“What might eco-deconstrction be?”

Deadline: 31 Janaury 2022
Contact: Timothy Clark, Prof emeritus Durham University, UK, Oxford Literary Review
Email: [email protected]

Oxford Literary Review 45.1, July 2023. “What might Eco-deconstruction be?”

It is not I who deconstruct; rather, something I called ‘deconstruction’ happens to the experience of a world, a culture, a philosophic tradition: ‘it’ deconstructs, ça ne va pas, there is something that budges, that is in the process of being dislocated, disjointed, disadjoined, and of which I begin to be aware. Something is ‘deconstructing’ and it has to be answered for.” (Jacques Derrida, in A Taste for the Secret (2001).

We invite abstracts of up to 500 words for papers that respond to the question: “What might eco-deconstruction be?” Publications such as Eco-Deconstruction: Derrida and Environmental Philosophy (2018) use the term “eco-deconstruction” to acknowledge an inflection of perceptions and readings of Jacques Derrida’s thinking, motivated in part by the ongoing posthumous publication of his seminars. Almost twenty years after his death, one is far more likely today to encounter references to Derrida’s work with respect to animality, biological life and death, biopolitics, materialism, the metaphysics of space and time, realism – and indeed the earth and ecology, not to mention viral pandemics – than in older discussions of ‘(post)structuralism,’ ‘the free play of signification,’ or broader considerations of ‘the linguistic turn.’

We welcome proposed submissions that engage some or all of the following questions: is the neologism “eco-deconstruction” a valuable one, or might some argue that the addition of “eco” to “deconstruction” is needless, even modish, and that deconstruction always was “eco” (whatever “eco” means)?; might the addition of “eco-” in the context of a multifarious environmental crisis announce a form of deconstructive reading whose revisionist force would even encompass accounts of Derrida’s own work?; what eco-deconstructive analyses and questions might follow from figures “adjacent” to Derrida – Maurice Blanchot, Hélène Cixous, François Laruelle, Catherine Malabou, Jean-Luc Nancy or Bernard Stiegler, and others; might “eco-deconstruction” instantiate a practice of thought against or in conversation with the arguable simplifications of movements such as the “new materialism,” “speculative realism” and “object-oriented ontology”; and, finally, given that Derrida’s work was deeply associated with questions of the literary and the aesthetic, how do such questions problematise environmental criticism (e.g. so-called “ecocriticism”) today?

The OLR is the UK’s oldest journal of literary theory, published by Edinburgh University Press (see https://www.euppublishing.com/loi/olr) Expressions of interest, with an abstract of up to 500 words for a proposed paper of maximum of 6000 words, are invited by the end of January 2022. Contact [email protected] and [email protected].The deadline for completed submissions would then be end January 2023, for a publication date of July 2023.

Posted on December 19, 2021