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What's left of theory? : new work on the politics of literary theory /
edited by Judith Butler, John Guillory, and Kendall Thomas.
imprint
New York ; London : Routledge, 2000.
description
xii, 292 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0415921198
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
New York ; London : Routledge, 2000.
isbn
0415921198
catalogue key
4186903
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-01-01:
The nine essays in this volume attempt the "redeployment of theory in the context of politically invested arenas--race, colonialism, sexuality, gender." Contributors examine the relationships and intersections of literary studies, poststructuralist theory, and politics. For example, Gayatri Chakavorty Spivak returns to Marx to examine the effects of the globalization of finance capital and the "spectralization of the 'rural'"; Janet Halley examines the problem of arguing that gay rights should be the same as rights achieved for racial minorities (the problem is that racial minority requires group coherence, but "academic and street-level queer theory challenge the coherentist assumptions about identity politics"). In "Zones of Privacy," Michael Warner argues that the gay and lesbian movements enfeebled themselves by failing to support the overt sexual expression challenged by Mayor Giuliani in New York; Warner makes a strong argument for a public sexual space that is available for cruising, gay bookstores, and adult bookstores. In the concluding essay, Jonathan Culler provides historical perspective on the rise of theory--its separation from literature as a result of its concern for race, gender, identity, and agency. Culler calls for a return to the literature to ground literary studies. This volume complements Martin Schiralli's Constructive Postmodernism (CH, May'00), which argues for a revaluing of literary studies. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. W. F. Williams; Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"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 Berube 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.
Bowker Data Service Summary
For several years, a debate on the politics of theory has been conducted within literary studies. Questions covered include what is meant by politics, and does literature remain the same after theory? This text outlines the main arguments and isses.
Main Description
"For several years," write the editors ofWhat'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 Theoryis 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 alongsideNational Geographic; John Brenkman considers 'extreme criticism', Michael Berube 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 thatidentifies '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.
Table of Contents
Contrubotrs
Acknowledgments
Preface
From Haverstock Hill Flat to uS Classroon, What's Left of Theory?
"Like Race" Arguments
Zones of Privacy
Extreme Criticism
The Return of Realism and the Future of Contingency
Refashioning the Secular
Picutring Pleasure: Some Poems by Elizabeth Bishop
The Literary in Theory
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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