Jean-Luc Nancy published four times in Qui Parle during his lifetime: once in 1987, once in 1989, and twice in 2017. “Under Construction: Interventions” marks the first English translation of his first publication in this journal, in its second-ever issue. In this short piece, written five years after his groundbreaking La communauté désoeuvrée, Nancy takes up the question of teaching and its inherent entwinement, as he argues, with “the work of thought.” Teaching is here understood much like Nancy’s community: not as what stems from collaboration but as comprising a series of mimetic displacements, reproductions, gestures. Teaching thus magnifies the possibilities at “the limit of sense.” As Nancy puts it: the reconfiguration of those listening students will continue its reach where a teacher’s mastery has reached its finitude. Amid contemporary conversations about collaborative learning and pedagogical missions, Nancy’s brief missive offers a compelling intervention—an alternative model to that of master and pupil—but envisions a classroom community built on layers of displacement.

You do not currently have access to this content.