Jacques Derrida and the Institution of French Philosophy
Legenda: Oxford, 2011
The question of the legacies of the work of Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) is increasingly coming to the fore in the wake of his death — alongside, though not simply subsumed by, the question of the death and afterlives of ‘theory’. Within Humanities in the United States, in particular, Derrida has unquestionably been one of the most celebrated and reviled French thinkers of the last thirty years. The transatlantic passage of his work forms part of a particular problematic of ‘French theory in America’ which has only recently started to be mapped systematically. Orchard’s contribution to this emerging and highly active field concentrates on an aspect of Derrida’s work previously dealt with only glancingly, yet central not only to his own work but also to the understanding of recent French thought more generally. This is his work on philosophy in France as an institution, its material, cultural and intellectual determinations and their philosophical relevance. In the first book-length study of this corpus of material, Orchard raises the question of contextual determination itself, of ‘theory’ versus ‘philosophy’, and of a ‘French’ versus an ‘American’ Derrida. This study will provide an invaluable resource for scholars and students with an interest in Derrida, theory and institutional questions.
Dr Vivienne Orchard is a Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Southampton.