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DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


A general term in the history of late twentieth-century thought that is used to designate, often dismissively, a wide range of discrete thinkers, including B arthes, Deleuze, de Man, Derrida, Foucault, Girard , and S aid . The word was coined to refer to the intellectual movements that emerged from the International Colloquium on Critical Languages and the Sciences of Man, which was held at Johns Hopkins University in 1966. Perhaps the most influential paper delivered at that conference was Derrida's “Structure, sign, and play in the discourse of the human sciences,” which was subsequently published in the proceedings of the conference ( The Structuralist Controversy) and as a chapter in Writing and Difference , with an important epigraph from Mallarmé's Un Coup de dés that anticipates post-structuralism. Although Derrida does not use the word “post-structuralism,” his essay offers the best opening into the concept. An important event has taken place in the concept of structure, he announces, (see S tructuralism ). Acknowledging that it may seem strange to use the word “event” in relation to S tructure he nevertheless proceeds to show that a rupture has occurred in this concept and in its history. Structure, as word and concept, is as old as Western science and philosophy. Indeed, it is so much a part of the root network of ordinary language and thought that it is easy to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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