Drawing on Derrida’s later seminars on “sovereignty” (published in 2008 and 2010)
and “the pardon” (with a particular emphasis on the yet-to-be-published “death penalty”
seminars), the speakers of the 30th Annual Spindel Conference will address Derrida's
analyses of “the theologico-political” in works of philosophy, political theory, religion,
and literature. By theologico-political, Derrida referred to the unacknowledged theological
roots of political concepts, modern political institutions, and practices. Putting
into question the supposed secularism of the modern nation-state, Derrida’s later
writings undertake an extensive study of the relation between sovereignty, the death penalty,
and the “theologico-political.” Devoted to detailed and painstaking examinations of major texts of philosophy and
literature by Plato, Rousseau, Kant, Schmitt, Heidegger, La Fontaine, Hugo, Camus, and Genet,
among others, the seminars enrich the elaboration of the theologico-political in already
published works. Featuring some of Derrida’s foremost interpreters and translators, the conference
aims to further this exploration.
From the beginning of his teaching career at the Sorbonne in 1960 to his last seminars
at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in 2003, Jacques Derrida completely
wrote out all his lectures and seminars. Presented over twelve to fifteen weeks a
year, these seminars, in addition to the scores of books that he published during
his lifetime, amount to some 14,000 printed pages in 43 volumes. They thus constitute
an invaluable addition to the already existing corpus. A decision was made by Derrida’s
heirs to edit and publish these seminars. These heretofore unpublished seminars will
appear in reverse chronological order, published by Editions Galilée in France and
the University of Chicago Press in the English-speaking world. Information about the
seminars can be found at http://derridaseminars.org.
A special roundtable discussion will be held following the individual paper presentations.
Presenters Kamuf, Bennington, Naas, Oliver, Dutoit, and Rottenberg will participate
in the roundtable, with Ellen Armour serving as the moderator.