Invention and the Impossible: Twenty Years of Deconstruction with and without Jacques Derrida

The Editorial Team of Philosophy and Society, an international peer-reviewed and open-access journal issued by the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of the University of Belgrade, is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for its 2024 Special Issue which is dedicated to the topic “Inventions of the Impossible: Twenty Years of Deconstruction without and with Jacques Derrida.” The Special Issue will be guest-edited by Andrea Perunović (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade). 


Forty years ago, in 1984, Jacques Derrida enounced in his Psyche: Inventions of the Other that “deconstruction is inventive or it is nothing at all.” Its peculiar inventiveness – and therefore its interest, force and desire too – reside in an experience of the impossible, in the invention of the other. Contrary to stereotypical and often biased understandings, deconstruction always begins with a bold affirmation—a "yes" that opens spaces of unconditional hospitality towards what is to come, thus inevitably linking deconstruction with radically unpredictable alterities. Moreover, its inventions do not amount to a set of predetermined rules, strategies or methods, they open passageways, they go ahead marking trails that will eventually end up deconstructing the very concept of invention. Derrida’s quasi-concepts such as différance, archi-writing, trace, gramme, supplement, undecidability, but also hospitality, gift, mourning, justice and democracy to come, are just some of deconstruction’s impossible, aporetic inventions, that keep on unsettling our all too well sedimented discourses, institutions and politics. 


Today, twenty years after Derrida’s passing, deconstruction is haunting (maybe more than ever) the global academia. Deconstructive thinking is lately enduring harsh assaults from its detractors (especially in France and the United States, where deconstruction saw its first developments), and is being accused of sheer destruction of the most fundamental concepts, values and institutions of the Western world – such as democracy, university, law or the republic. And indeed, there was never such a thing as a forbidden land for deconstruction. Yet for example, when deconstruction considers the role of law, it does so precisely in the name of justice; when it proposes the idea of counterinstitution, it aims at reinventing and strengthening existing institutions; when it questions the flaws of our current democratic systems, it does so only in the name of the democracy to come (Alfandry, I., Rogozinsky J., Berger A. Qui a peur de la déconstruction, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2023).  


In that respect, this Special Issue, marking the twenty years of Derrida’s death, is not an appeal for arguments that will somehow justify the deconstruction in the eyes of its critics, but rather an invitation, a call for articulations of the new experiences of the impossible, for contributions that would reinvent deconstructive approaches for the 21st century. What is the role of deconstruction today? What are the specific processes (démarches) that situate deconstruction beyond the limits of critique, analysis, interpretation and even methodology? How does deconstruction relate today to literature, psychoanalysis, art, music, architecture and other disciplines?  What are the political stakes of deconstruction? Is there such a thing as an ethics of deconstruction? Is deconstruction an engaged form of thought, and if so, what are its outmost engagements? Can deconstruction bring about social change, rightly so by demanding and inventing the impossible? 


We welcome contributions that examine these questions and topics as well as contributions that engage with any other aspects of deconstruction and Derrida’s body of work in general. 




Deadline for Paper Submissions: August 1, 2024. 

General Guidelines: Papers should be between 5.000 and 10.000 words in length, written in English or French, and follow the ASA citation style. For further information about the Journal’s guidelines for authors, please see the Submissions page. 

Review Process: All submitted papers will be subjected to the double-blind peer-review process. 

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Guest Editor(s) at: 

Andrea Perunović: