Penelope Deutscher | Northwestern University, Evanston
>This Death Which Is Not one< (THE Exception OF Women IN Derrida's Death Penalty Seminar)


In his recently published Death Penalty seminar, Derrida describes death as distributed between the threshold states of termination of heart, brain and breath. He considers the death penalty in terms of a phantasmatic sovereign decision: the determination of the moment of death. But he also revisits a longstanding dialogue with Foucault. As Derrida returns to Discipline and Punish, as he too considers the perversions of philanthropic, humanist cruelty, their different treatments of sovereign power and sovereign decision lurk. In fact this becomes a means of reconstructing an even more dissonant dialogue: what kind of provocation to Foucault can we find in Derrida’s renewed interest in the Death Penalty in sexual difference, in the “sex which is not one”?

Penelope Deutscher is Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and specializes in twentieth-century and contemporary French philosophy, philosophy of gender and their overlaps. She is co-director of Northwestern's Critical Theory Cluster. She studied in Paris with Sarah Kofman and in Australia with Genevieve Lloyd, followed by her first  position  at Australian National University, before  moving to the United States. She is the author of Yielding Gender: Feminism, Deconstruction and the History of Philosophy (Routledge 1997); A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray (Cornell University Press, 2002), How to Read Derrida (Granta/Norton 2006), and The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Ambiguity, Conversion, Resistance (Cambridge University Press, 2008). She is also the co-editor of volumes on Sarah Kofman, and gender in anglo-american political philosophy amongst other collective projects. Her current manuscripts in progress include From Analogy , a project revisiting analogy as a contradictory mode of proximity ,  as a recurring preoccupation of historical rights claims and as a mode of conceptualizing their auto-immunity. She is currently completing the book  Foucault"s Children: Biopolitics, Thanatopolitcs and Reproductive Futurism.


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