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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Critical Keywords in Literary and Cultural Theory

ISBN 9780333960585
Publication Date January 2004
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

This book is an invaluable reference guide for students of literary and cultural studies which introduces over forty of the complex terms, motifs and concepts in literary and cultural theory today.

Critical Keywords in Literary and Cultural Theory
- gives students a brief introduction to each concept together with short quotations from the work of key thinkers and critics to stimulate discussion and guide genuine comprehension.
- supplies helpful glosses and annotations for each term, concept or keyword which is discussed
- offers reflective, practical questions at the end of each entry to direct the student to consider a particular aspect of the quotations and the concept they address
- provides explanatory notes and bibliographies to aid further research

This essential volume is ideal as both a dip-in reference book and a guide to literary theory for practical classroom use.

JULIAN WOLFREYS is Professor of Victorian Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Florida.

Preface.- Acknowledgements.- Critical Keywords: Abjection.- Aesthetics.- Alterity.- Aporia.- Carnival/Carnivalesque.- Class.- Culture.- Deconstruction.- Desire.- Difference/Différance.- Discourse.- Event.- Gender.- Hegemony.- Hyperreality.- Hypertext.- I/dentity.- Ideology.- Imaginary-Symbolic-Real.- Interpellation.- Intertextuality.- Iterability/Iteration.- Jouissance.- Khora/Chora.- Literature.- Materialism/Materiality.- Modernism.- Myth/ology.- Narrative/Narration.- Other.- Overdetermination.- Performativity.- Postmodernity/Postmodernism.- Power.- Queer.- Race.- Reader/Reading.- Sexuality/Sexual Difference.- Simulacrum/Simulation.- Subject/ivity.- Uncanny.- Unconscious.- Writing.- Afterwords: Literary and Cultural Theory: The Contested Ground of Critical Language, or Terms, Concepts, and Motifs.- Works Cited.- Index.


'For the adventure of a lifetime, pick a letter - any letter. Julian Wolfreys' Critical Keywords in Literary and Cultural Theory offers the most brilliant, generously conceived, and self-effacing invitation to roar and glide in literary and cultural theory I know. It is an anti-dictionary, increasing meaning rather than containing it, thus providing us with opportunities to explore rather than reasons to stop thinking. Look up 'class,' or 'queer,' or 'gender,' or 'writing,' or any other of the 43 terms, and you find yourself opening to a whole range of possibilities, a stimulating education you can conduct yourself. I know of no finer avenue into modern thought, wonderful both for new visitors and for those who imagine they know the terrain.' - James R. Kincaid, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California
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