The Rebirth of American Literary Theory and Criticism

Scholars Discuss Intellectual Origins and Turning Points.

Purchase from Anthem Press

This is a book of interviews with these literary and cultural critics:

Intro: Harold Aram Veeser
Chapter 1: Stanley Fish
Chapter 2: Richard Macksey
Chapter 3: Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein
Chapter 4: Vincent Leitch
Chapter 5: Walter Benn Michaels
Chapter 6: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Chapter 7: Jane Gallop
Chapter 8: Homi Bhabha
Chapter 9: W.J.T. Mitchell
Chapter 10: William Germano
Chapter 11: Steven Mailloux
Chapter 12: Wai Chee Dimock
Chapter 13: Rita Felski
Chapter 14: Kenneth W. Warren
Chapter 15: Cary Wolfe
Chapter 16: Martin Puchner
Chapter 17: Michael Bérubé
Chapter 18: Jeffrey Nealon
Afterword: Heather Love

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H. Aram Veeser has long been telling a compelling and essential story of academic charisma and the drama of ideas. In this landmark work, he goes further, talking to the theorists and letting us listen. It is a familiar question to ask, what is, or was, theory? This book goes further and asks, who created it, and where will they take it? No history of literary criticism will be complete without it.

— David Yaffe, Syracuse University, author of Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell

The interviews at the heart of this book amount to a group portrait of an exceptional generation of literary theorists who collectively challenged and enriched how we read and teach. In the tradition of his groundbreaking work on the New Historicism and on Edward Said, H. Aram Veeser, a deft interviewer, takes us behind the scenes, illuminating the personalities and myriad forces that led these gifted critics to challenge the status quo. An invaluable contribution to scholarship as well as a fascinating series of brief intellectual biographies, it’s also a book that captures a vital moment in our culture.

— James Shapiro, author of Shakespeare in a Divided America