The program seeks to introduce the community to the work of Jacques Derrida and to what has come to be called 'deconstruction' through the prism of the ongoing debate concerning 'fake news,' specifically as it pertains to political discourse.
We will attempt to demonstrate why this problem is not susceptible to technological, pedagogical or psychological explanations or solutions. 'Fake news' is, in short, here to stay - even if this in no way leaves us powerless to combat it. We will consider how Derrida's work opens ways for contesting fake news and its implications for our own political moment.
The program will assume no familiarity with Derrida's work or the tradition from which it arises. It will instead start with every day questions and attempt to show how serious contemplation of these questions inevitably leads to an engagement with questions very much at stake in Derrida's work specifically, and 'deconstruction' in general.
Ethan Wells, a one time student of Jacques Derrida, was most recently a Ph.D student in French literature at Boston College. He is interested in making Derrida's work and its relevance to our own moment as accessible as possible to a wider audience.