French Theory in America  book cover
1st Edition

French Theory in America

ISBN 9780415925372
Published April 25, 2001 by Routledge
328 Pages

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Book Description

What does it mean to"do theory" in America? In what ways has "French Theory" changed American intellectual and artistic life? How different is it from what French intellectuals themselves conceived, and what does all this tell us about American intellectual life? Is "French Theory" still a significant force in America, raising conceptual questions not easily answered? In this volume of new work--including the French writers Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, and Gilled Delezue, as well as essays by Sylvere Lotringer and Sande Cohen, Mario Biagoli, Elie During, Chris Kraus, Alison Gingeras, and Kriss Ravetto, among others--French theorists assess the impact and reception of their work in America, and American-based critics account for their effects in different areas of cultural criticism and art over the last thirty years.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Few Theses on French Theory in America, Sylvere Lotringer & Sande Cohen Part One: Some Views from France 1. Deconstructions: The Im-possible, Jacques Derrida 2. For a Political Roland Barthes, Francoise Gaillard 3. Europhilia, Europhobia, Julia Kristeva 4. From Radical Incertitude, or Thought as Imposter, Jean Baudrillard 5. Sketch of an Intellectual Itinerary, Gerard Genette 6. Jacques Lacan or The Erasure of History, Elisabeth Roudinesco 7. What is the Creative Act?, Giles Deleuze Part Two: French Theory in America 8. Marshall McLuhan, Canadian Schizo-Jansenist and Psuedo-Joycean, Donald F. Thall 9. Doing Theory, Sylvere Lotringer 10. Blackboxing in Theory, Elie During 11. Critical Inquiry, October, and Historicizing French Theory, Sande Cohen 12. How French Is It?, Andrea Loselle 13. Frenchifying Film Studies, Kriss Ravetto 14. Disappearing Acts, Alison Gingeras 15. From Difference to Blackboxing, Mario Biagioli Appendices 16. Research Historians and French Theory, Sande Cohen 17. Sokal's New Clothes (Intermezzo), Elie During 18. Ecceity, Smash & Grab, The Expanded I and Moment, Chris Krauss

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Sylvere Lotringer is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and editor and publisher of Semiotext(e). Sande Cohen is Professor in the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts.


"Still a troubleshooting force in areas of thinking and artistic endeavor, French Theory is an object of fascination and phobic anxiety. Sylvere Lotringer--to whom we owe a debt of thanks for organizing the most subversive incursion of theory in America--together with Sande Cohen, has put together an outstanding collection of essays that interrogates the boundaries and territorialities of contemporary thought. Stripped of its French passport and equipped with fake American IDs, "French Theory" belongs, finally, to no recognizable national entity and cannot be reduced to an identity politics. Even as it morphs into familiar locutions and forms, it remains resolutely difficult, dense, exhilarating and defiant, at once responsible to the past and bravely forward-looking." -- Avital Ronell, New York University