Jacques Derrida participates in Oct. 26 symposium

New York University is hosting a month-long series of discussions, film screenings, art exhibitions, concerts and a poetry reading recognizing the work and influence of internationally acclaimed French scholar and iconoclastic philosopher Jacques Derrida. Derrida will participate in the closing symposium on October 26, featuring renowned Slovenian intellectual Slavoj Zizek along with leading scholars from NYU and Columbia University. Renowned as the inventor of “deconstruction,” Derrida has influenced writers, artists and filmmakers worldwide. “Derrida’s work has undeniable relevance for contemporary post-modern culture,” said NYU art professor Benjamin Binstock, the creator and director of Derrida Month. “He has seized the popular imagination and has been the subject of lively debates among intellectuals. The breadth and significance of his work can be measured by the interdisciplinary interest in his ideas reaching far beyond the boundaries of the academic community,” said Binstock, who will moderate the concluding symposium with Derrida. Program highlights include:

Thursday, Oct. 5 JEWISH DECONSTRUCTION (Exhibition Opening and Discussion) NYU Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street at East 9th Street 5 p.m. Exhibit Opening: “Across the Veil” Rosenberg Gallery

6 p.m. Scholars of Judaic thought come to terms with the resonance between Derrida’s work and Jewish themes and perspectives. Elliot Wolfson, NYU Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew Studies and Director of Religious Studies, will discuss “Jewish Mysticism and Deconstruction.” Columbia University religious studies professor Susan Shapiro will discuss “Derrida: The Uncanny Jew.” (Einstein Auditorium, Barney Building)

Thursday, Oct. 12: VIDEO DERRIDA (Screening) NYU Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street at East 9th Street, 6 p.m. Screening of French documentary, D’ailleurs Derrida; followed by a discussion with the film’s director Safaa Fathy. Fathy co-authored “Tourner les Mots” with Jacques Derrida. The evening includes screenings of other short films and videos.

Thursday Oct. 19: DERRIDA AND HIS NON-CONTEMPORARIES (Discussion) NYU Main Building, 100 Washington Square East, Room 703 6 p.m. NYU classics professor Seth Benardete will discuss “Derrida and Plato;” NYU French Department professor Anne Deneys-Tunney, an expert on Diderot and eighteenth-century French philosophy, will discuss “Derrida: Inside/Outside the Eighteenth Century.”

Thursday Oct. 26: CELEBRATING DECONSTRUCTION SYMPOSIUM Orensanz, 172 Norfolk St. at East Houston Street 4:30-7:30 p.m. A symposium featuring a discussion with Derrida and some of the most provocative voices in critical theory today. Participants: Jacques Derrida, Écoles des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France NYU Professor Avital Rosnell, of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, on “Abraham, Franz and Jacques”

Gayatri Spivak, professor of comparative literature, Columbia University, will discuss her paper, “Touched by Deconstruction”

Slovenian intellectual Slavoj Zizek, Institute for Sociology and Philosophy, Ljubjlana, Slovenia

Moderator: Benjamin Binstock, professor of critical studies, NYU Department of Art and Art Professions

8:30 and 11:30 PM Concert at Tonic, 107 Norfolk St. at Delancey: “Cobra + n (aural-oral deconstruction)” by John Zorn. For ticket information, call Tonic at 212-358-7504.

All readings, exhibits, and discussions are free, but require tickets for admission. For ticket information, call 212-998-5799. Information about other activities during Derrida Month is available at http://www.nyu.edu/projects/derrida/.

Derrida Month is sponsored and hosted by the NYU School of Education, Department of Art and Art Professions. Co-sponsors include NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, La Maison Française, Skirball Center for Judaic and Hebrew Studies, Office of Student Affairs, Grey Art Gallery, Center for Media, Culture and History, and Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life.

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