The Before and the After: Critical Asynchrony Now

Between 2020 and 2021, in the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fourteen authors included in The Before and the After: Critical Asynchrony Now turned to reflections on the late work of Jacques Derrida in an attempt to think through the temporal disjunctions imposed by the global emergency. They found themselves thinking through ideas and philosophical tropes that had been in vogue more than twenty years earlier — as though a deep theoretical nostalgia could somehow rescue them from the moment that beset them.

As a belated turn to Derrida’s late work, The Before and the After provides a series of visions of what we might become, in our engagements with the past — both the contemporary and ancient past — in our occupation of every fractured “now.” This book is a document of a moment now largely (hopefully) behind us and an attempt to imagine what remains to come.