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Cultural Theory
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  1. Against Theory: Literary Studies and the New Pragmatism
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1985
    "Against Theory," the title essay in this volume, challenges the notion that literary theory has any real work to do, or any results to show. This challenge—issued by Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels in Critical Inquiry (8:4)—strikes some critics as scandalous, others as provocative and productive.
  2. Bad Marxism
    Capitalism and Cultural Studies

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 2004
    Cultural Studies commonly claims to be a radical discipline. This book thinks that's a bad assessment. After an introduction critiquing the so-called 'Marxism' of the academy, Hutnyk provides detailed critical analyses of the approaches and theorists of cultural studies.
  3. Dancing With A Ghost
    Exploring Aboriginal Reality

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 2006
    Ross examines the differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal world views as it relates to culture, justice and values.
  4. The German Ideology
    Critique of Modern German Philosophy According to Its Representatives Feuerbach, B. Bauer and Stirner, and of German Socialism According to

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1932
    Marx and Engels take on the "philosophic charlatanry" and pettiness and "parochial narrowness" of the pseudo-radicals of their time, "in particular the tragicomic contrast between the illusions of these heroes about their achievements and the actual achievements themselves."
  5. Logics of Disintegration
    Post-Structuralist Thought and the Claims of Critical Theory

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1987
    Essays summarizing and critiquing post-structuralism. According to Dews, for all its posture of radicality, post-structuralist thought is itself bound to certain vulnerable assumptions. Dews argues that the fatal philosophical fault of post-structuralism is its failure to preserve the proper dialectical distinction between the subject and the object.
  6. The Mammoth and the Mouse
    Microhistory and Morphology

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1997
    Essays exploring the theoretical relationship between the microhistorical method of paying careful attention to revealing details and the morphological method of looking for homologies among cultural artifacts or texts from different places and times.
  7. Other Conundrums
    Race, Culture, and Canadian Art

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 2000
    A collection of essays on Canadian art.
  8. Pedagogy of the Oppressed
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1970
    Freire maintains that every human being, no matter or "ignorant" or submerged in the "culture of silence," is capable of looking critically at the world in a dialogical encounter with others, and that provided with the proper tools for such an encounter, can gradually perceive his personal and social reality and deal critically with it.
  9. Postmodernism: Paralysed by postmodernism
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 2008
    A great deal of "theory" in the humanities and social sciences -- and not just postmodern theory -- involves the creating of a kind of conceptual landscape filled with curious kinds of abstract objects -- "language", "power", "justice", "state", "culture", "government", "the polity", "the economy" and a host of others, which are viewed "theoretically" from somewhere way "outside" or "above" them. But it is just this way of looking at things -- from "on high" -- that makes it so difficult to see how people in the landscape are able to create and re-create the world in which they live, and are not simply trapped or formed by it. In fashionable postmodernist treatments of identity or subjectivity, language, as the ultimately hollow and imprisoning object, is put together with the notion that anybody who uses words must be committed to the standard definition of those words, to produce the conclusion that "language" determines the meaning of "identity" words such as man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, natural, normal -- and thus "constructs" (as it is said) human identity or subjectivity itself.
  10. Radical Perspectives in the Arts
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1972
    An anthology of Marxist literary and cultural criticism.
  11. Society of the Spectacle
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 2005
    An analysis of modern society and how it can be changed, written in the form of 221 theses. The first thesis reads: "In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation." Translator Ken Knabb describes the book as "an effort to clarify the nature of the society in which we find ourselves and the advantages and drawbacks of various methods for changing it. Every single thesis has a direct or indirect bearing on issues that are matters of life and death."
  12. The Trouble with Theory
    The Educational Costs of Postmodernism

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 2008
    Postmodern theory has engaged the hearts and heads of the brightest students because of its apparent political and social radicalism. Yet Kitching writes: "At the heart of postmodernism is very poor, deeply confused, and misbegotten philosophy. As a result even the very best students who fall under its sway produce radically incoherent ideas about language, meaning, truth, and reality."

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