Global Literary Theory
Edited by Richard Lane
Routledge – 2013 – 944 pages
Global Literary Theory: An Anthology comprises a selection of classic, must-read essays alongside contemporary and global extracts, providing an engaging and timely overview of literary theory.
The volume is thoroughly introduced in the General Introduction and Section Introductions and each piece is contextualised within the wider sphere of global theory. Each section also includes annotated suggestions for further reading to help the reader navigate the extensive literature on each topic.
The volume engages with the ‘internationalising’ of the curriculum as well as the globalization of literature and theory. Alongside these key themes, the volume also extends its coverage to include:
In addition, the book’s Companion Website features an interactive world map incorporating biographies of every theorist in the book, as well as biographies of additional influential theorists.
Crucially, this anthology shows that ethnic, postcolonial studies and globalization are not simply niche areas of literary study but are of concern across the contemporary humanities and that new voices are always emerging, and being discovered, from around the globe. As such, this volume offers a refocusing of essential literary theory, extending the canon in line with ongoing debates concerning contemporary cultural and geographic borders.
"This timely and path-breaking anthology makes it irresponsible not to study critical and literary theories in a global context." Alexander C. Y. Huang, Recipient of the MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies
"This substantive and significant collection of literary theory brings together a wealth of a really important critical material from around the world, including but also going beyond writers who have defined the field within the Western Academy. As a result, its carefully chosen and lucidly introduced extracts provide students with an exciting and accessible way into key conceptual, political and aesthetic questions and debates concerning the study of literature and culture in a global context. Global Literary Theory is a rich, stimulating and timely anthology, ideally positioned to help frame and shape how we engage with literary studies in the twenty-first century." Dr Paul Young, University of Exeter, UK
"In a crowded and competitive field, Richard Lane’s anthology sets itself apart from the rest by living up to its title. This is a truly global survey of theory past and present, as comprehensive, judicious and up-to-the-minute as anyone could wish for. It promises to be an indispensable field-guide to the multiform complexities of theory for many years to come." Dr Paul Sheehan, Macquarie University, Australia
"Responding to our rapidly changing, globalised planet, this groundbreaking anthology fulfils three crucial tasks for students and teachers. It begins to help us understand different world traditions of literary interpretation; it introduces new theories and problems for reading literature internationally; and it will start to establish a properly global literary studies." Professor Robert Eaglestone, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
"Global Literary Theory takes its promise of global coverage seriously; the anthology covers the now canonical figures of literary theory and brings them into useful and often challenging dialogue with newer voices from around the world. But this is not to say that the concept of the global gets a free pass; the valuable section on discourses of globalization, when read alongside the original selections of material on postcolonialism and race (these selections ranging from a reading of the influence of the internet in China to postmodern constructions of Islam), mean that the anthology itself practices the critical awareness it seeks to promote in students." Dr Christopher Pittard, University of Portsmouth, UK
"Global Literary Theory is an important resource for those teaching literary criticism and cultural theory. With clear prose and well-written section introductions contextualizing the extracts, the anthology provides a complete overview of theoretical fields while also situating the essays in relationship to each other across the global conversation. The result of Lane’s arrangement is that readers are aware not just of the important essays from key theoretical movements, but are also aware of how these essays address each other and the exigencies of a global sensibility. The Further Reading recommendations that appear at the end of each section make the text familiar to those versed in literary theory and approachable for those who are not. With a study of the framework of humanism at its core, the anthology encourages readers to examine what Lane calls "re-constituted" theory through a global lens. This is a valuable anthology for those looking to revisit the traditional views of literary theory from a global perspective." Dr Corinna McLeod, Grand Valley State University, USA
"Global Literary Theory: An Anthology is a dynamic and illuminating synthesis of the fast moving and diverse field of literary theory. It introduces and subtly contextualizes a wide range of theoretical approaches from Russian formalism to postcolonialism, queer theory and globalization theory while never losing sight of their historical matrix and ongoing dialogue. We are reminded for example that the collapse of English literature's 'civilizing mission' was the catalyst for literary studies replenishment by a variety of transformative and politicized theoretical approaches and that Derridean deconstruction cannot be thought in isolation from his liminal Algerian heritage. Much more than a synopsis, Global Literary Theory is a superb intervention into the ongoing transnational conversation that constitutes contemporary literary theory." Dr Ned Curthoys, Australian National University, Australia
Section 1 - Formalism, Structuralism a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 1.1 Shklovsky, Viktor, "Art as Technique" from Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays. 1.2 Propp, Vladimir, "Morphology of the Folk-Tale", from Morphology of the Folk-Tale. 1.3 Da Silva, Francisco Vaz, "Red as Blood, White as Snow, Black as Crow: Chromatic Symbolism of Womanhood in Fairy Tales", from Marvels & Tales, 21.2. 1.4 Saussure, F.de., "Nature of the Linguistic Sign", from Course in General Linguistics. 1.5 Jakobson, Roman, "Two Aspects of Language", from On Language. 1.6 Barthes, Roman, "Myth Today", from Mythologies. 1.7 Kristeva, Julia, "The Semiotic Activity," Screen 14.1-2. Section 2 - Deconstruction & Poststructuralism a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 2.1 Ahluwalia, Pal, "Derrida", from Out Of Africa: Poststructuralism’s Colonial Roots. 2.2 Derrida, Jacques, "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourses of the Human Sciences", from Writing and Difference. 2.3 Poovey, Mary, "Feminism and Deconstruction", from Feminist Studies, 14.1. 2.4 Tilottama, Rajan, "Introduction", from Deconstruction & the Remainders of Phenomenology: Sartre, Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard. 2.5 Nuyen, A.T., "Levinas and Laozi on the Deconstruction of Ethics", from Deconstruction and the Ethical in Asian Thought. 2.6 Kristeva, Julia, "Genotext and Phenotext", from Revolution in Poetic Language. Section 3 - Media, Culture & Postmodernism a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 3.1 Benjamin, Walter, "The Work of Art in the Age of Technological Reproducibility, Second Version", from Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, Volume 3 , 1935-1938. 3.2 McLuhan, Marshall, " ‘Time’ has ceased, ‘space’ has vanished. We now live in a global village…", from The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. 3.3 Rose, Tricia, "Voices from the Margins: Rap Music and Contemporary Black Cultural Production", from Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. 3.4 Said, Edward, "Islam as News", from Covering Islam. 3.5 Sundaram, Ravi, "Recycling Modernity: Pirate Electronic Cultures in India", from Third Text, 13.47. 3.6 Lyotard, Jean-François, "What is Postmodernism?", from The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. 3.7 Vizenor, Gerald, "Introduction", from Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Indian Literatures. 3.8 Baudrillard, Jean, "The Precession of Simulacra", from Simulacra and Simulation. 3.9 Sardar, Ziauddin, "Surviving Postmodernism", from Postmodernism and the Other: The New Imperialism of Western Culture. Section 4 - Psychoanalysis & Its Critics a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 4.1 Freud, Sigmund, "The Dream Work", from Introductory Lectures on Pyschoanalysis. 4.2 Freud, Sigmund, "The Uncanny", from Art and Literature. 4.3 Lacan, Jacques, "The Mirror Stage", from Écrits: A Selection. 4.4 Felman, Shoshana, "Jacques Lacan", from Writing and Madness (Literature/Philosophy/Psychoanalysis). 4.5 Butler, Judith, "Passing, Queering: Nella Larsen’s Psychoanalytic Challenge", from Female Subjects in Black and White: Race, Psychoanalysis, Feminism. 4.6 Deleuze, Gilles & Félix Guattari, "The Machines", from Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 4.7 Žižek, Slavoj, "Hegel 1: Taking Deleuze from Behind", from Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences. Section 5 - Marxism, Critical Theory & New Historicism a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 5.1 Marx, Karl, "The Commodity", from Capital, Volume 1. 5.2 Adorno, Theodor & Max Horkheimer, "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", from Dialectic of Enlightenment. 5.3 Jameson, Fredric, "Mass Culture as Big Business", from Late Marxism: Adorno, or, The Persistence of The Absolute. 5.4 Vice, Sue, "Carnival and the Grotesque Body", from Introducing Bakhtin. 5.5 Benjamin, Walter, "On The Theory of Knowledge, Theory of Progress", from The Arcades Project. 5.6 Gallagher, Catherine & Stephen Greenblatt, "The Potato in the Materialist Imagination", from Practicing New Historicism. 5.7 Berg, Daria, "What the Messenger of Souls Has to Say: New Historicism and the Poetics of Chinese Culture", from Reading East Asian Writing: The Limits of Literary Theory. Section 6 - Race & Ethnicity a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 6.1 Fanon, Frantz, "The Fact of Blackness", from Black Skin, White Masks. 6.2 Gates, Henry Louis Jr., "The Signifying Monkey and the Language of Signifying", from The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism. 6.3 Gilroy, Paul. "‘Not a Story to Pass On’: Living Memory and the Slave Sublime", from The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. 6.4 Clarke, George Elliott, "The Complex Face of Black Canada", from Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature. 6.5 Byrne, Dara N., "The Future of (the) ‘Race’: Identity, Discourse, and the Rise of Computer-Mediated Public Spheres", from Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media. 6.6 Karl, Rebecca E., "Race, Colonialism and History: China at the Turn of the Twentieth Century", from Philosophies of Race and Ethnicity. 6.7 Scully, Pamela, "Race and Ethnicity in Women’s and Gender History in Global Perspective", from Women’s History in Global Perspective (vol. 1). Section 7 - Postcolonial Studies a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 7.1 Bhadra, Gautam, "The Mentality of Subalternity: Kantanama or Rajdharma", from A Subaltern Studies Reader, 1986-1995. 7.2 Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" (revised version), from A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. 7.3 Said, Edward, "Orientalism Now", from Orientalism. 7.4 Bhabha, Homi K., "Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse", from The Location of Culture. 7.5 Achebe, Chinua, "The African Writer and the English Language", from Morning Yet on Creation Day. 7.6 Wisker, Gina, "Locating and Celebrating Difference: Writing by South African and Aboriginal Women Writers", from Post-Colonial Literatures: Expanding the Canon. 7.7 King, Thomas, "Godzilla vs. Post-Colonial", from New Contexts of Canadian Criticism. Section 8 - Gender & Queer Theory a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 8.1 Butler, Judith, "From Interiority to Gender Performances", from Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. 8.2 Žižek, Slavoj, "Traversing the Fantasy", [on Butler] from The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology. 8.3 Foucault, Michel, "Scientia Sexualis", from The History of Sexuality, volumes 1 & 3. 8.4 Sedgewick, Eve, "Epistemology of the Closet", from Epistemology of the Closet. 8.5 Nigianni, Chrysanthi, "Butterfly Kiss: The Contagious Kiss of Becoming-Lesbian", from Deleuze and Queer Theory. 8.6 Walters, Karina L., et. al., "‘My Spirit in My Heart’: Identity Experiences and Challenges Among American Indian Two-Spirit Women", from Challenging Lesbian Norms: Intersex, Transgender, Intersectional, and Queer Perspectives. Section 9 - Feminism a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 9.1 Irigaray, Luce, "The Blind Spot of An Old Dream", from Speculum of the Other Woman. 9.2 Cixous, Hélène, "Sorties: Out and Out: Attacks/Ways Out/Forays", from The Newly Born Woman. 9.3 Gilbert, Sandra M., & Susan D. Gubar, "Infection in the Sentence: The Woman Writer and the Anxiety of Authorship", from The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. 9.4 Homans, Margaret, "‘Women of Colour’: Writers and Feminist Theory", from New Literary History, 25. 9.5 Shah, Sonia, "Introduction: Slaying the Dragon Lady, Toward an Asian American Feminism", from Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire. 9.6 Mikell, Gwendolyn, "African Feminism: Toward a New Politics of Representation", from Feminist Studies, 21. 9.7 Cooke, Miriam, "Arab Women’s Literary History", from Women Claim Islam. Section 10 - New Textualities a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 10.1 Hutcheon, Linda & Michael Hutcheon, "Why Disease and Opera?", from Opera: Desire, Disease, Death. 10.2 Grace, Sherrill, "Theatre and the AutoBiographical Pact: An Introduction", from Theatre and AutoBiography: Writing and Performing Lives In Theory and Practice. 10.3 Holland, Patrick & Graham Huggan, "Travel Writing at the Millennium", from Tourists with Typewriters: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Travel Writing. 10.4 Raglon, Rebecca & Marian Scholtmeijer, "Heading off the Trail: Language, Literature, and Nature’s Resistance to Narrative", from Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism. 10.5 Derrida, Jacques, "Des Tours De Babel", from Acts of Religion. 10.6 De Vries, Hent, "Hypertheology", from Philosophy and the Turn to Religion. 10.7 Zimmerman, Jens, "Western Identity, the Exhaustion of Secular Reason, and the Return of Religion", from Through a Glass Darkly: Suffering, the Sacred, and the Sublime in Literature and Theory. 10.8 Žižek, Slavoj, "Subtraction, Jewish and Christian", from The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity. 10.9 Drucker, Johanna, "Digital Humanities and Electronic Texts", from "From Digital Humanities to Speculative Computing", from Speclab: Digital Aesthetics and Projects in Speculative Computing. 10.10 Siemens, Raymond, "Imagining the Manuscript and Printed Book in a Digital Age", from Text Comparison and Digital Creativity: The Co-Production of Presence and Meaning in Digital Textual Scholarship. 10. 11 Kang, Liu, "The Internet in China: Emergent Cultural Formations and Contradictions", from Globalization and the Humanities. Section 11 - Globalization & Global Studies a. Section Introduction b. Extracts: 11.1 Gupta, Suman, "Literary Studies and Globalization", from Globalization and Literature. 11.2 Brennan, Timothy, "From development to globalization: postcolonial studies and globalization theory", from The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies. 11.3 Xie, Shaobo, "Is the World Decentred? A Postcolonial Perspective on Globalization", from Global Fissures: Postcolonial Fusions. 11.4 Ahmed, Akbar S & Hastings Donnan, "Islam in the Age of Postmodernity", from Islam, Globalization, and Postmodernity. 11.5 Walkowitz, Rebecca L., "The Location of Literature: The Transnational Book and the Migrant Writer", from Immigrant Fictions: Contemporary Literature in an Age of Globalization.
Richard J. Lane is a professor of English at Vancouver Island University, Canada, where he is the Director of The Literary Theory Research Group and the Seminar for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. He has written several books and articles on literary theory and has experience of teaching and presenting on literary theory at universities across the US, Canada and the UK.