Intellectual History and Poststructuralism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The reception of poststructuralism, and in particular the work of Jacques Derrida, by intellectual historians has caused considerable anxiety within the field. In the 1980s, postructuralism was useful for intellectual historians wanting to reassert the value of their field against the claims of social history. But the appeal to poststructuralism and other theoretical approaches also invited the charge that intellectual historians were moving away from their proper work. In this chapter, I explain first why Derrida's work elicited such an ambivalent response, and then, by following the career of Dominick LaCapra, show how intellectual historians have responded to that ambivalence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Intellectual History
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781118508091
ISBN (Print)9781118294802
StatePublished - Oct 31 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Deconstruction
  • Dominick LaCapra
  • French theory
  • Historical theory
  • Intellectual history
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Linguistic turn
  • Poststructuralism


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