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What's Left of Theory? New Work on the Politics of Literary Theory (Essays from the English Institute)

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"For several years," write the editors of What's Left of Theory, "a debate on the politics of theory has been conducted energetically within literary studies. The terms of the debate, however, are far from clear. What is meant by politics? What is meant by theory?" What's Left of Theory is a vigorous engagement with that thorniest of critical questions: how today are theor "For several years," write the editors of What's Left of Theory, "a debate on the politics of theory has been conducted energetically within literary studies. The terms of the debate, however, are far from clear. What is meant by politics? What is meant by theory?" What's Left of Theory is a vigorous engagement with that thorniest of critical questions: how today are theory and progressive thought connected? Michael Warner, activist and critic, examines 'zones of privacy and zones of theory' while law professor Janet Halley considers theory and its applicability to sex harassment. Jeff Nunokawa examines Oscar Wilde, Marjorie Levinson reads Elizabeth Bishop alongside National Geographic; John Brenkman considers 'extreme criticism', Michael Bérubé the 'future of contingency'; William Connolly addresses the matter of secularism, Gayatri Spivak explores what she calls 'theory-remains', and Jonathan Culler demonstrates once again his gift for explaining the complex in an essay that identifies 'the literary in theory'. Editors Butler, Guillory, and Thomas have brought together not only outstanding questioners, but outstanding questions. As their introduction puts it, "Are there ways of pursuing a politically reflective literary analysis that have definitively left theory behind, and must 'theory' be left behind for left literary analysis to emerge? Has the study of literature passed beyond its encounter with theory? If so, in passing beyond theory, has it remained unchanged? Does the recent cry for a 'return to literature' signal the surpassing of theory, the fact that literature remains after theory? Does literature remain (the same) after theory?" For students of literature and the humanities in general, these questions are not only left: they endure.


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"For several years," write the editors of What's Left of Theory, "a debate on the politics of theory has been conducted energetically within literary studies. The terms of the debate, however, are far from clear. What is meant by politics? What is meant by theory?" What's Left of Theory is a vigorous engagement with that thorniest of critical questions: how today are theor "For several years," write the editors of What's Left of Theory, "a debate on the politics of theory has been conducted energetically within literary studies. The terms of the debate, however, are far from clear. What is meant by politics? What is meant by theory?" What's Left of Theory is a vigorous engagement with that thorniest of critical questions: how today are theory and progressive thought connected? Michael Warner, activist and critic, examines 'zones of privacy and zones of theory' while law professor Janet Halley considers theory and its applicability to sex harassment. Jeff Nunokawa examines Oscar Wilde, Marjorie Levinson reads Elizabeth Bishop alongside National Geographic; John Brenkman considers 'extreme criticism', Michael Bérubé the 'future of contingency'; William Connolly addresses the matter of secularism, Gayatri Spivak explores what she calls 'theory-remains', and Jonathan Culler demonstrates once again his gift for explaining the complex in an essay that identifies 'the literary in theory'. Editors Butler, Guillory, and Thomas have brought together not only outstanding questioners, but outstanding questions. As their introduction puts it, "Are there ways of pursuing a politically reflective literary analysis that have definitively left theory behind, and must 'theory' be left behind for left literary analysis to emerge? Has the study of literature passed beyond its encounter with theory? If so, in passing beyond theory, has it remained unchanged? Does the recent cry for a 'return to literature' signal the surpassing of theory, the fact that literature remains after theory? Does literature remain (the same) after theory?" For students of literature and the humanities in general, these questions are not only left: they endure.

35 review for What's Left of Theory? New Work on the Politics of Literary Theory (Essays from the English Institute)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Wendelle

    skimmed this book. It is a very interesting book consisting of articles where the authors radically challenge prevailing paradigms in either literary theory or politics. For example, the authors in turn criticize the gay rights movement's mimicry of the race-based rights movement, the loss of public displays of gay identity in the wake of the Giuliani administration's disbanding of gay clubs and bars, the 'race-gender-class' trinity that has displaced the liberal-civic humanist-social democrat t skimmed this book. It is a very interesting book consisting of articles where the authors radically challenge prevailing paradigms in either literary theory or politics. For example, the authors in turn criticize the gay rights movement's mimicry of the race-based rights movement, the loss of public displays of gay identity in the wake of the Giuliani administration's disbanding of gay clubs and bars, the 'race-gender-class' trinity that has displaced the liberal-civic humanist-social democrat traditions in cultural studies, a defense of antifoundationalism by relativist Michael Berube in response to the Sokal affair and Sokal's professed realism, among other topics.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

  3. 4 out of 5

    sylviathegoat

  4. 5 out of 5

    Janhavi Mittal

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tim Haslett

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Larkin Havens

  8. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Quiroz

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dan Emery

  11. 5 out of 5

    sholeh

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vince

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danny

  14. 4 out of 5

    a.novel.femme

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cait

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

  18. 4 out of 5

    Val Killpack

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lucas

  20. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chambonnières

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nico

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    Lura

  26. 5 out of 5

    #owls

  27. 5 out of 5

    Esen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lexie Cress

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ania

  31. 5 out of 5

    Iffat Sajjad

  32. 4 out of 5

    Liudmyla Beraud

  33. 5 out of 5

    Azor Ahai

  34. 4 out of 5

    Aya Nassar

  35. 4 out of 5

    Maxy.kai

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