“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, December 14, 2015

British Ecological Deconstruction

This has become a thing, roughly since I published Ecology without Nature, but there was a sort of prelude to that in the work of John Llewelyn and David Wood. It's really quite extraordinary actually. You wouldn't have thought that deconstruction and ecological thought would go well together, but they really truly do. I'm reviewing this really interesting book in that regard, called Without Mastery by Sarah Wood. Like Anna Tsing's book, it's a massively empowering read--again, if you have prejudices you might not expect that out of deconstruction, but you'd be wrong.

If you look back over Derrida's work you'll see him talking along the lines of something almost ecological all the way back at least to Of Grammatology. So it's not just the “later” Derrida aka The Animal that Therefore I Am and so on...I tend to think that this “later Derrida” stuff ignores how consistent his thought is, just like how Graham argues about Heidegger's consistency (and there's another deconstructor...).

I'm a weird OOO-er, aren't I, because I sort of backed into it via deconstruction. It's possible!

So, my list of British deconstructors who write about ecology, a lot:

Timothy Clark
John Llewelyn
Nicholas Royle
David Wood
Sarah Wood

If we include Australia we also get Claire Colebrook...and if we include Canada, we get at the very least Matthew Calarco and David Clark...feel free to add names, I have to keep on reading Sarah wood's new book.


D. E.M. said...

I met Nicholas Royle when he gave a lecture on Manitoba a few years back. In the same place you talked! We had dinner and talked about the factory farming of chickens. He was lovely.

D. E.M. said...

Ugh sorry. A lecture in Manitoba. Not on. God no.

Unknown said...

I have question on Deconstruction and the ecological thought. Maybe it is stupid question because I am not a philosopher I am material scientist which implied that reading Derrida is not easy for scientific mind , but I go along. This being said; could you develop develop where int''of Grammatology" you see this connection between deconstruction and ecological thought ?
Thanks for your answer