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Desire in Ashes: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Philosophy

Posted: Friday 29 Jan 2016
by LGS 0 comments

The indebtedness of contemporary thinkers to Derrida’s project of deconstruction is unquestionable, whether as a source of inspiration or the grounds of critical antagonism.

This collection edited by Simon Morgan Wortham and Chiara Alfano considers how best to recall deconstruction? Rather than reduce it to an object of historical importance or memory, these essays analyze its significance in terms of complex matrices of desire; provoked in this way, deconstruction cannot be dismissed as ‘dead’, nor unproblematically defended as alive and well.

Repositioned on the threshold of life-death, deconstruction profoundly complicates the field of critical thought which still struggles to memorialize, inter, or reduce the deconstructive corpus to ashes.


Simon Morgan Wortham and Chiara Alfano

Chapter 1
Ashes to Ashes: Derrida’s Holocaust
Gil Anidjar

Chapter 2
‘There shall be no mourning’
Simon Morgan Wortham

Chapter 3
Transference Love in the Age of ‘Isms’

Herman Rapaport

Chapter 4
Kindling; or, Suicide by Fire
Elissa Marder

Chapter 5
Fort Spa: In at the Deep End with Derrida and Ferenczi
Lynn Turner

Chapter 6
Neurosciences: The Obverse Side of Jacques Derrida’s ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing’
Céline Surprenant

Chapter 7
The Desire for Survival?
Kas Saghafi

Chapter 8
The King is Dead! Long Live the King!
Chiara Alfano



“Desire-which can never go out of fashion, never cease to move, never settle finally on its proper object-and “deconstruction,” a term, a movement, an intellectual style, a form of thought surely time-stamped, maybe even expired. This marvellous collection of essays shows us that deconstruction’s long, unthought concern with desire-primarily in Derrida’s work, but also in his closest readers’, American as well as European-lets us think beyond its seeming end; and how desire’s stubborn persistence, its endlessness, inasmuch as it is deconstruction in act and thought, infuses the work of religion, philosophy, ethics, and historiography. Desire in Ashes realigns thought: it is scholarship at its most consequential and urgent.” – Jacques Lezra, Professor of Spanish, English, and Comparative Literature, New York University, USA

“Readers interested in the futures of deconstruction and its intersections with contemporary thought will find the publication of Desire in Ashes a welcome event. This well-timed, thoughtful book makes the Derridean analysis of desire a source of deconstruction’s continued liveliness and taps its energies in a wide-ranging collection of essays to make the point.” – Ellen S. Burt, Professor of French and Italian, University of california, Irvine, USA

“Desire in Ashes is a rich and fascinating volume. Bringing together an impressive range of scholars, Morgan Wortham and Alfano’s book offers something not available elsewhere: an excellent, focused collection of insights and explorations concerning the ways in which psychoanalysis and deconstruction have transformed our understanding of the nature of desire.” – Nicholas Royle, Professor of English, University of Sussex, UK
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LGS 2017 Summer Academy Progamme: '1967'

Tuesday 09 May 2017
Posted in Blog

This is the final programme for the 2017 London Graduate School Summer Academy in the Critical Humanities, on the topic of '1967': Monday 26 June 1pm...