Re: deconstruction v. genealogy

I tend to side with the view that Foucault and Derrida (or at least Genealogy
and Deconstruction, if we figure these two discourses to be separate from
their authors) have a lot in common. As to the perceived difference, i.e.,
that Deconstruction appears to have a more radical, liberating impetus,
I have some comments.

I think its safe to say that while Foucault's writings gave new breath to
the Feminist and Ethnic (for lack of a better word) movement, Deconstruction
has a much more immediate and profound effect on the structure of
academia. A concrete example would be the decentering of the literary
canon. All of a sudden questions such as "what/who/how should we teach in
our schools" become valid.

I guess the point I'm getting at is that Decon is perceive to be more radical
because of its particular challenge to the academic establishment. And while
there is this notion of a decentering activity in Foucault's work, the dynamic
is not so much a "deconstructing of the center". Rather, it is an identification
of forces that govern systems of thought.

To further my point, one might compare two essays dealing with the same
subject: Barthes' "Death of the Author" and Foucault's "What is an Author?"
The titles alone are very revealing.



Partial thread listing: