eCite Digital Repository

Virtually Impossible: Deleuze and Derrida on the Political Problem of Islands (and Island studies)


Williams, S, Virtually Impossible: Deleuze and Derrida on the Political Problem of Islands (and Island studies), Island Studies Journal, 7, (2) pp. 215-234. ISSN 1715-2593 (2012) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2012 Institute of Island Studies,University of Prince Edward Island, Canada This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution: No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported Licence.

Official URL:


It is commonplace to think of an island as a discreetly bounded unit. Selected writings on islands by the poststructuralist philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida reveal the island variously to be both real and imaginary, mythological and scientific, but as most problematic when constituted in political terms as an indivisible, sovereign entity. These two thinkersí more broadly developed concepts of the virtual and the impossible, respectively, are seen to disrupt any assumptions about the fixity and closure of the island polity. Instead they emphasize its actualization through processual relations that can be difficult and yet are dynamic and decisive in effecting the move from being to becoming-other. However, as the possibilities for instituting more ethical as well as different political relations are subsequently opened up, the question of island studies remaining in its currently coherent, familiar form is raised for consideration.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Williams, S (Dr Stewart Williams)
ID Code:79472
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2012-09-14
Last Modified:2018-03-19
Downloads:602 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page