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Guide to the Jacques Derrida Papers
MS-C001  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection is comprised of manuscripts, typescripts, recordings, photographs, and an extensive clippings file documenting the professional career of Jacques Derrida and providing comprehensive documentation of his activities as a student, teacher, scholar, and public figure. In addition, Derrida's files on the 1988 controversy regarding Paul de Man's World War II-era writings are also included. Best known for the development of "deconstruction," Derrida was trained as a philosopher, but his work engages and transverses numerous other discourses such as literature, politics, law, religion, psychoanalysis, and ethnography. Ranging from his early work as a student to his recent seminars, the material in the archive spans from circa 1946 to 2000. The collection contains numerous pages of notes and written reports that reflect Derrida's academic training under the tutelage of figures such as Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault. His commitment to teaching is documented by a full collection of teaching notes for the multitude of seminars that he has taught over the course of his career. The more public side of Derrida is also well represented by notes, working drafts, final drafts, and other materials related to his vast published output. With the exception of the photographs, the collection contains no material that might be described as "personal," such as private correspondence. The vast majority of the materials are in French.
Background
Jacques Derrida was born in El-Biar, Algeria on July 15, 1930. He spent his childhood attending primary schools in El-Biar and Algiers until the beginning of Pétainisation within the Algerian school system in 1940, at which point Derrida and other Jewish students began to experience forms of anti-Semitism in the classroom; by 1942 he was barred completely from attending class at the Lycée Ben Aknoum. Although the Germans never occupied Algeria, Derrida was not allowed to return to school until the spring of 1943. During the interim, he attended the Lycée Emile-Maupas, which was run by Jewish teachers expelled from the public school system, but Derrida frequently avoided the classroom.
Extent
59.4 linear feet (150 boxes and 15 oversize folders)
Restrictions
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to quote or publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Availability
Collection is open for research. Access to fragile originals is restricted when preservation photocopies are available. Access to original audio and video cassettes is restricted.