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The Later Derrida

Lecturer: Peter Banki

Originally Taught: Summer School 2015

11am-1pm | 9-13 Feb

This course will provide an introduction to the so-called later period of Derrida’s thought, i.e., from 1990’s to 2004. As many commentators have noted, this ‘later’ period corresponds to a growing interest in texts and concepts that have an undeniably political character. And yet at the same time literature and the practices of reading and translation also remain central concerns. Indeed such concerns are often inseparable from the development of the more explicitly philosophical, ethical and political aspects of Derrida’s thought.

During the course, we will navigate some of the signature concepts of the later period, such as the democracy to come, messianicity without messiah, the im-possible, justice as undeconstructible, hostipitality, testimony, auto-immunity, forgiveness and so on. We will also give consideration to some of his engagements with key interlocutors such as Marx, Levinas, Blanchot and Heidegger. In addition, attention will be given to his interventions and research on the teaching of philosophy.

Finally, we will also look at the resistances to Derrida’s thought and some of the controversies to which it has given rise, both from within philosophy and beyond it. How to read such resistances? Are they a measure of the very force and inventiveness of his work? Or are they symptoms of its limitations, its difficulties or danger? To what extent do such resistances put into question what we think we already know and understand about him?

To encounter the later Derrida, it is not necessary to have mastered (if such were possible) his earlier work on the deconstruction of the values of presence, self-presence and the proper in Western philosophy. Even while some familiarity with the early work is helpful, it is quite possible to follow this course without having had much prior exposure to Derridean deconstruction.

Course Schedule
Lecture 1: Spectres of Marx
Lecture 2: Force of Law, Inventions of the Other
Lecture 3: Hostipitality, On Forgiveness, To Forgive: the Unforgivable and the Imprescriptible
Lecture 4: The Right to Philosophy 1 and 2
Lecture 5: Resistances of and to Derridean deconstruction