Category Archives: Literary Theory

Response to Fabio Akcelrud Durão, “Responsible Reading of Theory”

By | December 7, 2021

Fabio Akcelrud Durão’s essay “Responsible Reading of Theory” engages with a number of large and fundamental questions regarding the identity, purpose, and future of theory. The answers that it offers are so rich and complex that a responsible reading of the entirety of that essay would require a monograph. For that reason, this response will focus on just the first paragraph of the first of the essay’s three sections and consider how that paragraph defines the relationship between theory and literature.

Response to “The Positive of the Negative: Joycean Post-Structuralism as Felskian Critique” by Robert Baines

By | November 24, 2021

Robert Baines starts his essay with a vivid analytical presentation of the last five decades of research in the field of Joyce Studies, emphasizing the context and stakes of the shift from (a) post-structuralist criticism to (b) a focus on “Joyce’s engagements with the history, politics, and culture of his age” (Baines xx), and later to (c) genetic criticism. Baines’ account of the last 50 years of criticism and his suggestions for extended forms of dialogue between supposedly divergent critical/ theoretical orientations can easily be transposed, mutatis mutandis, to Beckett studies.

The Relocation of Culture: Translations, Migrations, Borders

By | June 7, 2021

This volume springs from reasons that are both personal and collective and that relate to the issues of relocation and translation in a way that combines language, culture and experience. T

For Leo Bersani: On His 90th Birthday

By | April 16, 2021

Guest post by Mikko Tuhkanen A dual orientation in Leo Bersani’s thought never fails to make me tremble, for in it I think I recognize something indisputably true. On the one hand, Bersani repeatedly attends to the unavoidability of aggression in our encounters with the world: we are inhabited, he suggests,by an “intractable,” because constitutive, hatred of otherness. On the other, all such murderous impulses are supplemented by the logic of what Bersani, echoing Charles Baudelaire, calls “correspondence of… Read More »

What is tone?

By | January 7, 2021

Guest post by Judith Roof The below is an excerpt of the preface from Tone by Judith Roof Key Tone Tone  Def:  Etymology  mid-14c.,  “musical  sound  or  note,”  from  Old  French  ton  “musical  sound,  speech,  words”  (13c.)  and directly from Latin tonus “a sound, tone, accent,” literally “stretching”  (in  Medieval  Latin,  a  term  peculiar  to … Read More »

Adventures in Theory: how to teach our new anthology

By | January 23, 2019

Calvin Thomas offers two sample syllabi for incorporating Adventures in Theory: A Compact Anthology and Ten Lessons in Theory: An Introduction to Theoretical Writing into your literary theory course. I: Syllabus for a sixteen week course in Contemporary Critical Theory that would use Adventures in Theory as sole text. Introductions Editor’s Introduction: Gearing Up For… Read More »

Theory as a Lens for Living

By | January 16, 2019

This week we’re celebrating the publication of Critical Creative Writing: Essential Readings on the Writer’s Craft, a comprehensive introduction to the key debates in creative writing today, from the ethics of appropriation to the politics of literary evaluation. Today’s post is from Natasha Sajé, whose essay “The Politics of Literary Evaluation” is featured in the collection. I… Read More »

“Somewhere in the United States the hamburger was born”

By | July 4, 2018

As the barbecues and grills heat up all over the country for Fourth of July, discover the origin(s) of the all-American meal with this excerpt from Carol J. Adams’ Burger from our Object Lessons series. The history of the hamburger features a man, the Inventor, “American” of course. There he was toiling on his own, when… Read More »

The Aesthetics of Care: On the Literary Representation of Animals

By | July 21, 2016

Guest post by Josephine Donovan I’ve long been concerned about the aestheticization of evil; that is, the setting off or the framing of evil deeds as material to be appreciated for the beauty of its arrangement (in the case of pictures) or for the transgressive thrill provided (in the case of literature) by the experience… Read More »

New Releases: May 2016

By | May 5, 2016

May is shaping up to be an exciting month for Bloomsbury Lit—we have an incredible range of new titles coming out on subjects including Kerouac’s poetics, the future of literary theory, and reagency in the contemporary American novel. Take a look at some of our new titles below:   In Subject of the Event: Reagency… Read More »