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The American Politics of French Theory

Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault in Translation

by (author) Jason Demers

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2018
General, General, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
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Working from the premise that May ‘68 is a shorthand that delimits an intensive decade of global revolt, Jason Demers documents the cross-pollination of French philosophy, international activist movements, and American countercultures. From the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and George Jackson to the revolt at Columbia University, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Woodstock, and the Weather Underground, Demers writes French theory into a constellation of American events and icons uncontained by national borders.


More than a compelling new take on the history of theory, The American Politics of French Theory develops concepts gleaned from the work of Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault, providing new tools for thinking about translation, theory, and politics. By recontextualizing "French theory" within a complex fabric of mass communication and global revolt, Demers demonstrates why it is politically potent and methodologically necessary to think of translation associatively.

About the author

Jason Demers is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Regina. He resides in Regina, SK.

Jason Demers' profile page


  • Winner, The Robert K. Martin prize awarded by the Canadian Association for American Studies

Editorial Reviews

"Demers treats the relationship between French theory and American politics as associative and dynamic rather than as causal and linear. He writes deftly across cultures and established narratives, linking texts to politics both empirically and imaginatively – a difficult undertaking that involves managing an extensive secondary as well as primary literature."

<EM>H-France Review</EM>

“Demers’ book provides a new and stimulating perspective on thinkers who, to many of us, have become all too familiar.”

<em>Journal of Modern History</em>

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