This syllabus is subject to change. The latest version on this website is the binding syllabus.

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Office Hours: Wed and by appointment.
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WEEK 10: Deconstruction
5 November

Are structural configurations capable of generating meaning? What motivates the use of philosophical language, literary language? How do we read literary claims against this motivation? How do we know the motivations are accurate? What makes synthetic a priori cognition of literary language possible?

How does Derrida respond to the notion that language structures reality? What is the relation between (scientific and literary language) and the world outside of language--is there such a world?

How do critics enact the charge to "open up a new space of reading"? How do we characterize American Deconstruction?

Where is a C-sharp when it's not being played by an instrument? Is that blip on the screen a plane, or a cluster of pixels? What conditions must be met before you react to that blip as if it were a plane? Does the operator know that a plane is actually there? Does it matter?


1) Deconstruction: Theory and Practice, Christopher Norris (Routledge, 2002). All.

2) Antony Easthope, Literary into Cultural Studies (Routledge, 1991), selections.

3) Herman Rapaport, The Theory Mess: Deconstruction in Eclipse (Columbia UP, 2001), selections.