9519 - Derrida in the Americas - This course will survey the theoretical work of Jacques Derrida from the perspective of the New World. More than that of any other philosopher of the twentieth century, Derrida’s work was engaged in multiple discursive and political contexts. Beginning with his first visit to the U.S. in 1966, Derrida paid many visits to different parts of America, which eventually extended to a series of visiting faculty appointments at universities in the U.S. This course will focus on the work Derrida produced in this context, which is moreover the work that continues to have the greatest impact in the North American academic disciplinary formations to which the Theory Centre belongs. It will also discuss the institutionalization of Derrida’s work in North America and the history of its translation into English.
Possible units in this course include: 1) Encounters. This unit will cover Derrida’s encounter with structuralism, staged in the U. S. at the celebrated conference on “The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man” at Baltimore in 1966. We will read his contribution to that conference, along with some of the other work presented there. We will also read a “structuralist” narrative of New World encounter from Levi-Strauss’ Tristes Tropiques, together with Derrida’s critical response to that narrative in Of Grammatology. 2) Reading Derrida with J. L. Austin. This module will concentrate on Derrida’s critique of J.L Austin’s How to Do Things with Words. Reading will include selections from Austin, together with Derrida’s “Signature Event Context” and his response to John Searle in Limited Inc. 3) Derrida and Romanticism. This module will consider Derrida’s work in the period when he was most engaged with the discipline of literary study at Yale in the 1970’s. We will read his writing on Shelley and Rousseau alongside contemporary work by Paul de Man, Harold Bloom, and Geoffrey Hartman. 4) Responsibility, confession, memory. This module will focus on the death of Paul de Man and the subsequent discovery of his wartime writings. Besides Derrida’s responses to these events, we will also read selections from de Man’s wartime writings, as well subsequent work from Allegories of Reading on confession and excuses. 5) Derrida and feminism. Reading of Derrida’s writings on feminism and femininity, with the early 80s interview with Christie McDonald as a point of departure. 6) Deconstruction and the writing of the law. This module will focus on “Force of Law: The Mystical Foundation of Authority,” delivered at Cardozo School of law in 1989, together with other texts delivered at the same conference by, among others, Drucilla Cornell and Samuel Weber. 7) The end of history and the new International. This module will focus on Specters of Marx, delivered at the University of California, Riverside, in 1993. Besides Derrida’s readings of Marx and Francis Fukuyama, this module will interrogate the notion of “the west” as it operates in Derrida and late twentieth-century theory more generally.
Also from this web page: