Saul Newman’s essay “Anarchism, Poststructuralism and the Future of Radical Politics” discusses, as one might expect, the possibilities for radical politics after such politics are subjected to the critiques of poststructuralism. Newman comes out in favor of a “post-anarchism” that embraces the core values of classical anarchism while incorporating the post-structuralist critiques. If one can see past the barrage of “post-s” (postanarchism, post-Marxism, poststructuralism, postindustrial, post-politics – when will we ever reach post-postism?), this could prove as a fruitful source for anyone interested in the actual political implications of poststructuralist thought. Continue Reading »

Julie Candler Hayes’s Unconditional Translation: Derrida’s Enlightenment-to-Come focuses on the role of lumieres (enlightenment) in Derrida’s “metapolitical” thought. The a-venir (to-come) quality of Derrida’s democracy is, in his later work, extended to his concept of Enlightenment. The aporetic structure (or stricture) of lumieres and democracy is then applied to the practice of translation. Continue Reading »

Central to Puspa Damai’s article on the Messianic-City is the concept of hospitality. It is inextricable from the Derridian concept of a “city of refuge” and what Derrida sees as the intent of a city. Ruin, the threat of ruin and asylum are all discussed as tenets of the “city to come” Damai’s view of what Derrida’s city of refuge would look like focuses largely on its ipseity and ability to offer unconditional welcome to “unconditional visitors” or asylum seekers. Damai argues that Derrida’s city is at once “more than one… and less than one”(70). Continue Reading »

This article can be separated into two parts, the masculine argument about Europe and the components that define European, within the context of the last European, and the feminine argument about globalization and the new international. This doesn’t suppose one is superior or inferior, but it is an essentialist claim on my part of the structural composition that is an extension of this binary. “The Other Heading” and Specters of Marx are the two primary works discussed in this article, connecting several derridian concepts raised throughout the semester. Critiques of Derrida’s reading of Marx, and of the ten plagues of the New International function within this discussion of spectrality eventually introducing the idea of the technological specter. Continue Reading »

Hull begins his essay with Marx’s ‘Jewish Question’ in order to speak about nationalism. Hull asserts that Marx is not the first to speak of nationalism. Benedict Anderson finds evidence of what is called the ‘nation’ in the middle ages. Marx believes that to formulate a question properly is to answer it, which is to say that to answer a question is to disperse it into other questions. Thus, when the nationalism question is answered, the question turns on a responsibility to the ghosts of non-present or partially present cultures. Not only is an inheritance, as Derrida would say, among the voices of Marx, but to betray that voice, as Marx does, explains his failure to adequately formulate the nationalist question. Continue Reading »

In his essay Derrida and the Promise of Community Lawrence Burns describes Derrida’s early work on the speech act in relationship to his later work on the function of the promise. Burns places this writing within a system of ethics and points out that Derrida’s deconstruction of the promise of writing is that it will inevitably be placed and approached in different contexts, thus opening its answerablity to an incalculable community of readers. Burns, however, takes issue with Derrida’s emphasis on the expansion of this community to come, by drawing from the writing of Paul Ricoeur, who’s philosophy of ethics sees the promise as existing within the “pragmatic context of face to face dialogue.” Continue Reading »

E. Jeffrey Popke advocates that poststructuralist ethics needs to be taken more seriously in human geography. He believes that poststructuralist theory “offers the potential to break down existing categories of power and knowledge, and thereby to foster alternative narratives, which have the potential to widen the scope and scale of our geographical imaginations.” (298) In the recent explosion of moral considerations among human geographical writings, he believes that there has been a lack of engagement with poststructuralism, at least in part because it is associated with “relativism, or nihilism, which would render ethical accounts impossible.” (299) His essay, then, has the theses. First, and most explicitly, to articulate a theory of poststructuralist ethics that “suggests alternative understandings of spatiality with implications for the practice and performance of human geography.” (ibid.) Second and third, more implicitly, to adequately demonstrate why poststructuralist ethics is not relativistic or nihilistic and to prove why poststructuralist ethics successfully critique traditionalist conceptions of ethics. (The latter two points deserve to be stated formally, because Popke really intends to do more than simply show an alternative vision of spatiality. Instead, he means to use that alternative to ethically criticize the traditional notion of spatiality.) Continue Reading »