Abstract After an overview of reader response theory’s major disciplinary permutations, I discuss its current role in the work of Marvin Carlson, Susan Bennette, Richard Schechner, and scholars in the field known as performance studies. I undertake this experimental mapping of a theory today of yesterday and its current status today to expose the cyclic… Continue reading Joe Culpepper | “Births, Deaths and Reincarnations of Reception Theory”
Abstract As a variation on the Frame editors’ question of how useful ‘non-literary’ discourses are for the study of literature today, in this essay I explore the following question: How useful is literary theory for the study of everything else? In doing so, I elaborate on two ways in which this question is today commonly… Continue reading Martin Zeilinger | “Open for Business: Literary Theory in the Age of ‘Knowledge Mobilization’”
Abstract The future of literary studies seems to oscillate between an intensified commitment to theory (whether cultural, critical or literary) and the theory’s total rejection in favour of a renewed attention to the literary works themselves. The analysis of those two possible developments shows that their outcome may be almost the same: both the intensified… Continue reading Asja Szafraniec | “Between Romanticism and Theory: The Future of Literary Studies”
Abstract This article looks at the links between literature and the law. Since the 1970’s the legal domain has been “infiltrated” by literary-critical thinking, as the law has become subject of the same interprative practices as literary texts. It therefore argues for a more active dialogue between law and the humanities. When we recognize law… Continue reading Peter Brooks | Law and its Other in Literary Theory
Abstract This paper lays out some basic constraints for an approach to literary theory ‘After Theory,’ grounded in analytical philosophy. The presupposition that literature, in the relevant sense, is one of the arts, suggest that a philosophy of literature can take a distinctive place within an analytical philosophy of art. The paper explores in outline… Continue reading Peter Lamarque | Prolegomena to Any Future Philosophy of Literature
Abstract Literary theory is ancillary to literature. Its value is its testable ability to account for meaning and form in specific literary texts. Literary theory, like scientific hypotheses, must be capable of disproof. An example is the claim made by many scolars that certain distinctive features charactarize postmodern literary works. Juxtaposed reading of Pynchon’s “The… Continue reading J. Hillis Miller | The Act of Reading Literature as Disconfirmation of Theory
Abstract The Article proposes to reconsider, with Paul de Man, Gayarity Ch. Spivak and Emily Apter, reading as one of the fundamental practices of literary studies. The question of the status of theory today and implicitly after the uses of theory today need to be productively inflected toward a discussion and sharpening of our practices,… Continue reading Birgit Mara Kaiser | Theory Today; or, how are we to read that?