Stella Gaon

Faculty of Arts
Political Science

Faculty Member Information


Political philosophy; social and political thought. Modern political thought (especially eighteenth and nineteenth century); contemporary political theory, including Frankfurt School critical theory, Marxism, continental social theory and philosophy (Derrida, Habermas, Nancy, Agamben, Freud, Laplanche), critical educational theory and feminist thought. Other areas of research and teaching interest: History of political thought; democratic theory; theories of human rights; Marxism; state theory and international relations theory; critical legal theory; moral philosophy.


Ph.D., Philosophy of Education, University of Toronto , 2001
M.A., Interdisciplinary Programme, Philosophy and Feminist Theory, Concordia University, 1992
B.A., Honours, English Literature, Concordia University, 1982


2015 - Present, European Consortium for Political Research, Political Theory Standing Group
2005 - 2013, International Association for Philosophy and Literature
2004 - Present, British International Studies Association
2003 - Present, Post-Structuralist Theory and Radical Politics Group
1994 - Present, Canadian Political Science Association


Grant Notley Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Alberta - 2002
Ontario Graduate Scholarship Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities - 1997
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Graduate Fellowship (Education) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) - 1995
F.C.A.R. Québec Scholarship for Graduate Studies (Philosphy) - 1987
Graduate Fellowship (Interdisciplinary) Concordia University - 1985

Teaching: Course / Program Development

2003/01 - Present, Courses Designed and Taught at Saint Mary's University
1999/03 - 2003/01, Courses Designed and Taught at University of Alberta

Scholarly Contributions

Book Reviews

Goode Luke. (2007)"Jurgen Habermas: Democracy and the Public Sphere", The Review of Politics 69:3, 480-484
Shabani O.. (2004)"Democracy, Power, and Legitimacy: The Critical Theory of Jurgen Habermas", The Review of Politics 66:2, 242-245
Cornell Drucilla, Gaon Stella. (2003)"Just Cause: Freedom, Identity, and Rights", Review of Constitutional Studies/ Revue d'etudes constitutionelles 8:1, 101-103
Allman Paula, Gaon Stella. (2000)"Revolutionary Social Transformation: Democratic Hopes, Political Possibilities and Critical Education", Philosophy in Review/ Comptes rendus philosophiques 20:3, 81-82

Book Chapters

Gaon Stella. (2009). "Alterity as Democracy-to-Come", In Democracy in Crisis: Violence, Alterity, Community
Gaon Stella. (2009). "Introduction", In Democracy in Crisis: Violence, Alterity, Community
Gaon Stella. (2004). "Ethics and Politics", Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics, 3rd Edition, 32-43

Journal Articles

Gaon Stella. "As if there were a Jew: The (non) existence of deconstructive responsibilty ", Derrida Today 7:1 (Spring - 2014), 44-58
Gaon Stella. "Why must I? A Freudian Response to the Question of Ethical-Political Responsibility", Mosaic: A Journal for the interdisciplinary Study of Literature 44:4 (Spring - 2011), 79-93
Gaon Stella. "When was 9/11? Philosophy and the Terror of Futurity", Philosophy & Social Criticism 34:4 (Spring - 2008), 339-56
Gaon Stella. "Communities in Question: Sociality and Solidarity in Nancy and Blanchot", Journal for Cultural Research (Special Issue) 9:4 (Spring - 2005), 387-444
Gaon Stella. "Judging Justice: The Strange Responsibility of Deconstruction", Philosophy and Social Criticism 30:1 (Spring - 2004), 97-114
Gaon Stella. "Education qua Enlightenment: On the Rationality of the Principle of Reason", Philosophy of Education 2002 (Spring - 2003)
Gaon Stella, Norris Stephen. "The Undecidable Grounds of Scientific Expertise: Science Education and the Limits of Intellectual Independence", Journal of Philosophy of Education 35:2 (Spring - 2001), 187-201
Gaon Stella. "Politicizing Deconstruction: On Not Treating Specters of Marx", Rethinking MARXISM 11:2 (Spring - 1999), 38-48
Gaon Stella. "Pluralizing Universal Man: The Legacy of Transcendentalism and Teleology in Habermas' Discourse Ethics", The Review of Politics 60:4 (Spring - 1998), 685-718


Derrida Jaques, Gaon Stella. "Rogues: Two Essays on Reason ", Contemporary Studies Programme (Spring - 2015)
Gaon Stella. "The Rise of Phsychoanalysis: Freud's Civilization and its Discontents", Foundation year programme lecture, The Contemporary World section (Spring - 2015)
Gaon Stella. "Derrida, Freud, Laplanche: Deconstructing Self-Sovereignty", Fourth Derrida Today Conference (Spring - 2014)
Gaon Stella. "More than Life: Human Dignity and the Problem of Rights", A Matter of Life/Death Mosaic Conference (Fall - 2014)
Gaon Stella. "As if there were a Jew: The (non) existence of deconstructive responsibility", Third Derrida Today Conference (Summer - 2012)
Gaon Stella. "Deconstruction and its Discontents: Derrida, Freud, and the Impossible Origins of Conscience" (Winter - 2012)
Gaon Stella. "The Ups and Downs of Human Rights", Social and Political Thought Colloquium (Fall - 2011)
Gaon Stella. "Is Democratic Politics an Oxymoron?", Department of Political Science Seminar Series (Winter - 2011)
Gaon Stella. "Words are things too: A Post-Marxist, Materialist Analysis of the Political", Sixtieth Annual Political Studies Conference (Spring - 2010)
Gaon Stella. "Democracy: Its premise and promise, its crisis and its critique", Problems of Democracy: Probing the Boundaries first Global Conference (Spring - 2010)
Gaon Stella. "The resistance which is not one", Second Derrida Today International Conference (Summer - 2010)
Gaon Stella. "Why must I: A Freudian response to the question of ethical-political responsibility in deconstruction", Freud after Derrida, International, Interdisciplinary Mosaic conference (Fall - 2010)
Gaon Stella. "When was 9/11?", Department of Political Science Colloquium Series, (Winter - 2010)
Gaon Stella. "Two Sides of the Same Sword: The Uses and Abuses of Human Rights Rhetoric", 2009 annual conference of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature (IAPL) (Spring - 2009)
Gaon Stella. "Alterity as the Democracy to Come", Democracy in Crisis: Violence, Alterity, Community Workshop (Spring - 2007)
Gaon Stella. "Re-evaluating the Value of Difference: Democracy as the Praxis of Critique", Immigration, Minorities, and Multiculturalism in Democracies Conference (Fall - 2007)
Gaon Stella. "Derrida's desire. . . for justice", Following Derrida: Legacies Mosaic Conference (Fall - 2006)
Gaon Stella. "Politicizing Textuality: The Mutual Mediation of Politics and the Literary", International Association for Philosophy and Literature (Spring - 2006)
Gaon Stella. "Globalizing Democracy? Human Rights, Citizenship, and the Cosmopolitan Ideal", 77th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association (Spring - 2005)
Gaon Stella. "Materializing the Other: The Alterity of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Alterity", Annual Meeting of the European Consortium for Political Research (Fall - 2005)
Gaon Stella. "Beyond Sovereignty: Sociality and Solidarity in a Community of the Question", Contemporary Governance and the Question of the Social Conference (Spring - 2004)
Gaon Stella. "Globalization, Democratization and the Promise of Cosmopolitical Right: The Danger of Justice without Exception", Annual British International Studies Association Meeting (Fall - 2004)
Gaon Stella. "(De)Constructions of Diversity: From Difference to differance", Annual Political Studies Association Conference (Spring - 2003)
Gaon Stella. "Difference, differend, differance: Poststructural Investigations of Social Identity", Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association (Spring - 2003)
Gaon Stella. "Education qua Enlightenment: On the Rationality of the Principle of Reason", Annual Meeting of the Philosophy of Education Society (Spring - 2002)
Gaon Stella. "The Impossible Ethical-Political Act: Deconstruction as an (Ir)Responsibility to Reason", Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association (Spring - 2001)

Service: Institutional Committees

Faculty of Arts Representative, Senate Discipline Committee Appeal Board, 2014/03 - None (Representative)
Arts Representative (alternate) on the Saint Mary's University Review Committee , 2009/01 - 2011/03 (Representative)
Faculty Member of the Inter-University Master of Arts Program in Women and Gender Studies, 2008/01 - None (Member)
Faculty representative (Arts) Saint Mary’s University Senate Advisory Committee on Student Discipline, 2005/03 - 2008/03 (Representative)
Faculty Representative, Saint Mary’s University “Conflict Resolution Advisory Committee", 2004/03 - 2008/03 (Representative)

Service: Professional or Disciplinary

Editorial Board Member, Derrida Today journal 2014/01 - Present
Manuscript Reviewer, Phaenex: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture 2012/01 - Present
Advisory Board Member, Phaenex: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture 2007/01 - 2011/03
Reviewer, Pearson Canada 2004/01 - Present
Reviewer, Broadview Press 2004/01 - Present
Reviewer, Atlantis: A Women's Studies Journal 2004/01 - Present
Reviewer, Atlantis: Canadian Journal for Political Science 2004/01 - Present
Reviewer, Atlantis: Culture Machine 2004/01 - Present
Reviewer, Atlantis: Journal for Cultural Reseach 2004/01 - Present