The Future of Theory / Edition 1by Jean-Michel Rabate, Jean Michel Rabate
Pub. Date: 01/28/2002
Is Theory dead? Is it, as skeptics suggest, too distant from anything "real" to be useful, too sweeping in its referral of all texts to grand theses? Or is it a mask for fashion and self-promotion in academia? In this controversial manifesto, Jean-Michel Rabate addresses current anxieties about Theory and claims that it still has a crucial role to play. Acknowledging that he cannot speak about the future of Theory without taking stock of its past, Rabate starts by sketching its genealogy, particularly its relation to Surrealism, philosophy, and the hard sciences. Against this background, he proposes that Theory, like hysteria, consistently points out the inadequacies of official, serious, and "masterful" knowledge. Its role, he suggests, is to ask difficult, foundational questions, which entail revisionary readings of culture and its texts. In this way, Rabate claims, whether the theory of the moment is structuralism or globalization, Theory in its broader sense will always return, providing us with provocative and stimulating insights into what we do and how we read.
Table of Contents
1. Geneaology 1: Hegel's Plague.
2. Genealogy 2: The Avant-Garde at Theory's High Tide.
3. Theory, Science, Technology.
4. Theory not of Literature but as Literature.
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