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After Derrida

ENGL 294.401
TR 10:30-12

As a philosopher and literary critic, Jacques Derrida (d. 2004) was a central figure in the profound reassessment of prevailing intellectual paradigms that has swept through virtually every domain of the humanities since the 1960s. For those who actively study the work of Jacques Derrida and deconstruction (a way of reading and thinking about literary texts with which he is associated) there was also the sense that he was the last of a certain generation, and that with his passing there is a renewed need to carry on the multiple legacies of his work. Accordingly, this advanced undergraduate seminar will survey the legacy of Jacques Derrida and the legacy of deconstruction. The course will begin with an introduction to some of the main tenants and texts of Structuralism, and Post-Structuralism, followed by weekly readings of work by Derrida as well as articles, interviews and books by his colleagues and disciples. In conjunction with the course, students will also attend public programs at Slought Foundation featuring some of the literary theorists whose work will be read in the course. All course readings will take place in English; a familiarity with literature and an interest in literary theory is encouraged but not required. Some of the authors we will read include Maurice Blanchot, Roland Barthes, Eduardo Cadava, Helene Cixous, Avital Ronell, Gayatri Spivak, and Samuel Weber. Texts by Derrida will include canonical texts such as Writing & Difference, as well as The Politics of Friendships and Memoirs of the Blind.