For release: September 27, 2011
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843.
French philosopher Jacques Derrida’s analyses of theologico-political concepts that
he said were present in many aspects of society, from politics to literature, from
sovereignty to the death penalty, will be the subject of the 30th annual Spindel Conference hosted by the University of Memphis Department of Philosophy
Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
Participants will attend from colleges and universities throughout the United States
and overseas. Some of the schools involved include the Université Lille 3-Charles
de Gaulle, the University of Southern California, Emory University, DePaul University,
Concordia University, Bard College, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Memphis.
Kas Saghafi of the U of M’s Philosophy Department is the director of this year’s three-day
conference. Keynote speakers will be Peggy Kamuf of USC and Geoffrey Bennington of
Emory, both general editors of the English translations of Deridda’s seminars.
Derrida was an influential French philosopher who taught from1960 to 2003. He argued
that there were unacknowledged theological roots of political concepts and modern
political institutions and practices. In his seminars he examined in detail the works
of Plato, Rousseau, Kant, Hugo, Camus, Schmitt, and Heidegger, among others, to question
the supposed secularism of the modern nation-state.
The Spindel Conference is named in honor of the late Memphian Murray Spindel, who
participated in University of Memphis philosophy courses for many years and became
actively involved in the intellectual and social life of the department. An endowment
from him and his wife, Chris, funds the annual conference, which now bears their name.
Each year, the proceedings of the conference are published as a supplement to The Southern Journal of Philosophy.
Details about this year’s conference are available online at www.memphis.edu/philosophy/spindel_2011.php.