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2016 Summer Academy: Gender and Difference

Posted: Tuesday 06 Oct 2015
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The London Graduate School Summer Academy in the Critical Humanities

Gender and Difference

27-30 June 2016

The London Graduate School is pleased to announce details of its 2016 Summer Academy, an intensive week-long programme offered annually for postgraduate students of any institutional affiliation.

In 1981 Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivron published New French Feminisms, an anthology, which introduced Anglo-American readers to a theoretical and speculative context, including the work of Derrida, that challenged the predominant empirical approach to feminism, which was grounded in the social sciences. Derrida’s approach to sexual difference has indeed been—whilst by no means completely congruent with their work—decisively influential for a whole range of thinkers grappling with gender, amongst whom must be counted the so-called “French feminists,” Cixous, Irigaray and Kristeva, whose work is anthologized by Marks and de Courtivron. Derrida’s influence on scholars thinking about gender has not waned in the years that followed. Derrida has thus affected feminist thinking, and his work has addressed, more so than that of many philosophers, the question of femininity and sexual difference, exploring it in the contexts of his writings on Levinas, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, for example in Geschlecht, “Women in the Beehive” (1987) “Choreographies” (1982) and, perhaps most notably, with the publication of Spurs (1978). In doing so, he has also raised questions regarding feminism itself. At a historically crucial moment for women’s studies, these texts also reflect upon their institutionalization, raising vital issues in relation to the question of margin and center. In “Choreographies”, for instance, Derrida warns about elevating feminism to a new phallogocentrism.

This year’s summer school, then, brings together key thinkers able to address the question of deconstruction, gender and difference.

Speakers this year include:

Emily Apter

Geoffrey Bennington

Tina Chanter

Peggy Kamuf

Catherine Malabou

Elissa Marder

Ewa Ziarek

Reading Groups will be led by Chiara Alfano, Marie Draz, and Perry Zurn. Registration is free, but by application only. The number of places is strictly limited. The closing date for applications is 31st January 2016. To apply, please send an expression of interest, current CV, and sample of recent work by email to Professor Simon Morgan Wortham (s.morganwortham@kingston.ac.uk) and Professor Tina Chanter (T.Chanter@kingston.ac.uk). Please head your email “London Graduate School Summer Academy 2016”. Students must make their own arrangements for accommodation during the week. All tuition and course-attendance is wholly free of charge for all selected candidates.

The Summer Academy expresses our commitment to the future of rigorous and provocative thought, supporting a new generation of scholars in the critical humanities. We want to reaffirm the transformative potential of the legacy with which we engage, believing that its critical renewal is best served by bringing together the strongest expertise and the most exciting new talent.


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