UWinnipeg’s Dr. Karen Zoppa is heading to Washington, D.C., later this month to present at the 7th Derrida Today Conference, the premier international venue for Derrida scholars.
Zoppa will be presenting her paper, “Beauvoir After Derrida: Borders of Response,” drawing on her recent book, Playing the Scene of Religion: Beauvoir and Faith (Sheffield, UK: Equinox Publishing, 2021).
Zoppa’s paper offers a unique look at the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, observing how her existential ethics, written in the 1940s, intersects with Jacques Derrida’s ethics of deconstruction, raising the provocative question: did he read Beauvoir?
Presenting at the conference is the culmination of an academic dream, allowing Zoppa to bring the philosophy of Beauvoir to Derrida scholars. Beauvoir, most famous as the author of The Second Sex, is currently enjoying a wave of well-deserved critical attention from philosophers and comes from the same intellectual milieu as Derrida.
“It is vital that her legacy to phenomenology, existentialism, and ethics be offered to the broader philosophical community, and this conference offers a perfect moment for this,” said Zoppa. She includes Beauvoir in her first-year philosophy course syllabus, a choice her students appreciate.
Zoppa currently teaches literature, history, and other humanities at The University of Winnipeg Collegiate, as well as courses in the Department of Philosophy and Department of Religion and Culture. As well as Playing the Scene of Religion: Beauvoir and Faith, Zoppa authored the soon-to-be published chapter, “Force of Law: Resources in Derrida for re-thinking Policing.” She has served in many capacities within UWinnipeg governance, including the University of Winnipeg Faculty Association as well as inaugurating the University of Winnipeg Trusteed Pension Plan Board as its first Chair.