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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2009

SPN 381M • Constructing the Legacy of Deconstruction

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47415 W
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

Since its inception in the late sixties, Deconstruction has been focused on the development of a general theory of textuality. In this sense and although it has provided an hermeneutics for the discourse of and on philosophy, it has developed not only a consistent vocabulary to approach the activity of reading and the analysis of a text, but also a basic concern for the literary text. This course will be focused on an understanding of these tools and this vocabulary as they have been applied to the interpretation of literature. It will examine concepts such as play, trace, supplement, logocentrism, pharmakon, differance, parergon, spectrality, rethoricity, etc. Even though it will concentrate mainly in the writings of Jacques Derrida, it will cover examples by Paul de Man and Barbara Johnson while examining, thus, the synchronies and asynchronies between the continental and the Yale 'schools' of deconstruction. Special attention will be devoted to the practical application of these terms through a selection of readings belonging to Spanish writers of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Grading Policy

4 short papers 40% 1 or 2 presentations 20% 1 final exam 20% Attendance 10% Participation and Preparation 10%


Movie: Derrida (2002). By Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman. Texts: Culler, Jonathan. On Deconstruction. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1983. Selections and essays by Jacques Derrida coming from Of Grammatology. Baltimore: The John Hopkings UP, 1974. Writing and Difference. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1978. Dissemination. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1981. Margins of Philosophy. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1982. The Truth in Painting. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1987. Acts of Literature. New York: Routledge, 1992. Specters of Marx. New York: Routledge, 1994. Selections and essays by Paul de Man coming from Blindness and Insight. New York: Oxford UP, 1971. Allegories of Reading. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979. The Rhetoric of Romanticism. New York: Columbia UP, 1984. Selections and essays by Barbara Johnson coming from The Critical Difference. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1985. A World of Difference. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1987. Selections of Spanish writers of the 18th and 19th centuries.


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