Derrida & Education

Derrida & Education

Derrida & Education

Derrida & Education


Among educational theorists and philosophers there is growing interest in the work of Jacques Derrida and his philosophy of deconstruction. This important new book shows how his work provides a highly relevant perspective on the aims, content and nature of education in contemporary, multicultural societies.


The idea of a book about Derrida and education came to us a few years ago as we found ourselves turning with increasing interest and frequency to Derrida's texts, in search of a new way to think education and about education and its challenges in today's societies. While ethical and political questions about education have become increasingly pressing, it is time to recognize that Derrida's work has been precisely addressing these issues, and that it is doing so in a new and unprecedented manner.

That we are not alone in our conviction that Derrida's thought has much to offer to educators and education in a wide variety of different national, cultural, and educational contexts became quite clear when we started working on this book. We are proud of the fact that this project has become truly international and that, although the final texts are all in English, we have been able to cross some of the language, national, and institutional borders.

As is often the case, the period between the conception and the completion of this project was longer than we initially anticipated. Therefore, we would like to thank our authors for their patience and their ongoing support. We would also like to thank the editorial team at Routledge for their support, and our publisher who, in a time where economical considerations have become more and more imperative, was willing to take the risk of publishing this book. We want to thank the anonymous reviewers of our book proposal for posing very challenging questions.

Over the past years we have become increasingly aware that a project like this can hardly be undertaken without the use of modern communication technologies. Yet our fondest memories are not so much of the hundreds of e-mails which went across the oceans, but of the times and places - Paris, Vancouver, Baton Rouge, Gouda, Toronto, New Orleans - where we met, sat down, had long discussions about the project, and also dreamed a little about the book taking shape.

A final note: this book is also, among many other things, about questioning hierarchies. We both contributed equally and non-hierarchically to the conception, the promotion, and the editing of the book. Therefore the order in which our names appear on the cover only follows an alphabetical convention that we are more than happy to disrupt right here and right now.

Baton Rouge and Exeter
May 2000

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