The book’s author is Francois Cusset, who sets himself the tasks of To this hope, French theory (and much thought that precedes it) says. françois Cusset’s work on french theory, foucault, Derrida, Deleuze and Co. and the transformations of intellectual life in the. United States, has not yet been. Last week, while rushing to finish up a review of Francois Cusset’s French Theory : How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the.

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Most important, it impels cusste to inquire why for a time French thought managed to flourish in American universities while French intellectuals rapidly abandoned the entire paradigm. Advertise About Contact Subscribe. Iona Uricaru – – Substance 35 1: I also question whether the American reception was as misguided as Cusset portrays and whether the French erasure was as complete. The boilerplate account of how poststructuralism came to the United States usually begins with visit of Lacan, Derrida, and company to Johns Hopkins University for a conference in — then never really imagines any of their ideas leaving campus.

Home Current Catalogs Blog. There and Back French Theory is a significant contribution to the scholarship in both literary theory and cultural studies.

One of Cusset’s keenest insights is presented in the section entitled the “politics of quotation” where he articulates the ways that strategies of encapsulation created an “uprooting and reassembling” that allowed the American proponents of French Theory to legitimate or authorize their work by recourse to quotations while at the same time altering that work to fit their own practical intellectual or political agenda.

Philosophy in Review 28 6: Of course the only sensible thing to do was to ignore this development entirely. Instead, it would be much more fitting to say that French Theory is an investigation of the workings of franckis C.

A Turning Point 4. Cusset is fascinated by the simultaneous American invention and French erasure of French Theory and his investigation into the social, frencj, and vrancois causes of this transatlantic divergence takes the reader on a journey from the “public birth” of post-structuralism at the Johns Hopkins University conference that brought Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan and others to the United States and together for the first time, through the mutations and revisions of French Theory in the American academic, cultural, and political landscape up to our current moment.


Sorry, we could not verify that email address. A Global Legacy According to Cusset, it was in these “niche markets” of academic culture that the “most sophisticated tools of textual analysis and the new university came to be applied to subjects as wide ranging as gangsta rap, “Harlequin” romance readers, Star Trek fans, and even the supposed ‘philosophical’ subtext of the Seinfeld series.

Review of Franois Cusset, French Theory: Careers made and ruined, departments torn apart, writing programs turned into sensitivity seminars, political witch hunts, public opprobrium, ignorant media attacks, the francoi ball of wax.

The irony is that it was “precisely because it posed a problem to American higher education, and a fortiori to the age of utilitarianism, that French theory claimed to be useful”. Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity. The Academic Enclave 3. Scott McLemee checks it out. But the emphasis on the market driven appropriation of French Theory in America, in distinction to the summary dismissal of the same thinkers in France, also reveals the way that this book is less of a reception history and more of a sustained argument about the merits of French Theory and the ways that intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic have squandered this precious resource.

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But this is a tall order and Cusset has achieved much. The Uses of Theory 6.

The repeated attacks on these vrench theorists in France would suggest otherwise From Surrealism to Postmodernism. Sign in Create an account. You will no longer have access to your profile. Added to PP index Total downloads 2of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 1of 2, How can I increase my downloads? His book is a wonderful addition to American and French intellectual history that will force us to reconsider the history, place, and role of French Theory on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Review of Francois Cusset, “French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Dele” by Ethan Kleinberg

Get our free daily newsletter. Cusset reads as genealogy—multiplying perspectives, avoiding the false coherence of a smooth narrative, and thus keeps certain cultural-intellectual problems alive. We’ve sent an email with instructions to create a new password, which can be used in addition to your linked social providers.

Check your email for your verification email, or enter your email address in the form below to resend the email. Even so, the book is in some sense more Millsian in spirit than the author himself may realize. This rhizomatic proliferation of French Theory soon led to the sort of mutations that ultimately made the American variant unrecognizable in France and provides an answer to Cusset’s central question.


But that is only one aspect of the story, and by no means the most interesting or rewarding. But, according to Cusset, this was because in America French Theory “signifies nothing other than becoming able, through rhetorical turns and lexical ruses, to make Foucault or Derrida not so much into references as into common nouns”.

For Cusset, the repudiation of these thinkers left France isolated and despite “the cant and the campus rituals surrounding them” the American discussions of French Theory “have been more in touch with the world and the ongoing processes of pluralization and absorption or of exclusion and integration than the French debates during the same period.

Already have an account? Find it on Scholar. Read it and laugh or read it and weep.

François Cusset – Wikipedia

The emphasis on crafting the argument leads to a dramatic conclusion but also to some blindspots of Cusset’s own. How to write an effective diversity statement as a job candidate opinion.

This email address was registered with a social account. In other words, French Theory did not exist in France and its popularity in America was the result of a new market that desired theogy product. Michel Foucault in Continental Philosophy.

French Theory

The Ideological Backlash 8. Arnold Ira Davidson ed. That fernch title of a French book was in English is not so much lost in translation as short-circuited by it.

Thus the answer to Cusset’s guiding question is that while in France Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, and company remained a disparate group of frnech, in America they were all incorporated under the “brand name” French Theory tellingly written in English in the French version of the book and applied in accordance with market forces.

During the last three decades of the twentieth century, a disparate group of radical French thinkers achieved an improbable level of influence and fame in the United States. We’ve francoks an email with instructions to create a new password.