Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts: Professions of Faith

Author(s): Professor Mary Caputi

Philosophy & Religion | Philosophy

Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts highlights the Derridean assertion that the university must exist 'without condition' - as a bastion of intellectual freedom and oppositional activity whose job it is to question mainstream society. Derrida argued that only if the life of the mind is kept free from excessive corporate influence and political control can we be certain that the basic tenets of democracy are being respected within the very societies that claim to defend democratic principles. This collection contains eleven essays drawn from international scholars working in both the humanities and social sciences, and makes a well-grounded and comprehensive case for the importance of Derridean thought within the liberal arts today. Written by specialists in the fields of philosophy, literature, history, sociology, geography, political science, animal studies, and gender studies, each essay traces deconstruction's contribution to their discipline, explaining how it helps keep alive the 'unconditional', contrapuntal mission of the university. The book offers a forceful and persuasive corrective to the current assault on the liberal arts.


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Contributions from international scholars explain the value of Derridean deconstruction to the liberal arts as it confronts the on-going crisis in higher education.

Mary Caputi is Professor of Political Science at California State University at Long Beach, USA. She is the author of A Kinder, Gentler America: the Mythical 1950s (2005) and Voluptuous Yearnings: A Feminist Reading of the Obscene (1994). Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr. is Professor of Geography and Development and Associate Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona, USA. He is author of Social Geography: A Critical Introduction (2009) and co-editor of A Companion to Social Geography (2011) and Mapping Tourism (2003). Matthew Calarco, Assistant Professor (Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton, USA), Mary Caputi, Professor (Department of Political Science, California State University at Long Beach, USA), Simon Critchley, Professor of Philosophy (Philosophy Department, Eugene Lang College / The New School for Liberal Arts, USA), Jonathan Culler, Professor (Department of English and Comparative Literature, Cornell University, USA), Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., Professor, School of Geography and Development and Associate Dean (School of Bahavioural and Social Sciences, The University of Arizona, USA), Clorinda Donato, Professor of French and Italian and Co-Director of the French and Francophone Studies Program (California State University at Long Beach, USA), Colm J. Kelly, Associate Professor (Department of Sociology, St. Thomas University, Canada), Mark Mason, Deputy Dean (University of Chichester, UK), Christopher Norris, Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy (School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University, UK), Diane Rubenstein, Professor of Government and American Studies (Department of Government, Cornell University, USA), Keith Woodward, Assistant Professor (Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) .

Introduction: Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts Mary Caputi and Vincent J. Del Casino Jr. \ Part I Derrida and the Question of the University \ 1. Derrida, Deconstruction, and the University Mary Caputi, Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., and Keith Woodward \ 2. What Is the Institutional Form of Thinking? Simon Critchley \ Part II Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts: Disciplinary Professions of Faith \ 3. Grammatology Revisited: Derrida on Language, Truth and Deviant Logic Christopher Norris \ 4. Derrida and Literary Studies Jonathan Culler \ 5. Deconstructing History Mark Mason \ 6. Third Wave Feminism, Derridean Ragpicking, and the Liberal Arts Mary Caputi \ 7. Reading and Teaching Derrida in Departments of French and Francophone Literature and Cultural Studies Clorinda Donato \ 8. Derrida, Animals, and the Future of the Humanities Matthew Calarco \ 9. The Name of Sociology and the Trace of Derrida Colm J. Kelly \ 10. A Most Inhospitable Discipline: Jacques Derrida and the "Political Science to Come" Diane Rubenstein \ 11. Spacing Deconstruction Keith Woodward \ Afterword, In Brief - Vincent J. Del Casino Jr. and Mary Caputi \ Bibliography \ Index

General Fields

  • : 9781472589286
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Academic
  • : October 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 288
  • : Professor Mary Caputi