Geoffrey Bennington

Geoffrey Bennington (born 1956) is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of French and Professor of Comparative Literature at Emory University in Georgia, United States, and Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland,[1] as well as a member of the International College of Philosophy in Paris. He is a literary critic and philosopher, best known as an expert on deconstruction and the works of Jacques Derrida and Jean-François Lyotard. Bennington has translated many of Derrida's works into English.


Bennington received his B.A., M.A., and D.Phil. from Oxford University.

Teaching positionsEdit

He took up a teaching appointment at the University of Sussex at Brighton, where he created an M.A. program in Modern French Thought and twice served as chair of the French department. Since arriving at Emory in 2001, he has chaired both the French and the Comparative Literature Departments.[2]


He co-wrote the book Jacques Derrida with Derrida. Bennington's contribution, "Derridabase", is an attempt to provide a comprehensive explication of Derrida's work. "Derridabase" appears on the upper two-thirds of the book's pages, while Derrida's contribution, "Circumfession", is written on the lower third of each page. Derrida's "Circumfession" is, among other things, intended to show how Derrida's work exceeds Bennington's explication: by introducing details about his own circumcision and its possible meanings Derrida shows the impossibility of such a regulated database of his writings. Many of Bennington's essays on Derrida collected in Legislations, Interrupting Derrida, and Not Half No End, have criticized explanations of Derrida's work attempted by other scholars. Bennington has also written two monographs on Lyotard, Writing the Event and Late Lyotard, and has also written extensively on Rousseau and Kant, developing original accounts of the "paradox of the legislator" in the former and "interrupted teleology" in the latter. He is currently writing a deconstructive account of political philosophy.

He has translated a number of works by Derrida and others, and is General Editor (with Peggy Kamuf) of the English translations of Derrida's posthumously published seminars.

He has at times tried to engage members of the British press hostile to Derrida's work and has also attempted to explicate the relationship between deconstruction and analytic philosophy, which has generally had difficulties receiving work by Derrida and others.



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