Renowned contributors use the late work of this crucial figure to open new speculations on "materiality."
A "material event," in one of Paul de Man's definitions, is a piece of writing that enters history to make something happen. This interpretation hovers over the publication of this volume, a timely reconsideration of de Man's late work in its complex literary, critical, cultural, philosophical, political, and historical dimensions.
Responding to the problematic of "materialism" as posed in Paul de Man's posthumous last book, Aesthetic Ideology, a diverse and distinguished group of scholars explores the question of "material events" in ways that illuminate not just de Man's work but their own, work at the forefront of critical theory, productive thinking, and writing in the humanities. The contributors work in disciplines ranging from art history to psychoanalysis, from literary studies and philosophy to political science, and include Jacques Derrida, who returns in an extended essay to a celebrated episode in Rousseau's Confessions discussed by de Man in Allegories of Reading.
The importance of de Man's late work is related to a broad range of subjects and categories and-in Derrida's provocative reading of de Man's concept of "materiality"-the politico-autobiographical texts of de Man himself. This collection is essential reading for all those interested in the present state of literary and cultural theory.
Contributors: Judith Butler, UC Berkeley; T. J. Clark, UC Berkeley; Jacques Derrida, cole des Hautes tudes en Sciences Sociales and UC Irvine; Barbara E. Johnson, Harvard U; Ernesto Laclau, U of Essex; Arkady Plotnitsky, Purdue U; Laurence Rickels, UC Santa Barbara; and Michael Sprinker.
Tom Cohen is professor and chair of English at the State University of New York, Albany. Barbara Cohen is director of Humanitech and senior editor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. J. Hillis Miller is distinguished professor of English and comparative literature, and Andrzej Warminski is professor of English and comparative literature, both at the University of California, Irvine.
Translation Inquiries: University of Minnesota Press