This article contextualizes Derrida’s seminars within the European seminar tradition familiar to French and German academic cultures as a prerequisite to discussing individual essays in a special issue of Poetics Today devoted to Derrida. These contributions engage with both published and unpublished seminars that Derrida delivered chiefly in Europe and North America. Highlights of the various essays are reviewed and at various points some few issues of a critical nature are raised for consideration. The seminars Life Death (1975–76), Hospitality (1995–96) and Death Penalty (1998–2001) are of main concern, though significant mention is made of numerous other seminars that Derrida gave over a forty year span. Discussants have been very careful to consider the specific characteristics of Derrida’s seminars from a textual point of view informed by Derrida’s well-known conceptions of écriture and dissemination. Major themes concern issues of education, modeling, production-reproduction, language, the foreign, philosophical nationalism, and borders.

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