The Deconstruction of Sex

The Deconstruction of Sex

a Cultural Politics Book

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Book Pages: 120 Illustrations: Published: September 2021

Author(s): Jean-Luc Nancy, Irving Goh

Contributor: Claire Colebrook

Gender and Sexuality > Sex and Sexuality, Politics > Political Theory, Theory and Philosophy > Critical Theory

In The Deconstruction of Sex, Jean-Luc Nancy and Irving Goh discuss how a deconstructive approach to sex helps us negotiate discourses about sex and foster a better understanding of how sex complicates our everyday existence in the age of #MeToo. Throughout their conversation, Nancy and Goh engage with topics ranging from relation, penetration, and subjection to touch, erotics, and jouissance. They show how despite being entrenched in social norms and central to our being-in-the-world, sex lacks a clearly defined essence. At the same time, they point to the potentiality of literature to inscribe the senses of sex. In so doing, Nancy and Goh prompt us to reconsider our relations to ourselves and others through sex in more sensitive, respectful, and humble ways without bracketing the troubling aspects of sex.


“Happily, no one will leave this book with an understanding of sex. To the contrary, these trenchant and provocative dialogues challenge any construction of sex that relies on a copular verb. As astutely as Irving Goh places sex in a politico-philosophical framework, just as astutely does Jean-Luc Nancy lay out how sex exceeds it. This results in an exemplary enactment of the becoming-word of sex, ‘leaving in us,’ to quote Nancy, ‘a sort of dizziness and bedazzlement’ by comparison with which ‘understanding’ sex can only seem delusional.” — Lee Edelman, author of No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jean-Luc Nancy is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Strasbourg and the author of numerous books, most recently Sexistence.

Irving Goh is President's Assistant Professor of Literature at the National University of Singapore and author of The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject and L’Existence Prépositionnelle.

Claire Colebrook is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Philosophy, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Table of Contents Forthcoming
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1435-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1342-6