In this book, first published in 1989, twenty-give eminent critics and theorists write about different aspects of literary theory. These essays represent leading research in psychoanalytic criticism, new historicism, Continental theory, feminism, Afro-American studies, philosophy, cybernetics, aesthetics, and other theoretical inflections. The result is a collective statement on the course that lies ahead for criticism in the humanities, and will be of interest to students of literary theory.
This collection analyses the future of ‘trauma theory’, a major theoretical discourse in contemporary criticism and theory. The chapters advance the current state of the field by exploring new areas, asking new questions and making new connections. Part one, History and Culture, begins by developing trauma theory in its more familiar post-deconstructive mode and explores how these insights might still be productive. It goes on, via a critique of existing positions, to relocate trauma theory in a postcolonial and globalized world, theoretically, aesthetically and materially, and focuses on non-Western accounts and understandings of trauma, memory and suffering. Part two, Politics and Subjectivity, turns explicitly to politics and subjectivity, focussing on the state and the various forms of subjection to which it gives rise, and on human rights, biopolitics and community. Each chapter, in different ways, advocates a movement beyond the sort of texts and concepts that are the usual focus for trauma criticism and moves this dynamic network of ideas forward. With contributions from an international selection of leading critics and thinkers from the US and Europe, this volume will be a key critical intervention in one of the most important areas in contemporary literary criticism and theory.
The format of this book is arbitrary and exact, the way paint is in a landscape by Alex Colville. It follows the program of the symposium that took place at the University of Ottawa, from April 25 to 27, 1986. As Bakhtin leaps from the sidelines to centre stage, as Derrida clambers out of orchestra pit into the prompter's box, and Lancan swings from the flies, as Foucault, Lévi-Strauss, Saussure, Barthes, and a throng of others rhubarb their way through the text, one recognizes just how connected all the disparate elements of this critical extravaganza really are.
Paul de Man is often associated with an era of ‘high theory’, an era it is argued may now be coming to a close. This book, written by three leading contemporary scholars, includes both a transcript and facsimile print of a previously unpublished text by de Man of his handwritten notes for a lecture on Walter Benjamin. Challenging and relevant, this volume presents de Man’s work as a critical resource for dealing with the most important questions of the twenty-first century and argues for the place of theory within it. The humanities are flooded with crises of globalism, capitalism and terrorism, contemporary narratives of financial collapse, viral annihilation, species extinction, environmental disaster and terrorist destruction. Cohen, Colebrook and Miller draw out the implications of these crises and their narratives and, reflecting on this work by de Man, explore the limits of political thinking, of historical retrieval and the ethics of archives and cultural memory.
"Abbott offers a fruitful new way to read science fiction, one that also greatly enriches our understanding of western history and its impact on our collective imagination. Detailing the overlap of science fiction and western fiction - especially relating to their mutual interest in and concerns about frontier expansionism - he reveals an unsuspected common ground that informs the writings of both camps." "Reviewing the work of many Hugo and Nebula Award winners, as well as drawing upon popular film and television series (like the Buck Rogers serials), Abbott's study journeys across the far reaches of science fiction's universe."
Using the aesthetic and political concerns of Parry’s oeuvre as a touchstone, this book explores new directions for postcolonial studies, Marxist literary criticism, and world literature in the contemporary moment, seeking to re-imagine the field, and alongside it, new possibilities for left critique. It is the first volume of essays focusing on the field-defining intellectual legacy of the literary scholar Benita Parry. As a leading critic of the post-structuralist turn within postcolonial studies, Parry has not only brought Marxism and postcolonial theory into a productive, albeit tense, dialogue, but has reinvigorated the field by bringing critical questions of resistance and struggle to bear on aesthetic forms. The book’s aim is two-fold: first, to evaluate Parry’s formative influence within postcolonial studies and its interface with Marxist literary criticism, and second, to explore new terrains of scholarship opened up by Parry’s work. It provides a critical overview of Parry’s key interventions, such as her contributions to colonial discourse theory; her debate with Spivak on subaltern consciousness and representation; her critique of post-apartheid reconciliation and neoliberalism in South Africa; her materialist critique of writers such as Kipling, Conrad, and Salih; her work on liberation theory, resistance, and radical agency; as well as more recent work on the aesthetics of "peripheral modernity." The volume contains cutting-edge work on peripheral aesthetics, the world-literary system, critiques of global capitalism and capitalist modernity, and the resurgence of Marxism, communism, and liberation theory by a range of established and new scholars who represent a dissident and new school of thought within postcolonial studies more generally. It concludes with the first-ever detailed interview with Benita Parry about her activism, political commitments, and her life and work as a scholar.
CRITICAL THEORY SINCE PLATO is a chronologically-arranged anthology that presents a broad survey of the history and development of literary criticism and theory in Western culture. Written by two well-known scholars in the field of literary study, this well-respected text puts an emphasis on the individual contributors to the development of literary criticism, from Plato and Aristotle to the present.