Based on archival translations of a soon-to-be-published seminar by Jacques Derrida, The Reproduction of Life Death offers an unprecedented study of Derrida’s engagement with molecular biology and genetics. McCance shows how Derrida ties biological accounts of reproduction to the reproductive program of teaching, challenging an auto-reproductive notion of pedagogy, while also reinterpreting the work of psychoanalysis.
Structured as an itinerary of “three rings,” each departing from and coming back to Nietzsche, Derrida’s seminar ties Jacob’s logocentric account of reproduction to the reproductive program of teaching that characterizes the academic institution, challenging this mode of teaching as auto-reproduction along with the concept of “academic freedom” on which it is based.
McCance brings extensive archival research together with a background in genetics to offer a fascinating new account of an encounter between philosophy and the hard sciences that will be of interest to theorists in a wide range of disciplines concerned with the question of life.
Dawne McCance is Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. Her most recent book is Critical Animal Studies: An Introduction.
McCance, Dawne, "The Reproduction of Life Death [Table of Contents]" (2019). Philosophy. 15.