Wednesday, October 05, 2016

"An Indigenous Creation"

"Today, deconstructive habits of mind within the academy are largely considered not so much controversial as passé. Still, there remains the question of how and why the deconstructive tradition became such a formidable pattern of thought in the United States. To answer that question, Americans might—in an ironic twist—consider the February 2014 protests in France against the legalization of same-sex marriage. Those protestors objected to the equality advanced by the new grade school pedagogy ostensibly inspired by American gender theory, above all that of deconstructionist Judith Butler. 'La théorie du genre,' according to French protestors, originated on the other side of the Atlantic. We might also consider why, as Fredric Jameson noted in 2015, Americans tend to believe the 'good tidings' of theory—including deconstruction—were brought from Europe, while Chinese literary scholars, say, consider theory an American invention. These perceptions of the origin and flow of ideas should give pause to those who consider deconstruction essentially French."

Gregory Jones-Katz in the Boston Review asserts that "deconstructive literary theory was largely" an American phenomenon.

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