Origins and displacement: working through Derrida's African connections

Pal Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper seeks to understand the effects of Derrida's colonial origin upon his theory and considers, the implications, for his theory, of the suppression of that origin? It examines his Algerian locatedness. It questions the impact of his formative years on his later work and the implications of this for deconstructive theory or Derridean logocentrism. It questions whether his overall project reflects his colonial roots and the tensions which arise out of being relocated within a new culture. Is the fate of Derrida of belonging and not belonging in both French and Algerian culture, of occupying that in-between space, part of his own alterity which inevitably makes its way into his writings relevant to understanding his work? It considers his profound influence on contemporary thought and asks if it needs to be contextualised against the backdrop of Algeria and the experience of colonisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
JournalSocial Identities
Issue number3
Early online date4 Jul 2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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