Joe Culpepper | “Births, Deaths and Reincarnations of Reception Theory”


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 nature of literary theories, which breach and break disciplinary boundaries through a series of deaths and rebirths. As a young cultural critic, I see part of my task as understanding how reading methodologies generated within our various disciplines continue to be reincarnated within other fields.

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