11 October 2011

Lecture: Claire Colebrook, "Seduction, Gender and Genre: Derrida/Cixous, Cixous/Derrida"

In March of 2008, Claire Colebrook presented the paper "Seduction, Gender and Genre: Derrida/Cixous, Cixous/Derrida" to the Engaging in the Humanities Symposium at Utrecht University, in which she carefully pulls upon the complex problematics of friendship acknowledged by Jacques Derrida in his philosophical engagements in order to outline two very different kinds of relations - the violent and contestatory fraternity of "philosophy as politics" and another which places itself not at the scene of war but at the boudoir of seduction and love.

In Colebrook's analysis of Derrida and Hélène Cixous's interactivity, their coupling becomes redefined as event which opens and delimits the potential for deconstruction and brings it beyond the phenomenological tradition of philosophy. The lecture, downloadable as a pdf from the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University, offers a provocative and resonant counterpoint to Michael O'Rourke's keynote address at the Bodies in Movement conference some months ago.
"Thus we might distinguish the mode of deconstruction in relation to the friend, where the other text also working at the limits of metaphyics is shown to fall into a logos of presence, from the deconstructive relation of seduction and love. In that latter mode the text is unreadable, offering itself as what the philosopher could not say, could not begin to say."

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