Theory Matters

The Place of Theory in Literary and Cultural Studies Today

  • Martin Middeke
  • Christoph Reinfandt

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Martin Middeke, Christoph Reinfandt
    Pages 1-14
  3. Metatheory

  4. Cultural Theory

  5. Critical Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 203-203
    2. Derek Attridge
      Pages 219-232
    3. Richard Walsh
      Pages 265-279
    4. Martin Middeke, Christoph Reinfandt
      Pages 281-284
  6. Textual Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 285-285
    2. Herbert Grabes
      Pages 287-303
    3. David J. Alworth
      Pages 305-318
    4. Christoph Reinfandt
      Pages 319-334
    5. Sukanta Chaudhuri
      Pages 335-347
    6. Martin Middeke, Christoph Reinfandt
      Pages 349-350
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 351-362

About this book


This book demonstrates that theory in literary and cultural studies has moved beyond overarching master theories towards a greater awareness of particularity and contingency – including its own. What is the place of literary and cultural theory after the Age of Theory has ended? 

Grouping its chapters into rubrics of metatheory, cultural theory, critical theory and textual theory, the collection demonstrates that the practice of “doing theory” has neither lost its vitality nor can it be in any way dispensable. Current directions covered include the renewed interest in phenomenology, the increased acknowledgement of the importance of media history for all cultural practices and formations, complexity studies, new narratology, literary ethics, cultural ecology, and an intensified interest in textual as well as cultural matter.


Culture Cultural Theory Metatheory Critical Theory Textual Theory Phenomenology Literary ethics Cultural ecology Narratology Materialism Deconstruction

Editors and affiliations

  • Martin Middeke
    • 1
  • Christoph Reinfandt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of English and American StudiesChair of English Literature, University of AugsburgAugsburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of English, English SeminarUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

Bibliographic information