Cfp "Streaming Derrida" (ACLA stream of panels, New Orleans Apr 1-4, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Arnd Wedemeyer (Princeton University) / Jan Mieszkowski (Reed College)


Jacques Derrida's work has inspired numerous efforts to rethink the discursive hybrids that arise at the intersections of contemporary literary, philosophical, and political inquiry. With his insistent mobilization of untranslatability — perhaps the most pervasive gesture of his thought — Derrida simultaneously embraced and moved beyond individual methodologies and disciplines with uncanny flexibility. The critical creoles that emerged from Derrida's dogged engagement with the singular deposits of avowedly universalist systems have in turn proven to be productive beyond the confines of his oeuvre.

This seminar proceeds from the assumption that Derridean thought was never as monolithic or monological as its proponents hoped and its detractors feared. We invite panelists to look beyond the questions of legacy or survival that dominated the years immediately after Derrida's death and undertake a more nuanced tracking of the disseminative forces of his project. Has the effort to develop a theoretical lingua franca for the humanities been insufficiently attuned to the transvaluative dynamics of impurity, contamination, and bastardization promoted by and effected in Derrida's corpus? What is inevitably lost in the reception of his work when one rushes to treat him as an analytic benchmark or as occupying a fixed position in a matrix of theoretical choices?

Participants may explore these questions from "within" the Derridean field, focusing on how Derrida's own research anticipates the various confusions that plague efforts to memorialize or canonize his interventions as creed. In this regard, the recent publication of some of his lecture courses may be of particular interest. We also welcome papers that consider the extent to which contemporary critical theory is in part driven by a need to distance itself from Derrida's authority or that reflect on the productive encounters and no less productive confrontations between Derrida and other thinkers (e.g., Adorno, Agamben, Badiou, Benjamin, Foucault).

Deadline for submissions: Nov 23, 2009. Abstracts of no more than 250 words must be submitted through the ACLA web site: