The American Politics of French Theory: Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault in Translation
Working from the premise that May ‘68 is a shorthand that delimits an intensive decade of global revolt, Jason Demers documents the cross-pollination of French philosophy, international activist movements, and American countercultures. From the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and George Jackson to the revolt at Columbia University, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Woodstock, and the Weather Underground, Demers writes French theory into a constellation of American events and icons uncontained by national borders.
More than a compelling new take on the history of theory, The American Politics of French Theory develops concepts gleaned from the work of Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault, providing new tools for thinking about translation, theory, and politics. By recontextualizing "French theory" within a complex fabric of mass communication and global revolt, Demers demonstrates why it is politically potent and methodologically necessary to think of translation associatively.
- Series: Cultural Spaces
- World Rights
- Page Count: 232 pages
- Illustrations: 7
- Dimensions: 6.1in x 1.1in x 9.1in
"Demers treats the relationship between French theory and American politics as associative and dynamic rather than as causal and linear. He writes deftly across cultures and established narratives, linking texts to politics both empirically and imaginatively – a difficult undertaking that involves managing an extensive secondary as well as primary literature."
Carolyn J. Dean, Yale University
"The American Politics of French Theory offers not only a rethinking of 'French theory' as a Franco-American formation, but it demonstrates how we cannot and indeed should not think of a series of events and texts independently from the radical political movements of the 1960s and 1970s."
David Pettersen, Associate Professor, Department of French and Italian, University of Pittsburgh
"Analyzing the interconnected spaces of New York activism in the 1960s, which both inspired and transformed the work of French thinkers like Deleuze and Guattari, The American Politics of French Theory takes you on a fascinating journey crossing in and out of disciplines, and across the Atlantic. By reconstructing this neglected counter-narrative, Jason Demers makes an extremely valuable contribution to the literature on French theory in America."
Edward Baring, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Drew University
"The American Politics of French Theory makes an extraordinary contribution to history, philosophy, and literary studies. In many ways, we have been waiting for such a work for a long time. It addresses the fundamental, unsolved mystery of how French theory developed at the crossroads of French intellectual culture and American cultural politics."
Julian Bourg, Associate Professor, Department of History, Boston College
Author InformationJason Demers is an instructor in the Department of English at the University of Regina.
Table of contents
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Margins, Rhizomes, Relays, and Conversation – Thinking Translation Associatively
1. Translating Margins: Paris–Derrida–New York, 1968
2. Translating Movement: Going Underground with Deleuze and Guattari
I. Paris X New York with Jean-Jacques Lebel
II. For the Movement of Columbia (from the Movement in Columbia)
III. Becoming Allies. Becoming Women’s LibeRATion
3. Prison Liberation by Association: Michel Foucault and the George Jackson Atlantic
4. In Search of Common Ground: On Semiotext(e) and Schizo-Culture
Conclusion: Disseminating Foreign Principles
Subjects and Courses