Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 351–363

Letter Writing and the Performativity of Intimacy in Female Pedagogical Relations: Recuperating Derridean Amnesia, Writing Back to Madame de Maintenon

  • Zelia Gregoriou

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005293126383

Cite this article as:
Gregoriou, Z. Studies in Philosophy and Education (1999) 18: 351. doi:10.1023/A:1005293126383


Performativity and performance of language are the subject of this re-writing of Derrida's position on the gift. Here the source of performativity is Althusser's while the source of the gift is not only Marcel Mauss, but also both the opening of Derrida's Given Time: I, Counterfeit Money and the signing through letters of Madame de Maintenon, wife of Louis XIV and founder of a school for girls. A third writing plays a role, that of a 1910 biography of Madame. The paper is a ‘relay,’ a ‘re-play’ of the positions of the central ‘characters,’ -- Derrida and Maintenon -- and a semiology of their writings. Out of this a new ‘gift of pedagogy’ is evoked in a conception of ‘pedagogical retreat.’

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zelia Gregoriou
    • 1
  1. 1.IntercollegeNicosiaCyprus

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