Queer Theory's Loss and the Work of Mourning Jacques Derrida

Michael O'Rourke

This essay is written as a response to the death of Jacques Derrida, who died on October 8th 2004, and is moved by a responsibility to mourn and to respond to the obituaries which appeared in the days and weeks following his death. It is, in many ways, an essay about the becoming-Derridean of Queer Studies, about the potential rapprochements between Derridean scholarship and Queer Theory as we negotiate his legacy. It is also an essay which touches chiasmatically the forthcoming special double-issue of Rhizomes on the becoming-Deleuzoguattarian of Queer Studies (number 11 which will appear in the fall of 2005). This article and that issue should be read together as opening queer theory up to futurity and extending a welcome to the impossible. They are postcards to each other.

Queer Theory's Loss and the Work of Mourning Jacques Derrida [1]

Somewhere, sometime, something was lost, but no story can be told about it; no memory can retrieve it; a fractured horizon looms in which to make one's way as a spectral agency, one for whom a full 'recovery' is impossible, one for whom the irrecoverable becomes, paradoxically, the condition of a new political agency. — Judith Butler [2]
Often those who come forward to speak, to speak publicly, thereby interrupting the animated whispering, the secret or intimate exchange that always links one, deep inside, to a dead friend or master, those who make themselves heard in a cemetery, end up addressing directly, straight on, the one who, as we say, is no longer living, no longer there, who will no longer respond. With tears in their voices, they sometimes speak familiarly to the other who keeps silent, calling upon him without detour or mediation, apostrophising him, even greeting him or confiding in him. This is not necessarily out of respect for convention, not always simply part of the rhetoric of oration. It is rather so as to traverse speech at the very point where words fail us, since all language that would return to the self, to us, would seem indecent, a reflexive discourse that would end up coming back to the stricken community, to its consolation or its mourning, to what is called, in a confused and terrible expression, "the work of mourning." — Jacques Derrida [3]


[1] Martin McQuillan, in a recent Textual Practice review of Mandy Merck's In Your Face: 9 Sexual Studies, had this to say:

This book confirms that there is something queer about Derrida. Merck's frequent gesture is towards a deconstructive Freud underpinned by 'Derrida lite, with persistent references to spectrality and phantoms, rather than a full exploration of the queer destabilizing power of deconstruction. Merck's theoretical friends are Marjorie Garber, Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler and Leo Bersani, rather than, say, the more obviously Foucauldian tendency in queer theory. However, the book remains to be written which will take full account of a queer Derrida, passing through notable indices such as 'Envois', 'Plato's Pharmacy' and the right-hand column of Glas [4].

However, a book which assesses Derrida's Queer Theory or Queer Theory's Derrida (and these are two separate projects with the ideal outcome being a dialogue between Derrideans and Queer Theorists) has yet to be written or even contemplated. Despite nods in most introductions to Queer Theory (especially Nikki Sullivan's, the most recent [5]) to the importance of Derridean deconstruction it is hardly surprising that Derrida tends to be supplanted by Foucault in most genealogies of queer studies [6]. The general indifference to Derrida's work among the queer theoretical 'community', if there is such a thing, is puzzling. It is all the more curious when you consider that, as McQuillan hints, queer theorizing and its destabilizing efforts, has its origins (if one can say such a thing about queer discourse) in lesbian and gay studies, (French) feminism, and what has come to be called (at least in the American academy) French Theory. The general mistrust of capital F 'French', and capital T 'Theory' may well account for some of the more mean-spirited, anti-intellectual, and xenophobic obituaries, articles, and weblogs (or blogs) in the wake of Derrida's death, but I will return to this shortly.

[2] Queer Theory's most obvious critical genealogy can be traced to the poststructuralist thinking of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and Derrida. The impact of the work of Foucault (who has been canonized by David Halperin in his Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography [7]) and of Deleuze and Guattari's collaborative efforts have been acknowledged and given due consideration in genealogies of queer theory (so much so in fact that the next century of queer studies is likely to be 'Deleuzian' [8]). But, the influence of Derrida has only been tacitly acknowledged and never patiently worked through. This is why, I would argue, we (as queer theorists) need to acknowledge our debts to Derrida and have a responsibility to mourn queer theory's loss as we consider the future of queer theory to-come after Derrida [9].

[3] Derrida's vast corpus has been implicitly or (less often) explicitly utilized by all the major queer theorists and has underpinned many of the key concepts of queer theory, including heteronormativity, but especially performativity. All the major foundational (again such a word is used cautiously) texts in queer studies are haunted by traces of Derridean ideas: Judith Butler's theories of citationality, iterability and reinscription in both Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter [10]; Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's unpacking of the epistemology of the closet and the homo/hetero binary [11]; Diana Fuss's formulation of the inside/outside binary [12]; Jonathan Dollimore's transgressive reinscription [13], and Lee Edelman's homographesis [14].

[4] It seems, then, especially urgent as we attempt to begin to mourn Jacques Derrida to address this gap in our genealogies of Queer Theory [15]. This article will argue, in the first place that Derrida, the voyous [16], the sexy beast who is both outlawed and marginalized in queer and feminist criticism [17], is also undeniably attractive to those queer theorists endlessly seduced by his oeuvre. I will be focusing particularly on Judith Butler's Derrida (rather than Derrida's Butler [18]) and her work on mourning, radical democracy, and universality, before reading Derrida's encomia and Politics of Friendship as particularly queer theories of mourning and melancholia. I will move to a discussion of Butler's and Derrida's messianism and finally, I will suggest that Derrida should become a central focus as we begin to think about the state of queer studies "now". Throughout, this article attempts (rather idiosyncratically) to sketch the lineaments of a sustained and critical rumination on the rapprochement between the enemy-friends, Derrida's writing(s) and Queer Theory, and to think about some of the potential (as yet unthought) horizons for a queer studies futurally imagined, but which we cannot pretend to know in advance.

Derrida's Queer Theory, Queer Theory's Derrida

[5] Like a ghostly figure Derrida haunts Queer Theory, always just beyond and outside it, his work being the condition of possibility for it. That is to say, queer theory is always already Derridean (and that Derrida is always already queer). His writings shape and structure queer theorizing and his theories of deconstruction echo throughout some of the key concepts of Queer Studies: iterability, mimicry, speech act theory, supplement, performativity, liminality/limitrophy, dissemination, difference/ différance, inside/outside dichotomies, the pharmakon and health/sickness binaries, fragmentation, arrivance, l'avenir, to name but a few which have left their trace and continually return (revenir) like revenants. Any queering of Derrida, for me (and to supplement McQuillan's list), would have to pass through such notable indices as his interest in the destabilizing promise of the liminal in the discussion of hymen, the veil, or the graft in Dissemination [19]; mimicry in "The Double Session" [20]; his critique of Austinian speech act theory in "Signature Event Context" and in Limited Inc that laid out the notion of performativity Butler and Sedgwick and others operate with [21]; his writing on sexual difference in Spurs (on Nietzsche) [22]; the left-hand column of Glas (on the neglected Hegel rather than the usual Genet) [23]; in 'Geschlecht: Sexual Difference, Ontological Difference) (on Heidegger) [24]; his consistent textual/sexual experimentation and polyvocality as explained in "Choreographies" [25] and played out in "At this Very Moment in this Work Here I am" (on Levinas) [26]; his homoerotic encomia for other men (including Deleuze and Levinas) collected in The Work of Mourning [27], but especially his Memoires for Paul De Man [28]; his erotics of looking and touch in Le Toucher (for Jean-Luc Nancy) [29]; the crypt in "Fors" with its obvious anal erotics [30]; his anxiety over the scat(on)tological productions of Batailles and Heidegger [31]; parergonality in The Truth in Painting [32]; the (homo)erotics of eating in "Eating Well" [33]; archivization and feeling in Archive Fever [34]; his sodomitical primal scene in The Post Card between Plato and Socrates [35]; his 'animaling' (a verb analogous to queering) of the human/animal binary in "This Animal that Therefore I am (More to Follow)" [36]; homosociality, the logic of the gift, and the traffic in women in Given Time, Politics of Friendship, Of Hospitality, and Voyous [37]; spectrality and hauntology in Spectres of Marx [38]; ethics in "Force Of Law" [39]; his thoughts on same/sex marriage, Le PAC's, and civil unions expressed in his final interview "I am at War with Myself" [40]; his fascination with the ethico-political promise of the incalculable perhaps in the Politics of Friendship [41]; the destabilization of the logos in Of Grammatology which has inspired the queer theoretical destabilization of heteronormativity [42]; community without community [43]; his call for philosophers to talk about their sexuality [44]; biopolitics and immigration [45]; apocalypticism and HIV/AIDS [46]; the gift [47]; alternative forms of globalization; and friendship [48]. He haunts the lines of queer theory and the above (provisional and partial [49]) list of indices is very much in communion with his ghosts [50]. So why is Derrida, for feminists and queer theorists, seen as just another straight male (not-quite-white) philosopher with nothing to offer? Seen as a playful male philosopher content to sit back with his (male) "friends" and pose questions without translating them into practical politics? Seen as someone for whom there is always another other? [51].

The Errings of Queer Theory and Deconstruction

[6] The answer lies, partly, I think in the American-ness of Queer Theory and the general mis- or dis-trust of French Theory. This is matched, in France, by a dis- or mis-trust of American Queer Theory. "Qu'ouir au queer?" asked Robert Harvey and Pascal Le Brun Cordier in their introduction to a special issue of the philosophy journal Rue Descartes, the first attempt to map the influence of queer theory on the French intellectual climate [52]. For them the word queer is captured in all its strangeness; it is an odd locution: "cou-iiiir" (couir felicitously means leather in French making it particularly adaptable to concepts of sexual dissidence and subcultural style). Yet they, like Eve Sedgwick, turn to the etymology of queer as signifying traversal. And, if we, as Derrida would, go back to the etymological roots of the word queer, we can find some possibilities for thinking about crossings, reborderizations, and tra(ns)versal(s) and ways to think about productive lines of flight between America and France and points of connectivity between these two locations [53]. Catherine Malabou's new book Counterpath: Traveling with Jacques Derrida [54] has demonstrated how travel, errancy, wandering, drifting, arrival, and crossing borders traverse Derrida's writings, his permanent dis-placement "implicating him in a constant timelag, between one continent and another ... one language and another" and Sedgwick sees queer as always meaning something different, about thinking and locating otherwise, and about multiple criss-crossings of definitional lines. She is committed to and wants the gravitas (by which she means also the centre of gravity) of the term queer to "deepen and shift". She says:

Queer is a continuing moment, movement, motive-recurrent, eddying, troublant. The word 'queer' itself means across — it comes from the indo-European root twerkw, which also yields the German quer (transverse), Latin torquere (to twist), English athwart [55].

[7] For Le Brun Cordier and Harvey the resignification or grafting of queer in French contexts is precisely about such crossings. For them queer is a bizarre, insolent, strange, ex-centric, singular, and funny word. It is troubling, or in Sedgwick's delicious coinage troublant. Harvey and Le Brun Cordier, however, complicate the mapping of queer studies, as being as Lawrence Schehr puts it, something Made in America, a prepackaged export to France [56].

[8] For them this is a Lacanian méconnaissance, for queer has its genealogical roots in French theory and this deconstructive underpinning is, I think, part of its current (but only recent [57]) appeal in France and other countries, in particular the deconstructive critique of essentialist sexual identities, reductive binarizations, and the rigid alignment of sex/gender/sexuality/identity. Queer offers, as Derrida and Caputo suggest, a novel way to rethink processes of subjectivation, an attention to all the dissidences and distortions of identity and the possible invention of new erotic configurations, sexualities, relationships, knowledges, modes of thinking. In the same issue of Rue Descartes Lee Edelman questions the self-evidence of the Anglo-American origins of queer theory since its points of reference are largely French: he cites the writings of Barthes, Derrida, Lacan and, of course, Foucault as having influenced the contexts for queer thinking [58].

[9] Why is it then that queer theory gets misrecognized in France as constituting a form of contamination? If, as I have argued, queer is underpinned by certain poststructuralist philosophical French texts, the writings of Derrida and Foucault in particular, then surely this offers the conditions of possibility for queer traffic. Yet, up until fairly recently France has been resistant to importing queer theory (you will not find any references to the word queer in Derrida's work in the 1990s or any explicit engagement with Judith Butler, for example [59]) and has blocked its translation into a French intellectual context. French thinkers see queer as an example of American mondialisation, a grafting of an American model of sexual identity and ways of thinking about sexuality [60].

[10] The fragile position queer occupies in the French academy is mirrored by the rhetoric Paul Bowman finds in his essay "Politics and Ethics from Behind" [61] where French/High Theory is characterized as non-utile, useless, mindwank [62]. The celebrated American pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty in his recent book Achieving our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth Century America reproaches French poststructuralist philosophy, particularly Foucault, as being responsible for the corruption of American leftist thought. French thinking on the left is characterized as a source of contamination for true American thinking and Rorty employs the rhetoric of importation to stigmatize foreign thought as a form of contamination of the nation (the Frenchification of America) [63]. The same rhetoric functions in a mirror-like fashion in France where the emergence of Queer Theory is stigmatized as the Americanization, the McDonaldization of France, as a contamination of pure French thought. To put it bluntly, queer theory is seen as a new international terrorism.

[11] This rhetoric of contamination accounts partially, I think, for the response in America to Derrida's recent death. Jonathan Kandell's xenophobic, anti-semitic and anti-intellectual New York Times obituary [64] seems tame alongside blogs and internet news articles with titles like "Derrida Deconstructs", "Decomposing Derrida" [65], and an academic article by conservative Roger Kimball titled "The Meaninglessness of Meaning: Jacques Derrida is Dead, But his Baneful Ideas Live on" [66] (It is the same Kimball famed for his dyspeptic response to Eve Sedgwick's "Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl" essay and frequent horrified reports about the latest queer ideas poisoning the Modern Language Association). Richard Wolin's response to Derrida's death and his recent ethico-political turn is to suggest that Derrida's effort at political relevance "threatens to collapse under the weight of a series of postmodern banalities and clichés" [67]. The anti-intellectual responses far outweigh the considered ones but there are positive signs: Mark C. Taylor in an op-ed response to Kandell in the New York Times and Jonathan Sterne's recent editorial in Bad Subjects both refer to Derrida's influence on lesbian and gay, and subsequently queer studies [68]. In opposition to Wolin, Michael Hardt says that all of Derrida's work contains a "primary political insight" and that in "even the most seemingly progressive identity, there is always some remainder, some people excluded, left out, abject" [69] which creates an ethical and moral imperative to "attend to that remainder". This Derridean impulse has been enormously influential for a whole generation of political scholars, but for no one more so than Judith Butler.

Derrida and Butler: Mourning and Politics

[12] Judith Butler has produced a body of work which consistently has Derrida as its linchpin and attends to the remainder, the subject of normativizing interpellating codes, such as the regime of compulsory heterosexuality which renders some bodies abject. Like Derrida, Butler in her work puts theory into service as she works through difficult socio-political and ethical questions. Like Derrida she also works patiently, never sacrificing the complexities and difficulties which surround the project of interrogating the stabilization of exclusionary normative practices (although given that she is so esoteric and difficult she never expected to be read quite so much as she has been). Both Butler and Derrida have a performative style meaning that the way they say things is inseparable from what they say and from the claims they make. Their texts have a spiralling structure and these performative in(ter)ventions allow for an infinite openness and welcome to the radically other, the tout autre, the radically foreign [70]. Both are theorists of the avenir, the future to-come. Butler's Queer Theory, like Derrida's deconstruction, events, invents, intervenes, is always to-come [71]. While Butler is cautious about abandoning identity she argues throughout her oeuvre for the theoretical and political necessity for a creative aporetics, that is, for the necessity to " learn a double movement: to invoke the category, and hence provisionally to institute an identity and at the same time to open the category as a site of permanent political contest" [72]. In keeping with Derrida's recent 'ethico-political turn' Butler's writing has a relentlessly dual focus: calling for concrete, responsive action to specific political situations in the present while preserving the possibility, indeed necessity, of a reinscribed future. Her work matters crucially to a queer Derrida [73] but in this article I want to pass quickly through her idea of performativity as it is borrowed from Derrida [74] and on to her theory of mourning before circling back to her messianicity [75].

Butler's Performativity

[13] In Gender Trouble, considered by many to be the founding (if there is such a thing) text of Queer Theory [76], Butler first outlined her theory of gender as performance and gender performativity. Three years later she wrote Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of 'Sex' as a corrective to some of the (mis)applications of her ideas of drag and parodic resignification. To reduce performativity to performance was for her "a mistake" and in Bodies That Matter she draws on Foucault's work on discursive formation, Derrida on speech act theory and iterability, and Sedgwick on queer performativity to fashion her idea of performativity "not as a singular or deliberate 'act', but, rather, as the reiterative and citational practice by which discourse produces the effects that it names" [77]. This is most clearly dependent on Derrida's claim in "Signature, Event, Context" that "every sign can be cited, put between quotation marks; thereby, it can break with every given context, and engender infinitely new contexts in an absolutely nonsaturable fashion" [78]. Because a subject is the product of compulsory normative frames which need to be constituted over and over again, agency is made possible and efficacious precisely because interpellation sometimes fails. The subject cannot and does not establish a distance between him/herself and these disciplinary regimes but subverts these codes from within. It is from inside these normative frames that spaces for resistance, for recitation are opened up [79]. In an interview with William Connolly Butler says: "Under conditions in which gender has been constrained, in which certain sexual and gender minorities have felt their lives to be 'impossible', unviable, unlivable, then 'becoming possible' is a most certain political achievement" [80]. Ten years after Gender Trouble and anticipating her more recent work on the human, livability, and bare life, Butler stresses that those who barely count as human, the abject, operate within the compulsory norms of heterosexuality, defying the "tacit and violent presumption that human life only appears as livable under the description of heterosexuality". In language reminiscent of both Agamben and Derrida she concludes "that lives foreclosed now take themselves to be 'possible' strikes me as a political good under conditions in which a certain heightened norm of compulsory heterosexuality works to make non-compliant lives into those which are impossible" [81].

[14] To grossly oversimplify the argument put forward in Gender Trouble, Bodies that Matter, and later in Excitable Speech [82] (where she again draws on Derridean theories of iterability and re-markation to open up a theory of insurrectionary speech and discursive agency) Butler is trying to account for the ways in which "remainder" subjectivities are produced in specific historico-cultural situations as abjected, produced, as Hardt says, as by-products of the violent exclusions that secure normative identities. She says about this ethico-political project:

There is an 'outside' to what is constructed by discourse, but this is not an absolute 'outside', an ontological thereness that exceeds or counters the boundaries of discourse; as a constitutive 'outside', it is that which can only be thought-when it can-in relation to that discourse, at and as its most tenuous borders. The debate between constructivism and essentialism thus misses the point of deconstruction altogether, for the point has never been that 'everything is discursively constructed'; that point ... refuses the constitutive force of exclusion, erasure, violent foreclosure, abjection, and its disruptive return within the very terms of discursive legitimacy [83].

In the interview with Connolly the ethical import of her work is made even clearer:

... Humility, when offered to others, becomes generosity. For me, though, an essential part of that generosity involves the suspension of the regime of truth that governs the elaboration and totalization of identities. If the identity we say we are cannot possibly capture us, and marks immediately an excess and opacity which falls outside the terms of identity itself, then any effort we make 'to give a true account of oneself' will have to fail in order to approach being true. And as we ask to know the other, or ask that the other say, finally who he or she is, it will be important that we do not expect an answer that will ever satisfy.

Butler's Mourning and Melancholia

[15] I want to turn now to some of her work on mourning and melancholia.

[16] Butler theorizes subjectivity as an effect of melancholy, whereby homosexual desires become gendered identifications: "Prohibited by regimes of compulsory heterosexuality, these original homosexual attachments must be lost, yet they are grieved by being secreted inside the subject to constitute the repudiated ground of gendered identity" [84]. As Morland and O'Brien put it: "In Butler's neo-Freudian account of mourning and melancholia, the burial ground of homosexuality is the plot of land on which heterosexuality is constructed" [85]. In her psychoanalytic reading of gender in Gender Trouble and the Psychic Life of Power Butler suggests that "melancholic identification permits the loss of the object in the external world precisely because it provides a way to preserve the object as part of the ego, and, hence, to avert the loss as a complete loss". The "status of the object" she continues "is transferred from external to internal" [86].

[17] Two of the principal features of both mourning and melancholia are identification and introjection. Introjection is "closely akin to identification", according to Laplanche and Pontalis [87]. Identification is defined psychoanalytically as the "psychological process whereby the subject assimilates an aspect, property, or attribute of the other and is transformed, wholly or partially, after the model the other provides" [88]. In mourning identification is the mechanism that allows one to work through one's loss. Butler comments on this that "this identification is not simply momentary or occasional, but becomes a new structure of identity; in effect, the other becomes a part of the ego through the permanent internalization of the other's attributes" [89]. In the 'normal' work of mourning the loss of the other is overcome through the act of identification which seeks to, as Butler says, "harbor that other within the very structure of the self" [90]. Introjection is part of the process of identification. In the work of Abraham and Torok introjection is qualified as a more elaborate process of identification but incorporation is, however, a melancholic response and constitutes an inability to introject 'normally'. Introjection serves the work of mourning whereas incorporation belongs more properly to melancholia: it is the refusal to introject loss.

Derrida Que(e)ries De Man: Between men, Mourning [91]

[18] In Memoires: for Paul De Man, published in 1986 but written soon after De Man's death in 1983, Derrida discusses the pain of having lost his friend in terms redolent of the epigraph to this essay. His argument about mourning mobilizes an aporetic logic in that he suggests that the so-called 'successful' or 'normal' mourning of the other must necessarily fail because the deceased is internalized, as Butler says, within us, and in this interiorization their absolute alterity can no longer be respected. But failure to mourn the other actually succeeds, Derrida suggests, when he claims that there is a sense in which "an aborted interiorisation is at the same time a respect for the other as other" [92]. Hence, there is the possibility of an impossible mourning (a possible-impossible aporia which we also see around forgiveness, hospitality, and the gift elsewhere), "where the only possible way to mourn, is to be unable to do so" [93]. However, even though this is how he initially presents the problem Derrida goes on to problematize this success fails-failure succeeds formulation.

[19] In "Fors: The Anglish Words of Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok" Derrida borrows from post-Freudian theories of mourning as Butler does to mark a distinction between introjection, which is love for the other in me, and incorporation, which involves retaining the other as a pocket, or a foreign body within one's own body [94] (the anality of the crypt as a vault of a desire hardly needs to be labored). Successful mourning on the Freudian account means introjection whereas incorporation is considered to be where mourning ceases to be a 'normal' response and instead becomes pathological. Typically, Derrida, and queer theorists such as Douglas Crimp have dismantled this introjection/incorporation binary by revaluing the seemingly pathological condition of incorporation and arguing, as Reynolds puts it, that it is actually more respectful of the other's alterity. Reynolds goes on:

However, Derrida's account is not so simple as to unreservedly valorize the incorporation of the other person ... If we refuse to engage with the dead other, we also exclude their foreignness from ourselves and hence prevent any transformative interaction with them ... . It is significant that Derrida describes the death of De Man in terms of the loss of exchange and of the transformational opportunities that he presented [95].

Finally, then, the work of mourning for Derrida appears to be double. The other's very alterity means that he cannot be either fully incorporated or introjected and this responsibility to the absolute other is what Butler called humility or generosity above.

[20] In her response to Derrida's death Judith Butler has meditated on a phrase in his last interview given to Le Monde last August: "How do you finally respond to your life and to your name?" and considered how much of his later work is dedicated to mourning, to acts of mourning as posthumous gifts or envois to his friends [96]. Butler suggests that Derrida's own writing "constitutes an act of mourning" and that they, his writings, "avant la lettre" recommend to us "a way to begin to mourn this thinker". Derrida's self-critical, homo- social/erotic elegies to his lost friends can be read as gifts within a homosocial textual economy which traces and interweaves masculine debts of authorship, like his exclusions of women within anthropo-philosophical discourses (Mauss, Levi Strauss) of the gift which expose the exclusion of women within a homosocial imaginary and mandate the law of compulsory heterosexuality [97]. However, if read more closely alongside his sustained meditations on death and mourning in the Politics of Friendship Derrida's homoerotic encomia indicate his own concern about masculinist complicities in the devaluation of women within covertly homoerotic, overtly heterosexist literary sentiment. His elegiac discourse (as does his entire philosophical project) actually tries to deconstruct the phallogocentric homosociality that obtains between men's writerly encomia to other men and male friendship generally [98].

[21] Much of Judith Butler's recent work, especially Precarious Life [99], is concerned with what counts as a livable life or a grievable death, and about grieving ungrievable losses. Derrida's 'romance' with Paul de Man is not a romance in the erotic sense but it does open up the possibility for a spectrally homoerotic love between the two men. Derrida's mourning is a mourning for what Butler calls "unlived possibilities". His mourning takes on the challenge of internalizing the work rather than the being of the lost other, mourning without introjecting what is mourned but leaving it intact in its alterity. The Wellek lectures are a memorialization of and a mourning for de Man, as well as a reading of de Man's work that strives to pick up on its transformational possibilities. The lectures refuse a mourning that interiorizes the other. Rather, as we saw above, by continuing the other's work, Derrida is able to impossibly mourn the other whilst respecting his alterity. In rejecting the psychoanalytic version of 'normal' mourning, in refusing to retain de Man inside him psychically, Derrida strives to allow the mourned man to keep his separateness, his alterity.

[22] Derrida rejects a "possible mourning, which would interiorize within us the image, idol, or ideal of the other who is dead and lives only in us" and favors an "impossible mourning, which, leaving the other his alterity, respecting thus his infinite remove, either refuses to take or is incapable of taking the other within oneself, as in the tomb or the vault of some narcissism" [100]. Refusing to do the other the violence of taking him into himself, Derrida chooses instead the romance of alterity over the romance of interiorization. Derrida's text also takes up a second form of mourning, that of continuing de Man's work by reading and, in a sense, re-writing in a Derridean way, his texts. In Memoires: For Paul de Man Derrida refuses interiorization and mourns impossibly for his friend. He places himself in the future impossible, giving the gift of himself, a gift which expects no countergift, no economy of return.

[23] In his reading of Derrida's "Cogito and the History of Madness", Foucault's response " My Body, This Paper, This Fire", and Derrida's counter-response in Resistances of Psychoanalysis, Richard Halpern locates a sodomitical economy in the relationship between Foucault and Derrida [101]. The stakes are raised after a twenty year interval from the homosocial to the homoerotic as Derrida imagines Foucault "deep inside him". Derrida's commemorative essay on Madness and Civilization is, like the Wellek lectures, another act of mourning, a gift to Foucault, an unrestitutable gift. Again, however, it is not a mourning in the Freudian sense in which the mourner works through the loss of the object in order to have done with it. Rather Derrida engages in a posthumous dialogue with Foucault, by continuing to read him in an attempt to keep the conversation going with his enemy-friend. Derrida tries to continue the work in a more Derridean than Foucauldian way, as he did with de Man's work on allegory. Like Memoires: for Paul De Man this later essay is an effort to keep Foucauldian theory perpetually open to the future; it is a gift of the type Derrida describes in Given Time, but one offered in the space of death: " I could not love friendship without engaging myself, without feeling myself in advance engaged to love the other beyond death" [102], Derrida tells us, and the lost beloveds Foucault and De Man still live (in theory) and Derrida gets to keep the man.

[24] In Politics of Friendship, which Martin McQuillan calls Derrida's most important book to date [103], the homoerotics of mourning is clearly articulated (even as Derrida interrogates the genealogical, the filiative, the familial, and the phallogocentric schema of fraternity and the homosocial circuitry in which women act as conduits for bonds between men): "In this possibility of a post mortem discourse, a possibility that is a force as well, in this virtue of the funeral eulogy, everything seems, then, to have a part to play: epitaph or oration, citation of the dead person, the renown of the name after the death of what it names" [104]. He goes on: "One cannot love without living and without knowing that one loves, but one can still love the deceased or the inanimate who then know nothing of it. It is indeed through the possibility of loving the deceased that the decision in favour of a certain lovence comes into being" [105]. The renowned historian of sexuality, Alan Bray, predicted before his death that The Politics of Friendship would replace Foucault's History of Sexuality as the "charter" of queer studies as we move from a focus on genitality and sex to a reconsideration of affect, love, and friendship [106]. In Butler's eulogy for Derrida she says that his work makes a "demand on us". She asserts that "we must address him as he addressed himself, asking what it means to know and approach another, to apprehend a life and a death, to give an account of its meaning, to acknowledge its binding ties with others and to do that justly". If Derrida is a spectre at the margins of queer theory, and as he himself points out spectre is an anagram of respect, then we need to repay several unpayable debts, offer the gift of continuing his work, by, as Butler concludes, beginning "philosophy again and again". We must self-consciously place ourselves in the future impossible, into a queer future, giving an unrestitutable continued life to Derrida, whether he is a friend or not. We must mourn impossibly for our impossible object by continuing his work and by giving an offering of ourselves:

Here again the difference ... between mourning and its possibility seems fragile and porous. The anguished apprehension of mourning (without which the act of friendship would not spring forth its very energy) insinuates itself a priori and anticipates itself; it haunts and plunges the friend, before mourning, into mourning. This apprehension weeps before the lamentation, it weeps before death, and this is the very respiration of friendship, the extreme of its possibility. Hence surviving is at once the essence, the origin and the possibility, the condition of possibility of friendship; it is the grieved act of loving. This time of surviving thus gives the time of friendship [107].

Conclusion: Viens, oui, oui: The Queer Theory To-Come after Derrida [108]

[25] Now, if we are to believe recent commentators we should have another death, another 'friend' to mourn. Queer Theory, we are told is over, passé, moribund, or, at worst, dead, its time having come and gone. Derrida, as we have seen from his (now saddening) final interview spent much time worrying about his own death but he was no less preoccupied with the so-called death of deconstruction. For over thirty years we have been hearing that deconstruction is over and almost since it began we have been hearing about the death of Queer Theory. Yet, like deconstruction, queer theory continues to tenaciously hold on to life, to affirm the promise of the future, what Caputo calls the viens, oui, oui (the come, yes, yes). With each new book, conference, seminar series, we hear that Queer Theory is over. It must then be a revenant, a spectre, a ghost, and as we know from Derrida's hauntological discourse the spectre always returns and always promises the future. Some argue that the unstoppable train of queer theory came to a halt in the late nineties having been swallowed up by its own fashionability. It had become, contrary to its own anti-assimilationist rhetoric, fashionable, very much in, rather than the outlaw, the voyous, it wanted to be. But the books and articles still continue to appear, the conferences continue to be held, and wherever Butler (as metonym for Queer Theory) goes, like Derrida in his final years, there is barely a room big enough to contain the crowds.

[26] Now, if it were true that Queer Theory has been assimilated completely, become sedimented, then it really would be over. Nobody would be reading any more for we would already know what was to-come. But, Queer Theory took a strange twist in the late nineties (and again the work of Butler is metonymic). Suddenly, queer theorists were interested in ethico-politics, in world politics, in events outside the texts they were so busy subverting. Queer Theory started to have faith in the democracy to-come, in its potential to intervene in, to have something to say about world politics. Queer Theory, I want to argue, is in fact (perhaps always has been, as Caputo says deconstruction has always been [109]) a religion without religion, a messianicity without messianism, a faith in the impossible [110], in love with potentiality, amor potentia. Let me take three early quotes from the saints of Queer Theory and their bibles:

[27] Firstly, Butler in Bodies That Matter in which she asserts that Queer allows critiques to shape its for now unimaginable future directions: "if the term 'queer' is to be a site of collective contestation, the point of departure for a set of historical reflections and futural imaginings, it will have to remain that which is, in the present, never fully owned, but always and only redeployed, twisted, queered from a prior usage and in the direction of urgent and expanding political purpose" [111].

[28] Secondly, David Halperin in Saint Foucault, his hagiographization of Michel Foucault, in which he argues that queer is a way to point ahead without knowing for certain what to point at: "Queer does not designate a class of already objectified pathologies or perversions ... rather, it describes a horizon of possibility whose precise extent and heterogeneous scope cannot in principle be delimited in advance" [112].

[29] Finally, Lee Edelman in "Unstating Desire" where he claims that queer is always an identity under construction, a site of permanent becoming: "Utopic in its negativity, queer theory curves endlessly towards a realization that its realization remains impossible" [113].

[30] Now, according to Tony Purvis, Judith Butler claims that her textual method relies on Talmudic exegetical methods [114]. Derrida in Archive Fever argues that psychoanalysis is a Jewish Science; John Caputo asserts in The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida that deconstruction, after Saint Jacques, is also a Jewish science [115]; so, might we not argue that Queer Theory, with its indebtedness to Freud and Derrida, is a Jewish science too [116]? Butler, Edelman, Sedgwick, Goldberg are all Jews who argue for a messianic openness to an unanticipatable or unforegraspable future [117]. Close readers of queer theory (and Butler in particular) will have noted this prophetico-messianic strain all along. Recent converts will surely have noticed a Levinasian turn in her recent work: Precarious Life and Undoing Gender are relentlessly ethical and political in their concerns with and faith in a reimagined futurity. In her most recent book Undoing Gender, >Butler concludes with an autobiographical, almost Derridean Circonfession/Circumfession [118]. From this we can conclude that Judith Butler is someone who prays, like Derrida with his "weeping eyes and seeing tears" [119]. for the justice to-come and the democracy to-come. Undoing Gender rather than seeing the assimilation of queer theory, continues, and begins again to make trouble. And Butler will continue to make trouble for the (un)foreseeable future and that is what queer theory (in Butler, Halperin, Edelman) is supposed to be, namely the coming of the impossible and unforeseeable, preferably what Derrida calls the tout autre.

[31] Derrida's concept of time [120], playing on the words caput/ kaputt as outlined in The Other Heading (the first text in which he engaged the democracy to-come [121]), is described by John Caputo in Deconstruction in a Nutshell in this way:

For a culture to be 'on the move' with otherwise-than-a-heading means to hold itself more radically open to a 'future', to what is to-come (à venir). History, thus, is not a course set in advance headed towards its telos as toward a future-present, a foreseeable, plannable, programmable, anticipatable, masterable future. History means, rather, to set sail without a course, on the prow for something 'new'. Such an open-ended, non-teleological history is just what Derrida means by 'history', which means for him that something (an 'event') is really happening, e-venting (é venir), breaking out, tearing up the circular course of Greco-Roman time. History is not programmed in advance, for Derrida, not set to work within a pre-set archeo-teleological horizon, kept all along on course, keeping its head by way of some sort of ontological automatic pilot [122].

[32] Precisely within Derrida's messianic time, Mark Mason argues, there is an eschewal of "the teleological and/or eschatological" thus allowing for "thought to be opened up to the uncertain and unfamiliar as well as to the development of a radically undecidable and future orientated philosophy" [123]. Religious and messianic motifs, Mason asserts, inhabit and drive this conception of Derridean futuricity. In Derrida's later work (especially Spectres of Marx) Caputo finds a passion for "the impossible" [124]. And Derrida's concept of temporality is structured by this same desire, a passion for the impossible; this, Caputo says, is the least bad definition of Deconstruction [125]. A desire for and passion for the impossible is also, I would say, the least bad definition of Queer Theory, in a nutshell, if there is such a thing. Mason says that "Caputo repeatedly argues that deconstruction is a passion and prayer for the impossible; and the desire to explore the impossible by running up against the limits of what can never be present is the overarching aspiration that sets deconstruction (and I would add Queer Theory) in motion" [126]. Mason in his brilliant reading goes on to stress that the passion "to go where you cannot go" is what animates deconstruction. There is to be no "arrival" or "destination", no horizon, he says, for if the messiah were to show up, then deconstruction and queer theory would (really) be over.

[33] Queer Theory, especially Butler's is animated by a religious/messianic structure and openness to the totally other. Derrida's idea of the messianic is borrowed from Walter Benjamin [127] and is most clearly articulated in Specters of Marx alongside his reading of the work of mourning, spectrality, and the necessity of responsibility to the other [128]. There is, thus, a Levinasian dimension to Derrida's messianism. And, I would argue that it is this notion of Levinasian-messianic time, which Butler has been most concerned with. In Precarious Life she talks about decentering the self and the obligation to the other: the refugee, prisoner, Israeli, Palestinian, Afghan, Iraqi, and so on. In Undoing Gender Butler is again concerned with the human, the livable, the limits or edges of intelligibility and, yet again, she calls for justice to be done and recognition to be given to the other [129].

[34] In "The End of Sexual Difference?" Butler comes as close as she has ever done to Derrida's idea of the democracy to-come with her discussion of undecidability and performative contradiction, or what I will call her universality to-come. She writes: "What is permitted within the term universal is understood to be dependent on a consensus [and] ... presumes that what will and will not be included in the language of the universal entitlement is not settled once and for all, that its future shape cannot be fully anticipated at this time" [130]. She calls this undecidability of the universal the performative contradiction and this unanticipatability is, she argues, crucial to the future of radical democracy [131]. Butler identities the universal with the not-yet which comes very close to the Derridean perhaps:

What is going to come, perhaps, is not only this or that; it is at last the thought of the perhaps, the perhaps itself. The arrivant will arrive perhaps, for one must never be sure when it comes to arrivance; but the arrivant could also be the perhaps itself, the unheard-of, totally new experience of the perhaps [132].

The "that which remains unrealized" for Butler, the perhaps for Derrida, the impossible for Caputo, are the not-yet but possible of the political future, an undecidable future, what Butler calls "a modernity without foundationalism ... [where] the key terms of its operation are not fully secured in advance, one that assumes a futural form for politics that cannot be fully anticipated, a politics of hope and anxiety." [133]

[35] Both Derrida and Butler appeal to the future as the time of the possible and the promise [134]. Their untimely politics, their time out-of-joint, unhinges the future from any determinability, programmability, or idea of progress [135]. Butler and Derrida open up the future to the hope and anxiety, the not-yet of the universal. Derrida's "event, perhaps" and Butler's "that which remains to be realized" direct us to imagine the possibilities of the democracy to- come, of the queer theory to-come.

[36] If queer theory is defined, decided, or delimited in advance it will be a "poor possible ... a programme or a causality, a development, a process without an event" [136]. If, however, the queer theory-to come were always undecidable, unanticipatable, aporetic, incalculable, im-possible, like "the shudder of an arrow of which it is still not known where and how far it will go" [137] then "those who are the future are on their way, now, even if these arrivants have not yet arrived: their present is not present, it is not in current affairs, but they are coming, they are arrivants because they are going to come" [138], Derrida tells us.

[37] Queer Theory, as Sedgwick has shown recently, is endless suspicion and mistrust [139]. But it is a mistrust which believes in reparative gestures, places its faith in the future, the l'avenir, in what is always yet to-come. The more queer theory provokes, the more it has faith in the impossible, the more it has a future. Indeed, Queer Theory is the future, a theory of the future.

[38] The future of Queer Theory after Jacques Derrida and the messianic twist: viens, oui, oui.


[1] The first version of this article was presented at the Aberystwyth Post-International Group Conference, Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy: A Conference held in memory of the thought of Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), Gregynog, January 6-8 2005. I would like to thank Nick Vaughan-Williams for organizing the event and Professor Hidemi Suganami for his response to my paper. I am especially grateful to Mark Mason for introducing me to the work of John Caputo and for sharing his unpublished work on the impossible with me.

[2] Judith Butler, "Afterword" in Loss: The Politics of Mourning (eds) David Eng and David Kazanjian (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003) 467-474, at 467. In her concluding remarks to this anthology on loss, mourning, and melancholy, Butler is hopeful about the emergence of a new political agency and scholarship that attends to "the loss of loss itself" (467).

[3] Jacques Derrida, The Work of Mourning (eds) Pascale Anne-Brault and Michael Naas (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2001).

[4] Martin McQuillan, Review of Mandy Merck's In Your Face: 9 Sexual Studies, Textual Practice 16.1 (Spring 2002): 191-195, at 194.

[5] Nikki Sullivan, A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003). See especially chapter 8, "Community and its Discontents" (136-150) on the aporetics of community and hospitality.

[6] The irony being that queer theory is anti-genealogical and puts pressure on filiation and generation as Derrida does (particularly in The Politics of Friendship). Robert McRuer, whose crip/queer work is always committed to futurity in the Derridean sense, puts it best: "Any myth of origin suggests a linear (or we might say 'straight') path of development and implies a pure and singular starting point. Queer theory, by contrast, proffers the impure and perverse ... Origin myths, moreover, tend to privilege a naturalized, reproductive model of development, whereas queer theory deploys- or recruits-alternative, denaturalized models". See his review of William B. Turner's A Genealogy of Queer Theory (which privileges Foucault) in National Women's Studies Association Journal 14.2 (Summer 2002): 227-229, at 227.

[7] David M. Halperin, Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).

[8] The next issue of this very journal is dedicated to the topic of the "Becoming-Deleuzoguattarian of Queer Studies".

[9] While this essay will be mostly focusing on futurity it is important to recall that inheritance, debt and the past are intrinsic to Derrida's writings. See Samir Haddad, "Inheriting Democracy to Come", Theory & Event 8.1 (2005)
« http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v008/8.1haddad.html»

[10] Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (London and New York: Routledge, 1990) and Bodies That Matter: On The Discursive Limits of 'Sex' (London and New York: Routledge, 1993).

[11] Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991) especially 1-63.

[12] Diana Fuss "Inside/Out", introduction to Fuss (ed) Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories (London and New York: Routledge, 1991), 1-10. Fuss consistently draws attention to the intersections between sexuality and hauntology; in an especially sharp formulation, she writes, "Heterosexuality can never fully ignore the close psychical proximity of its terrifying (homo)sexual other, any more than homosexuality can entirely escape the equally insistent social pressures of (hetero)sexual conformity. Each is haunted by the other, but here again it is the other who comes to stand in metonymically for the very occurrence of haunting and ghostly visitation". (3) It is thus no surprise that this same preoccupation appears throughout the collection, in many of whose essays, Fuss writes, "is a fascination with the spectre of abjection, a certain preoccupation with the figure of the homosexual as spectre and phantom, as spirit and revenant, as abject and undead" (3).

[13] Jonathan Dollimore, Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991). See especially 14-15, 182-183.

[14] Lee Edelman, Homographesis: Essays in Gay Literary and Cultural Theory (New York and London: Routledge, 1994).

[15] Simon Critchley would immediately dismiss the attempt in this essay to link Derrida and Queer Theory. In his recent homage to Derrida he writes: "I have a similar scepticism about the popular idea of deconstruction as a methodological unpicking of binary oppositions (speech/writing, male/female, inside/outside, reason/madness etc. etc. etc.). In my view, this is a practice which has led generations of humanities students into the intellectual cul-de-sac of locating binaries in purportedly canonical texts and cultural epiphenomena and then relentlessly deconstructing them in the name of a vaguely political position somehow deemed to be progressive". See "Jacques Derrida" in Theory & Event 8.1 (2005) «http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v008/8.1critchley.html». However, given the recent Levinasian turn in Butler's work, Critchley might agree, since he has claimed that the ethical demand in Derrida can be traced "to the influence of the thought of Emmanuel Levinas and his idea of ethics being based on a relation of infinite responsibility to the other person", that queer theory has something to say about justice, democracy, sovereignty, cosmopolitanism, rogue states, globalization, cultural and political identity, and world politics today. On some of these matters see Richard Beardsworth, "In Memoriam Jacques Derrida: The Power of Reason" in the same issue of Theory & Event co-edited by Michael J. Shapiro and Paul Patton. «http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v008/8.1beardsworth.html».

[16] Rogues is likely to be Derrida's most important contribution to queer thinking for some time, especially work around sexual citizenship, homosociality and the traffic in women, hospitality and democracy. See Chantal Nadeau's "The Taming of the Beast: Queers, Rogues and Democracy". Paper presented at Queer Matters conference, King's College London, May 2004.

[17] Geoffrey Bennington notes in "Derridabase" that "Derrida's relationship with feminism ... has never been an easy one". See Bennington and Jacques Derrida, Jacques Derrida. Trans. Geoffrey Bennington (Chicago and London: University of London Press, 1993), 225. On Derrida's troubled relation with feminist thought see Peggy Kamuf's introduction "Reading Between the Blinds" to her A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds (New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991), xiii-xlii; Rosi Braidotti's Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming (Cambridge: Polity, 2002); the essays collected in Nancy J. Holland (ed) Feminist Interpretations of Jacques Derrida (The Pennsylvania State University Press: Pennsylvania, 1997); Marysia Zalewski's "Who's There? Derrida (Promising) Feminism at the Edge of Reason", Paper presented at Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy conference, Gregynog, January 2005 and "Is Women's Studies Dead?" «http://www.iiav.nl/ezines/web/JournalofinternationalWomensStudies/vol4(2003)Nr2(April)/bridgew/ZalewskiFINAL.pdf»; Nancy J. Holland, "The Death of the Other/Father: A Feminist Reading of Derrida's Hauntology", Hypatia 16.1 (Winter 2001): 64-71; and the essays collected in Ellen K. Feder, Mary C. Rawlinson, and Emily Zakin (eds) Derrida and Feminism: Recasting the Question of Woman (New York and London: Routledge, 1997).

[18] Derrida has nowhere, to my knowledge, engaged with Butler's work.

[19] Jacques Derrida, Dissemination Trans. Barbara Johnson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981).

[20] See extracts from "The Double Session" (169-199) and also "Plato's Pharmacy" (112-139) in Peggy Kamuf (ed).

[21] Jacques Derrida Limited Inc. Trans. Samuel Weber (Evanston, Il.: Northwestern University Press, 1988).

[22] Jacques Derrida Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles/Eperons: Les Styles de Nietzsche Trans. Barbara Harlow (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979) and extracts in Kamuf (ed) 353-377 and the essays by Jane Gallop, "'Women in Spurs and Nineties Feminism" (7-19) and Ellen K. Feder and Emily Zakin, "Flirting with the Truth: Derrida's Discourse with 'Woman' and Wenches" (21-51) in Derrida and Feminism.

[23] Jacques Derrida, Glas Trans. John P. Leavey (University of Nebraska Press, 1982) and extracts in Kamuf (ed), 315-352.

[24] See Kamuf (ed), 378-402. Derrida's reading of Heidegger on sexual difference is surprisingly close to Irigaray's. See Ellen T. Armour, "Questions of Proximity: 'Woman's Place' in Derrida and Irigaray", Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 12.1 (Winter 1997): 63-78.

[25] Jacques Derrida and Christie V. McDonald "Choreographies: Interview" in Nancy J. Holland (ed) Feminist Interpretations of Jacques Derrida 23-41. For a brilliant reading of Derrida's dream of innumerable genders and a sexuality without number see John D. Caputo's "Dreaming of the Innumerable: Derrida, Drucilla Cornell, and the Dance of Gender" in Derrida and Feminism (141-160) which asks: "The two genders, masculine and feminine ... do they not dominate and manipulate us all, narrow us and confine us, making us all less than we can be, blocking off the 'beyond' and an absolute future to come? (157). To the dance of innumerable genders Caputo says "viens! Oui, oui!"

[26] Extracts appear in Kamuf (ed) 403-439. See Elisabeth Grosz's essay "Ontology and Equivocation: Derrida's Politics of Sexual Difference" in Holland (ed), 73-101. Among those to emphasize futurity in Derrida's writings on sexual difference are Caputo, Grosz, and Ziarek.

[27] Jacques Derrida The Work of Mourning (eds.) Pascale Anne-Brault and Michael Naas (>Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). See especially "I'll Have to Wander All Alone" his eulogy for Deleuze. For critical commentary see Kate Mehuron's "Sentiment Recuperated: The Performative in Women's AIDS-Related Testimonies" in Holland (ed) 165-191.

[28] Jacques Derrida Memoires: for Paul de Man. Trans. Cecile Lindsay, Jonathan Culler, and Eduardo Cadava (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986).

[29] Jacques Derrida, Le Toucher: Jean Luc-Nancy (Paris: Galilée, 2000). Also, "Touch/To Touch Him", Trans. Peggy Kamuf, Paragraph 16.2 (1993): 122-157 and Sarah Sorial, "Heidegger, Jean-Luc Nancy, and the Question of Dasein's Embodiment: An Ethics of Touch and Spacing", Philosophy Today 48.2 (Summer 2004): 216-230. See also Marcella Maria Althaus-Reid's "El Tocado (Le Toucher): Sexual Irregularities in the Translation of God (The Word) in Jesus" in Yvonne Sherwood and Kevin Hart (eds), Other Testaments: Derrida and Religion (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), 393-405 and Nikki Sullivan, "Being-Exposed: 'The Poetics of Sex' and Other Matters of Tact" «http://transformations.cqu.edu.au/journal/journal.shtml».

[30] Jacques Derrida, "Fors: The Anglish Words of Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok", Trans. Barbara Johnson in Abraham and Torok The Wolfman's Magic Word: A Cryptonomy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986). The title of Geoffrey Bennington's recent essay "Superanus" is deceptive in that it does not discuss the anal erotics of Derrida's sovereignty to-come. However, his relentless "searching in this obscurity, feeling and groping around" in his efforts to think the "logic of sovereignty and its constitutive cut" suggests that reading Derrida might be akin to Deleuze's conception of philosophy as a kind of assfuck. «http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v008/8.1bennington.html». Interestingly, Derrida in the film made by Dick and Ziering Kofman sees the philosopher as always being a masculine figure.

[31] See Calvin Thomas, Male Matters: Masculinity, Anxiety, and the Male Body on the Line (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1996) especially chapter 4 "Dysgraphia 2: Deconstruction and the Fear of Mere Writing", 116-152.

[32] Jacques Derrida The Truth in Painting Trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Ian McLeod. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979). See Brian Pronger's "Outta My Endzone: Sport and the Territorial Anus", Journal of Sport and Social Issues 23.4 (November 1999): 373-389 and Drucilla Cornell's The Philosophy of the Limit (New York: Routledge, 1992) on parergonality.

[33] "'Eating Well' or the Calculation of the Subject: An Interview with Jacques Derrida" in Jean Luc-Nancy (et al) (eds) Who Comes After The Subject (London and New York: Routledge, 1991), 96-119.

[34] Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression Trans. Eric Prenowitz (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). On gay and lesbian history, archivization, loss, and trauma see Ann Cvetkovich's "In the Archives of Lesbian Feelings: Documentary and Popular Culture" Camera Obscura 49 (2002): 108-147 and An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2003) especially 268-271.

[35] See the extracts from "Envois" in Kamuf (ed) 484-515 and Lee Edelman's "Seeing Things: Representation, the Scene of Surveillance, and the Spectacle of Gay Male Sex" in Fuss (ed) Inside/Out 93-116.

[36] "The Animal that Therefore I Am (More to Follow)" Trans. David Wills, Critical Inquiry 28.2 (Winter 2002): 369-418. This is in many ways an article about gender and sexual politics.

[37] Jacques Derrida Given Time: 1:Counterfeit Money Trans. Peggy Kamuf (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1992); The Politics of Friendship Trans. George Collins (London: Verso, 1996); Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle invites Jacques Derrida to Respond Trans. Rachel Bowlby (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2000); Voyous: Deux Essais sur la Raison (Paris: Galilée, 2003) recently translated as Rogues: Two Essays on Reason by Pascale Anne-Brault and Michael Naas (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2005). Derrida's work on the traffic in women entre hommes allies him with Luce Irigaray, Gayle Rubin, and Eve Kososky Sedgwick. See also Jonathan Goldberg's "The History that Will Be" in Louise Fradenburg and Carla Freccero (eds) Premodern Sexualities (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), 3-21. Penelope Deutscher's "Derrida's Impossible Genealogies" assesses Derrida's focus on the exclusion of women from political and social bonds between men and how his theory of unconditional hospitality (for which women act as conduit) aligns him with feminist political philosophers such as Susan Okin and Carole Pateman. «http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v008/8.1deutscher.html». See also her "The Impossible Friend: Traversing the Heterosocial, the Homosocial, and the Successes of Failure" in A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002), 123-141.

[38] Jacques Derrida Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International Trans. Peggy Kamuf (London and New York: Routledge): 1994).

[39] "Force of Law: On The Mystical Foundation of Authority" Trans. M. Quaintance in G Anidjar (ed) Acts of Religion (London and New York: Routledge, 2002)

[40] Jacques Derrida "I am at War with Myself", interview with Jean Birnbaum, Le Monde, (Wednesday August 18 2004). See also Jacques Derrida and Elisabeth Roudinesco, De Quoi Demain ... Dialogue (Paris: Galilée, 2001) translated as For What Tomorrow ... A Dialogue Trans. J. Fort (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004).

[41] See Debra Bergoffen, "February 22, 2001: Toward a Politics of the Vulnerable Body", Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 18.1 (Winter 2003): 116-134.

[42] Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976). See also Annie Potts's "Coming, Coming, Gone: A Feminist Deconstruction of Heterosexual Orgasm", Sexualities 3.1 (2000): 55-76.

[43] See Sullivan's introduction to queer theory on Derrida and Nancy's anti-identitarian notion of community. See also Caputo's chapter "Community Without Community" (106-124) in Deconstruction in a Nutshell which works through Derrida's relationship to Nancy and Blanchot.

[44] "I would like to hear philosophers speak about their sexual lives. Because it is something they don't talk about. Who do these philosophers present themselves as asexual?" Derrida in Dick Kirby and Amy Ziering Kofman Derrida: A Film (USA: Jane Doe Films/Zeitgeist Films, 2002).

[45] On Butler, Derrida and asylum seekers see Joanna Zylinska, "The Universal Acts: Judith Butler and the Biopolitics of Immigration", Cultural Studies 18.4 (July 2004): 523-537.

[46] For a start see Catherine Keller and Stephen D. Moore, "Derridapocalypse" in Sherwood and Hart (eds) 189-207; John Protevi on the gift of life and the discursive economies surrounding AIDS in Political Physics: Deleuze, Derrida, and the Body Politic (London and New York: Athlone Press, 2001); Peter Coviello, "Apocalypse from Now On" in Joseph A. Boone (et al) (eds) Queer Frontiers: Millennial Geographies, Genders, and Generations (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000), 39-63; Steven F. Kruger, "Medieval/Postmodern: HIV/AIDS and the Temporality of Crisis" in Glenn Burger and Kruger (eds) Queering the Middle Ages (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 252-283; and of course, Jacques Derrida, "No Apocalypse, Not Now (Full Speed Ahead, Seven Missiles, Seven Missives)", Diacritics 14.2 (Summer 1984): 20-31.

[47] There is a Derridean paper to be written on the phenomenon of bugchasing and giftgiving where HIV-seropositive men engage in bareback sex with partners seeking the gift of HIV positive status.

[48] On anti-heteronormative scholarship and The Politics of Friendship see Richard Stamp's "What has Become of the Real Structure of the Political ... ? Notes On Situating a Cultural Politics of Friendship", paper presented at Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy conference, Gregynog, January 2005. On friendship see Alan Bray's The Friend (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003) and Peter Fenves, "Politics of Friendship-Once Again", Eighteenth-Century Studies 32.2 (Winter 1998-1999): 133-155.

[49] For a shorter list see Michelle Esther O'Brien's "Dreaming Our desire: Insurgent Promise in Queer Artistic Practice" unpublished M.A. Thesis, 2000, 15-17. « http://www.deadletters.biz/thesis/intro.pdf»

[50] Much of the language in this section comes from Jodey Castricano's "Cryptomimesis: The Gothic and Jacques Derrida's Ghost Writing", Gothic Studies 2.1 (April 2000): 8-21.

[51] See, for example, the interview between Sue Golding and Joanna Zylinska, "There is Always One More Technology of Otherness" in Culture Machine 1 (1999) «http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j001/articles/art_gold.htm»

[52] Robert Harvey and Pascal Le Brun Cordier, "Horizons", Rue Descartes 40 (Special issue: Queer: Repenser Les Identités), 2-5, at 2.

[53] One is reminded of Derrida's claims that the translativity of deconstruction destines it to erring and voyage and his claims that deconstruction is America(n) in Memoires for Paul De Man.

[54] Catherine Malabou and Jacques Derrida, Counterpath: Traveling with Jacques Derrida (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2004).

[55] Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Tendencies (Durham and London: Duke University Press), xii.

[56] Lawrence R. Schehr, "Filiations Queer?" Rue Descartes 40 (2003): 18-26, at 21.

[57] Only last week there was an article on Butler's Queer Theory in Le Monde reviewing Gender Trouble. See Jean Birnbaum (who conducted the last interview with Derrida) "Discordance des Genres, de New York à Paris", (29 April 2005, which sees what Butler does as "French Studies".

[58] Lee Edelman, "La Pensée Queer: L'Insupportable", Rue Descartes 40 (2003): 70-73.

[59] However, Derrida's ghost again returned to haunt this essay when, after it was finished, I found a new article "Justices", on J. Hillis Miller, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and performativity, in which Derrida talks about queerness and the "impossible uncanniness of a 'queer theory'". The essay is an envois to Miller who responds with an essay on the touch, the kiss, and Henry James. See Jacques Derrida, "Justices", Critical Inquiry 31.3 (Spring 2005): 689-721, quote at 700, and J. Hillis Miler, "What is a Kiss? Isabel's Moments of Decision", Critical Inquiry31.3 (Spring 2005): 722-747. I think the essays confirm the central premises of my article and Dragan Kujundzic in his introduction to the pair of essays describes the potential future of the essays (for queer scholarship) beautifully: "I cannot help but think of a future young scholar, of so many scholars to come, who will find inspiration and a jolt when reading these two essays in Critical Inquiry. And who will in turn be propelled, with the force produced by this encounter and this event, to further destinations of as yet uncharted paths. Like letters, sealed with a kiss". See ""Journey with J on the Jour J", Critical Inquiry 31.3 (Spring 2005): 684-688, at 688.

[60] Having said that Derrida has been much more open to thinking beyond the two, as Caputo argues, than other contemporaries, Nancy, Irigaray, or Kristeva, for example.

[61] Paul Bowman, "Politics and Ethics from Behind" Culture Machine 4 (2002) «http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j004/Articles/bowman.htm»
After Derrida's death Bowman wrote: "For, what arrived with crushing, programmatic predictability were the denunciations, defamations, misrepresentations: Derrida, they said, was unintelligible, nonsensical, meaningless, postmodernist, relativist, 'deconstruction-ist', confusing and 'therefore' confused, too serious, too trivial, too difficult, too silly, too much, too little, too French". "Confused, good-for-everything, hate object: Of Deconstruction, Cultural Studies, and Academic Irresponsibility", paper presented at Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy conference, Gregynog, January 2005.

[62] Gregory Therel Esplin attempts to resignify mindless wank in the context of nomadizing theory in "Beating Off Teleology: A Defense of NonProductive Thought", Philament: An On-line Journal of the Arts and Culture 3 (April 2004) «http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/publications/philament/issue3_Critique_Esplin.htm»

[63] Penelope Deutscher calls this the Brundle-fly effect. See her "Deconstruction in a Retrospective Time" in Yielding Gender: Feminism, Deconstruction and the History of Philosophy (London and New York: Routledge, 1997) 34-58. On Butler and Derrida see 55-58.

[64] Jonathan Kandell, "Jacques Derrida, Abstruse Theorist, Dies at 74", New York Times (October 10, 2004).

[65] Some titles include "Father of Deconstruction Dies, if 'Death' Means Anything"; "The Death of Jacques Derrida-A Personal Tragedy ... A Public Benefit"; and the seemingly harmless "Jacques Derrida, R.I.P.: The Legacy of Deconstruction" and "The Deconstruction of Jacques Derrida". For a useful survey of the blogs and the University of California Website mourning Derrida see Craig Saper's "The Blog Report: Crisis and Transition (Winter 2004) in this journal. «http://www.rhizomes.net/issue9/saper.htm»

[66] Roger Kimball, "The Meaninglessness of Meaning: Jacques Derrida is Dead, But His Baneful Ideas Live On", Wall Street Journal (Tuesday October 12, 2004). Articles like Terry Eagleton's in The Guardian, "Don't Deride Derrida" (16 October 2004) which claimed that Derrida tried write like a woman are just as malevolent.

[67] Quoted in McLemee. Derrida himself claims in Voyous that there was not a political turn in his work from the 1990s onwards but that his work has always been political (especially concepts such as différance and archi-writing).

[68] Mark C. Taylor "What Derrida Really Meant" New York Times (October 14 2004; Jonathan Sterne, "Some Simple Thoughts on Jacques Derrida (1930-2004)", «http://bad.eserver.org/editors/2004/thoughts_on_jacques_derrida.html». See also Derek Attridge and Thomas Baldwin's obituary in The Guardian (Monday 11 October 2004); Scott Mc Lemee's "Derrida, a Pioneer of Literary Theory, Dies" in The Chronicle of Higher Education (October 22, 2004) «http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i09a00101.htm»; Arkady Plotnitsky's "The Différance of the World: Homage to Jacques Derrida", Postmodern Culture 15.1 (2004) «http://www.iath.virginia.edu/pmc/text-only/issue.904/15.1plotnitsky.txt»

[69] Quoted in McLemee.

[70] Michael Naas argues for the performative dimension of Derrida's writing throughout his Taking on the Tradition: Jacques Derrida and the Legacies of Deconstruction (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003). One could also argue that by virtue of so frequently citing (usually silently) their other earlier works that Derrida and Butler's writing has a spiral structure of iterability which queers the notions of filiation and generation and opens up to the avenir.

[71] "In dealing with what-is-to-come [l'avenir], with the opening to the to-come [l'àvenir]-that is, not only to the future [futur], but to what happens [ce qui arrive], comes [vient], has the form of an event", Jacques Derrida and Massimo Ferraris, A Taste For the Secret Trans. Giacomo Donis (Cambridge: Polity, 2001), 19.

[72] Butler, Bodies That Matter, 222. This chapter tarrying with the Žižekian Real is, perhaps, Butler's most engaged discussion of futuricity and "how to live the contingency of the political signifier in a culture of democratic contestation"(222).

[73] As does Eve Sedgwick's which is very much in the Yale school/de Manian tradition.

[74] Butler's theory of performativity differs from Eve Sedgwick's as will be clear to anyone who has read any of their interactions with each other's work. However, Sedgwick also acknowledges her indebtedness to Derrida: "Touching Feeling is rooted in an intransigent fascination with some effects and implications surrounding J.L. Austin's foundational work on performative utterances. While the concept of performativity has propelled notably divergent trains of thought in several disciplines, I have been most responsive to one line that extends through Derrida to the early work of Judith Butler, a line that has proved particularly influential in the development of gender studies and queer studies throughout the 1990s". Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2003), 3. A helpful overview can be found in Cindy Patton's "How to do Things with Sound", Cultural Studies 13.3 (1999): 466-487, which eventually moves away from a Derridean interpretation of Austin. On the politics of iterability in Butler see John Cyril Barton, "Iterability and the Order-Word Plateau: 'A Politics of the Performative' in Derrida and Deleuze/Guattari", Critical Horizons 4.2 (2003): 227-264, esp. 228-234.

[75] For an excellent introduction to Butler's complex thought see Sara Salih's Judith Butler (London and New York: Routledge, 2002).

[76] Although arguably her much undertheorized, and underquoted Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987) lays the groundwork for much that follows. Mikko Tuhkanen notes this in his "Gilles Deleuze, Judith Butler ja tulevaisuuden tekeminen", forthcoming in The Finnish Journal of Women's Studies. He argues that Butler fails to embrace the radical openness to the future by favoring Foucault and Derrida over a Deleuzian notion of becoming. While I agree in large part with his brilliant argument clearly I read Butler as entirely disposed to the incalculable and that it is the cornerstone of her ethics and (un)timely theory.

[77] Butler, Bodies That Matter, 2.

[78] Jacques Derrida, "Signature Event Context" in Margins of Philosophy Trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 307-330, at 321.

[79] On Butler, Derrida, and performativity see Ewa Plonowska Ziarek, "From Euthanasia to the Other of Reason: Performativity and the Deconstruction of Sexual Difference" in Derrida and Feminism 115-140.

[80] "Politics, Power and Ethics: A Discussion Between Judith Butler and William Connolly", Theory & Event 4.2 (2000) «http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v004/4.2butler.html»

[81] See Giorgio Agamben Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life Trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford, California: California University Press, 1998) especially 1-12, "The Paradox of Sovereignty" (15-29), and "Life That Does Not Deserve to Live". While Butler, Derrida, and Agamben all stress potentiality and futurity in their work there are significant differences between their messianisms. While Derrida's is a weak messianism, Agamben's may be closer to what we might call a "strong" messianism. The minor differences between all three thinkers are not important though since following Derrida in Voyous I want to see messianism as irreligious (or, at least, not tied to organized religion) and all three thinkers are demonstrably committed to the philosophical community to-come, sovereignty to-come, and democracy to-come. On Agamben see Leland Deladurantaye, "Agamben's Potential", Diacritics 30.2 (Summer 2000): 3-24 and Catherine Mills, "Agamben's Messianic Politics: Biopolitics, Abandonment and Happy Life", Contretemps: An Online Journal of Philosophy 5 (December 2004) «http://www.usyd.edu.au/contretemps/». On Derrida, see Caputo's "Without Sovereignty, Without Being: Unconditionality, the Coming God and Derrida's Democracy To Come", Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 4.3 (August 2003): 9-26. Butler may also be close to Irigaray's messianism, figured in the angel. On Irigaray see Peter Fenves, "'Out of the Order of Number': Benjamin and Irigaray Toward a Politics of Pure Means', Diacritics: 28.1 (Spring 1998): 43-58.

[82] Judith Butler, Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative (New York and London: Routledge, 1997) esp. chapter 4 "Implicit Censorship and Discursive Agency", 127-163.

[83] Butler, Bodies That Matter, 8.

[84] Judith Butler, The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), 135.

[85] Iain Morland and Wendy O'Brien, "Introduction: Queering Regionality", Transformations 8 (July 2004) «http://transformations.cqu.edu.au/journal/journal.shtml». "The straight man becomes ... the man he 'never' loved and 'never' grieved", she argues and " the straight woman becomes the woman she 'never' loved and 'never' grieved", Butler, Psychic Life of Power, 147.

[86] Butler, Psychic Life of Power, 134.

[87] J Laplanche and J.B. Pontalis, The Language of Psychoanalysis Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (New York and London: W.W. Norton, 1973) 229.

[88] Laplanche and Pontalis, 205.

[89] Butler, Gender Trouble, 58.

[90] Gender Trouble, 57-58.

[91] Jody Greene's "Introduction: The Work of Friendship" to a special issue of GlQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies on Alan Bray has been particularly helpful in thinking about loss, remembrance, mourning, work, and survival even if Jacques Derrida was not a friend of mine or indeed someone I ever even met. See GLQ 10.3 (2004): 319-337. Also helpful in thinking about mourning and Derrida's death have been Derrida's own "Living on: Borderlines" in Kamuf (ed) 257-268; Daniel Watt's "'It's a Joke, I do not Accept': Derrida's Demanding Call and Other Dead Voices", paper presented at Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy Conference, Gregynog, January 2005; Sarah Dillon's "Life after Derrida, Anakoluthia and the Agrammaticality of Following", paper presented at Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy (which wonders in passing about a possible lesbian reading of anacolutha in Derrida and Proust); Simon Speck "Legacies of Mourning: Law, Politics and 'The Middle' in the Thought of Jacques Derrida and Gillian Rose", paper presented at Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy.; Ranjana Khanna, "Signatures of the Impossible", 11Duke Journal of Gender, Law and Policy 69 (2004) «http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/djglp/articles/gen11p69.htm»; David Farrell Krell, The Purest of Bastards: Works of Mourning, Art, and Affirmation in the Thought of Jacques Derrida (Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000).

[92] Derrida, Memoires for Paul De Man, 35.

[93] Jack Reynolds, "Possible and Impossible, Self and Other, and the Reversibility of Merleau-Ponty and Derrida", Philosophy Today 48.1 (Spring 2001): 35-48, at 44.

[94] Jack Reynolds, "Jacques Derrida", The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy «http://www.iep.utm.edu/d/derrida.htm».

[95] ibid. I would like to thank Sarah Dillon for pointing out to me the doubleness involved in Derrida's mourning for his friend.

[96] Judith Butler, "Jacques Derrida", London Review of Books (4 November 2004).

[97] Derrida is sensitive to these exclusions in The Politics of Friendship, Voyous, and Of Hospitality but, as Haddad points out in "Inheriting Democracy to Come", his ideas of unconditional citizenship and hospitality still serve to "highlight certain sexist and heterosexist assumptions that are still at work in general understandings of what it is to belong to a democracy".

[98] This self-critical gesture towards his own complicity in masculinist heteronormativity also offers us a way to recuperate a space that is appreciative of denaturalized, nonheterosexist forms of homosociality and homoerotic sentiment in Derrida's work.

[99] On livable lives and grievable deaths and what counts as human in recent Butler see Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence (London: Verso, 2004) which contains chapters on 9/11, the indefinite detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay (which is useful for thinking about Butler's ideas on the justice-to come and on sovereignty), anti-semitism and anti-Zionism, and the war in Afghanistan.

[100] Derrida, Memoires for Paul De Man, 6.

[101] Richard Halpern, Shakespeare's Perfume: Sodomy and Sublimity in the Sonnets, Wilde, Freud, and Lacan (Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press,, 2002), 52-58.

[102] Derrida, The Politics of Friendship, 12.

[103] Martin McQuillan, Review of The Politics of Friendship, Textual Practice 12.1 (1998): 179-184.

[104] The Politics of Friendship, 5.

[105] Ibid, 10.

[106] See Michael O'Rourke "In Memoriam-Alan Bray (1948-2001)" in Katherine O'Donnell and Michael O'Rourke (eds) Love, Sex, Intimacy, and Friendship Between Men, 1550-1800 (Basingstoke : Palgrave, 2003), 82-85 and David Halperin "Pal O' Me Heart", London Review of Books (May 22, 2003).

[107] Derrida, The Politics of Friendship, 14.

[108] Viens, oui, oui is a refrain which runs throughout Caputo's work on Derrida. Caputo has been most influential in emphasizing the messianic or futural dimension of Derrida's thought. See especially section V of Prayers entitled "Viens".

[109] All the above discussion is indebted to both John Caputo's Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida (New York: Fordham University Press, 1997) especially chapter 6 "The Messianic: Waiting for the Future" and especially The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Religion Without Religion (Bloomington and Indianopolis: Indiana University Press, 1997) and "After Jacques Derrida Comes the Future", Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 4.2 (April 2003) «http://www.jcrt.org/archives/04.02/index.html?page=caputo.shtml».

[110] Carol Siegel pointed out to me that the recent turn to spirituality in Queer Studies, evidenced particularly in the work of Gloria Anzaldua, mirrors Butler's work and represents a similar passion for the impossible.

[111] Butler, "Critically Queer" in Bodies That Matter, 228.

[112] Halperin, Saint Foucault, 62. One could add the quote from Sedgwick about movement above.

[113] Edelman, "Queer Theory: Unstating Desire" GLQ 2.4 (1995): 343-346, at 346. This was before Edelman gave up on futurity in his recent book No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2004). This is a worrying move on his part as he clears the future away without leaving anything in its place. The damage this does to the radical democracy to-come can be most palpably felt in his critique of Butler's Antigone's Claim, 102-107.

[114] In a discussion at the Lesbian Lives conference, University College Dublin, February 2005.

[115] Caputo, Prayers 263ff.

[116] When I first suggested this Jewish, messianic dimension to queer theory at a conference in Dublin I was accused of being anti-semitic. If that were the case both Caputo and Derrida would have to be laid open to the same charge. To the best of my knowledge, the term Jewish science has been refunctioned in the same way as the word queer. While I do not wish to offend or to claim to empty a word of its potential performative power to injure I think it is worth noting that Butler has been accused of anti-semitism because of her anti-Zionist stance. See Rebecca Siegel, "Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism: A Response to Judith Butler" in Bad Subjects 70 (October 2004) «http://bad.eserver.org/issues/2004/70/siegel.html» and Butler's chapter "The Charge of Anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, And the Risks of Public Critique" in Precarious Life (101-127). More care needs to be taken when levelling such charges.

[117] Perhaps the earliest negotiation of an openness to the future occurs in Leo Bersani's Baudelaire and Freud in which, according to Mikko Tuhkanen, he argues that our "disappointment with or rejection of the present symbolic must not congeal into utopic projects because these always depend on the foreseeable" and that in "foreseeing the future" such programs "pre-empt the emergence of the radically new". See Tuhkanen's "Becoming Same: Bersani and Deleuze", Umbr(a): A Journal of the Unconscious (2002): 131-145, at 132.

[118] See "Can the Other of Philosophy Speak?" in Undoing Gender (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).

[119] See Caputo "Those Weeping Eyes, Those Seeing Tears: The Faith of Jacques Derrida" on Derrida's Memoirs or the Blind, in Prayers, 309-323. See also Priscilla Netto, "Notes for Writing in Blindness: Keeping Faith with the Infinite", paper presented at Derrida: Negotiating the Legacy Conference, Gregynog, January 2005.

[120] On Derridean temporalities see Jack Reynolds, "Derrida and Deleuze on Time, the Future, and Politics", Borderlands e-journal 3.1 (2004) «http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no1_2004/reynolds_time.htm»

[121] The democracy-to-come, earlier known as the promise of law, messianicity without messianism, or in Specters of Marx justice, first appears in The Other Heading: Reflections on Today's Europe Trans. Pascale Anne-Brault and Michael Naas (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992).

[122] Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell, 117-118.

[123] Mark Mason, "Exploring 'the impossible': Jacques Derrida, John Caputo, and the Philosophy of History", unpublished paper.

[124] See the introduction "A Passion for The Impossible" in Prayers, xvii-xxvi.

[125] Caputo, Prayers xx.

[126] Mason "Exploring". This motion can be found in the work of Edelman, Sedgwick, Butler, Warner, McRuer and others.

[127] On the differences between Benjamin's messianism and Derrida's see Owen Ware, "Dialectic of the Past/ Disjuncture of the Future: Derrida and Benjamin on the Concept of Messianism", Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 5.2 (April 2004): 99-114. I hope it is clear that I think Butler is attuned to both the past and the future.

[128] The term spectrality, which refers in Derrida to our ethical obligation to the past and the future is taken up in a much more necropolitical way by Butler who is interested in the way political systems are always haunted by the abject remainder which their policing exclusions sought to foreclose, and in the way in which the world is unsettled by the not-now, the not-yet, by something out of joint. For example, see Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000). On Butler's political theory and hauntology, futurity, and spectrality see Samuel A. Chambers, "Ghostly Rights", Cultural Critique 54 (Spring 2003): 148-177.

[129] See in particular chapter 3 "Doing Justice to Someone: Sex Reassignment and Allegories of Transsexuality" (57-74) and chapter 10 "The Question of Social Transformation" (204-231).

[130] Judith Butler, "The End of Sexual Difference? In Feminist Consequences: Theory for the New Century (eds) Elisabeth Bronfen and Misha Kavka (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), 430. Reprinted as chapter 9 of Undoing Gender, 174-203. See also the interview with Connolly in which she says: "And it is, in a way, a risky moment in politics. What the new form of universality brings will not be necessarily good or desirable, and the politics of judgment will be brought to bear on what arrives. But it is equally true that nothing good or desirable will arrive without the new. This distinction seems to me to be very important". And see the debates with Laclau and Žižek in Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (London and New York: Verso, 2000).

[131] See Ewa Plonowska Ziarek, An Ethics of Dissensus: Postmodernity, Feminism, and the Politics of Radical Democracy (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2001). On performativity and the messianic see Werner Hamacher, "Lingua Amissa: The Messianism of Commodity-Language and Derrida's Spectres of Marx" in Michael Sprinker (ed) Ghostly Demarcations: A Symposium on Jacques Derrida's Spectres of Marx" (London, Verso, 1999), 168-212.

[132] Derrida, The Politics of Friendship, 29.

[133] Butler, "The End", 421.

[134] On Derrida as "The Thinker of The Future" see Drucilla Cornell's essay of that title in German Law Journal 6 .1 (January 2005) «http://www.germanlawjournal.com/article.php?id=544»

[135] On untimely politics see Samuel Chambers, "Spectral History, Untimely Theory" in Theory & Event 3.4 (2000) «http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v003/3.4chambers.html»

[136] Derrida, Politics of Friendship, 29.

[137] Ibid, 31.

[138] Ibid, 44.

[139] Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading; or, You're So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Introduction is About You", Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1997) 1-37.