oa Alternation - Checking the Post: Derrida and the Apartheid Debate

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



The text of apartheid continues to be an important source of critical investigation and contention within contemporary South Africa because of the history of race classification whose effects and affects counter-sign the constitution of a democratic post-apartheid South Africa. This paper is an investigation of Jacques Derrida's intervention into the debate on apartheid in the mid 1980s. Although my own discussion of the debate will proceed through analysis of the three major texts informing the debate-that is, Derrida's 'Racism's Last Word', Anne McClintock and Rob Nixon's response, 'No Names Apart: The Separation of Word and History in Derrida's ""Le Dernier Mot du Rascime''', and Derrida's scathing rejoinder, 'But, Beyond ... (Open Letter to Anne McClintock and Rob Nixon)'-I will not follow the debate to the letter. As the text of the debate on apartheid neither begins nor ends in Critical Inquiry I will variously draw from other contributions. At issue are four major questions.

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