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Adventures in Theory : A Compact Anthology
Bloomsbury Academic

Adventures in Theory : A Compact Anthology

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Adventures in Theory

The purpose of art, according to the artist Banksy, is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. The purpose of that creative practice called “theory” is to disturb everyone-to perpetually unsettle all our staid assumptions, all our fixed understandings, all our familiar identities. An alternative to the typically large and unwieldy theory anthology, Adventures in Theory offers a manageably short collection of writings that have famously enacted the central purpose of theory.

Adventures in Theory takes readers on a steadily unsettling tour, spanning the most significant thought provocations in the history of theoretical writing from Marx and Nietzsche through Foucault and Derrida to Butler, Zizek, and Edelman. Engagingly lean and enjoyably mean, this is a minimalist anthology with maximal impact.


“Noticing that Theory has been diluted, mixed up in concoctions of old sours and rinds, Calvin Thomas has decided to refresh it, turning it into an adventure of insight that is also a restorative delight with strong but balanced recipes for a 21st-century intellectual Bloody Mary.” —Jean-Michel Rabaté, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania, and Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, USA

Adventures in Theory is a gift - a real gem - to everyone teaching undergraduate survey courses in literary and critical theory: it's concise enough to be manageable yet so brilliantly curated that it contains everything one needs. It's the anthology that many of us have been hoping would one day materialize. It's also a perfect companion to Thomas's delightful Ten Lessons in Theory.” —Mari Ruti, Distinguished Professor of Critical Theory and of Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Toronto, and author of Distillations (2018)

ISBN:  9781501336331