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Peggy Kamuf and Geoffrey Bennington join as Distinguished Visiting Professors

Posted: Thursday 01 Oct 2015
by LGS 0 comments

Kingston University is proud to announce the appointments of Professor Geoffrey Bennington and Professor Peggy Kamuf as Distinguished Visiting Professors in the Humanities. These appointments are in recognition of the outstanding research and scholarship undertaken by Professors Bennington and Kamuf over many years, and the enormous contribution each has made in the field of literary and critical theory.

Geoffrey Bennington, Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emory University, is the author of many books including Sententiousness and the Novel, Lyotard: Writing the EventDudding: des noms de Rousseau, Jacques Derrida (with Jacques Derrida), Legislations: the Politics of Deconstruction, Interrupting Derrida, Not Half No End: Militantly Melancholic Essays in Memory of Jacques Derrida, and Scatter 1: The Politics of Politics in Foucault, Heidegger, and Derrida. He is also the translator of many works by Derrida, Lyotard and other French thinkers, upon whom he has also written extensively.

Peggy Kamuf is Marion Frances Chevalier Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. Her books include Fictions of Feminine Desire: Disclosures of Heloise, Signature Pieces: On the Institution of Authorship, The Division of Literature, or the University in Deconstruction, Book of Addresses and To Follow: The Wake of Jacques Derrida. Professor Kamuf is also a renowned translator of Derrida as well as other French writers, and has edited several collections of work by Derrida including A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds, Without Alibi, and Psyche: Inventions of the Other. In 2014 Peggy Kamuf was named a Chevalier, or Knight, in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) by the French government, in recognition of her services to French culture and learning.

As well as their own writings and translation projects, Professors Kamuf and Bennington have collaborated with other noted scholars to bring Derrida’s teaching seminars into the public domain. Derrida’s seminars were courses taught in Paris, delivered in the form of fully written lectures that usually followed a set theme over a twelve to fifteen week period each year. During his lifetime, these materials—accumulated over more than forty years and estimated at some 14,000 pages—remained almost wholly unpublished. Supplementing the many texts written by Derrida for publication, the ongoing publication of this rich resource will be of inestimable value to scholars for many years to come. The decision by Derrida’s heirs to edit the unpublished seminars led to the formation in 2006 of an editorial team working under the guidance of Marguerite Derrida. This team includes Bennington and Kamuf, and other well-known Derrida scholars Marc Crépon (École Normale Supérieure, France), Thomas Dutoit (Université Lille-III, France), , Michel Lisse (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium), Marie-Louise Mallet (independent scholar, France), and Ginette Michaud (Université de Montréal, Canada).

Following the plan to publish Derrida’s final two-year seminar first of all, and to proceed thereafter in reverse chronological order, the team entrusted the editing of La Bête et le souverain, volumes I and II to Lisse, Mallet, and Michaud. The first volume was brought out in 2008 by Éditions Galilée, Derrida’s long-standing publisher in Paris, with volume II following shortly afterwards, itself followed by volume 1 of La peine de mort. 
(It was subsequently decided to alternate publication of the late seminars with courses from earlier years, the first of which, Heidegger: La question de l’être et l’histoire was published in 2013.) Concurrently, the Derrida Seminars Translation Project was formed and started planning an English-language edition of the French series. This edition, The Seminars of Jacques Derrida, has now begun to appear, co-edited by Bennington and Kamuf and published by the University of Chicago Press. In addition, a team has been assembled of other experienced translators of Derrida who will be responsible for translating the early volumes in the series. 
To support its activities, and the programme of publication, the Derrida Seminars Translation Project holds an annual summer workshop at IMEC, the archive facility in Caen, France, which houses some of Derrida’s papers.Since its inception, the Derrida Seminars Translation Project has been funded in several ways, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Kingston University is proud to support the ongoing work of the Project. For more information, click here

 


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