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Historicizing Theory
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Historicizing Theory provides the first serious examination of contemporary theory in relation to the various twentieth-century historical and political contexts out of which it emerged. Theory—a broad category that is often used to encompass theoretical approaches as varied as deconstruction, New Historicism, and postcolonialism—has often been derided as a mere “relic” of the 1960s. In order to move beyond such a simplistic assessment, the essays in this volume examine such important figures as Harold Bloom, Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Stephen Greenblatt, and Edward Said, situating their work in a variety of contexts inside and outside of the 1960s, including World War II, the Holocaust, the Algerian civil war, and the canon wars of the 1980s. In bringing us face-to-face with the history of theory, Historicizing Theory recuperates history for theory and asks us to confront some of the central issues and problems in literary studies today.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Historicizing Theory
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  2. p. vii
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  1. INTRODUCTION: The Resistance to Historicizing Theory
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. 1. The Holocaust, French Poststructuralism, the American Literary Academy, and Jewish Identity Poetics
  2. pp. 17-47
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  1. 2. Michel Foucault and the Specter of War
  2. pp. 49-67
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  1. 3. Historicizing Paul de Man’s Master Trope Prosopopeia: Belgium’s Trauma of 1940, the Nazi Volkskörper, and Versions of the Allegorical Body Politic
  2. pp. 69-97
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  1. 4. “Nostalgeria” and “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences”
  2. pp. 99-111
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  1. 5. Jean Baudrillard and May ’68: An Acoustic Archaeology
  2. pp. 113-135
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  1. 6. Stephen Greenblatt’s “X”-Files: The Rhetoric of Containment and Invasive Disease in “Invisible Bullets” and “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”
  2. pp. 137-157
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  1. 7. New Historicizing the New Historicism; or, Did Stephen Greenblatt Watch the Evening News in Early 1968?
  2. pp. 159-189
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  1. 8. The End of Culture
  2. pp. 191-208
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  1. 9. Literature, Incorporated: Harold Bloom, Theory, and the Canon
  2. pp. 209-233
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  1. 10. The Sixties, the New Left, and the Emergence of Cultural Studies in the United States
  2. pp. 235-254
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  1. 11. The Postcolonial Godfather
  2. pp. 255-275
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  1. 12. The Spectrality of the Sixties
  2. pp. 277-299
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  1. 13. Afterword: Historicism and Its Limits
  2. pp. 301-314
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  1. CONTRIBUTORS
  2. pp. 315-317
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  1. INDEX
  2. pp. 319-324
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