Deconstructions - Prof. Jan Plug (English)
While this course will not pretend to offer a comprehensive history of deconstruction, it will attempt to begin to account for what deconstruction was, what it might be, what it might still become. Thus, it will seek to trace some of deconstruction’s philosophical forebears (in Nietzsche, Husserl, and structuralism, for example), to give a critical account of the deconstruction of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, when the movement as we usually think of it experienced its “high point,” and then to follow its multiple paths since.
The point of the course will not, then, be either to follow or refute the purported “death” of deconstruction (indeed, it would be more to the point to trace the logic of that very figure of speech), but rather to examine deconstruction’s effects. The vast majority of Derrida’s texts, in fact, were published in a series he co-edited, a series called La philosophie en effet: Philosophy in Fact, Philosophy in Effect. What are the effects of deconstruction? What does it have to say about the material and other effects upon the world of philosophical, psychoanalytic, literary, and other discourses? What is the place in deconstruction of the discovery, after de Man’s death, of his wartime journalism, whose effects for the history of contemporary theory could not have been more profound? What effects, if any, does deconstruction have today?
Some possible texts:
Derrida. Selections from: Of Grammatology; Dissemination; Writing and Difference; Psyche; Monolingualism of the Other; “Force of Law”; essays on literature.
de Man. Selections from: Blindness and Insight; Allegories of Reading; The Resistance to Theory; Aesthetic Ideology.
Jean-Luc Nancy. Selections from The Inoperative Community.
Cathy Caruth. Selections from Unclaimed Experience.
Thomas Keenan. Selections from Fables of Responsibility.
Avital Ronell. Selections from The Telephone Book; Crack Wars; Finitude’s Score.
And others . . .
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