his apartment on the rue de Vaugirard.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Delaporte, Michel (September 19, 2014). "" Quand on questionne les marges, on arrive au cœur de la politique " Daniel Defert". L'Humanité. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ Işıl Baş, Donald Cary Freeman (eds.), Challenging the Boundaries, Rodopi, 2007, p. x.
  3. ^ a b Aeschimann, Eric; Monnin, Isabelle (November 26, 2012). "Daniel Defert : "Les archives de Foucault ont une histoire politique"". Le Nouvel Observateur. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 

External links[edit]