A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory 2e
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More About This Title A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory 2e


Now thoroughly updated and revised, this new edition of the highly acclaimed dictionary provides an authoritative and accessible guide to modern ideas in the broad interdisciplinary fields of cultural and critical theory
  • Updated to feature over 40 new entries including pieces on Alain Badiou, Ecocriticism, Comparative Racialization , Ordinary Language Philosophy and Criticism, and Graphic Narrative
  • Includes reflective, broad-ranging articles from leading theorists including Julia Kristeva, Stanley Cavell, and Simon Critchley
  • Features a fully updated bibliography
  • Wide-ranging content makes this an invaluable dictionary for students of a diverse range of disciplines


Michael Payne is Professor of English Emeritus at Bucknell University, USA. He is general editor for The Bucknell Lectures in Literary Theory (with Harold Scheizer, 12 vols., 1990–1995); author of Reading Theory: An Introduction to Lacan, Derrida, and Kristeva (1993) and Reading Knowledge:  An Introduction to Barthes, Foucault, and Althusser (1997); and editor of Renaissance Literature: An Anthology (with John Hunter, 2003), and The Greenblatt Reader (with Stephen Greenblatt, 2005) all published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Jessica Rae Barbera is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh. Her areas of specialization include Cultural and Critical Theory, British Modernism, Psychoanalysis, Literatures of Medicine and Science, Graphic Narratives, Illness Narratives, and Memoir.  She is the recipient of the 2009−2010 Andrew Mellon Fellowship, and is currently at work on her dissertation, The Medicalization of Pain: The Human in the 20th Century.


List of Contributors vi

Preface to the First Edition (1996) x

Preface to the Second Edition (2010) xii

Acknowledgments xiv

Introduction 1

A–Z entries 12

Bibliography 742

Index 808


“….. there is much of value here and students of literature, cultural studies, philosophy, and related studies will find this a useful resource.”  (Reference Reviews, 2012)

“There are some world-class scholars among the contributors here, and many of the longer entries are insightful as well as challenging (Simon Frith's and Christopher Norris's, among others, stand out, as do many by the editors themselves: Jessica Rae Barbera on Elaine Scarry, for example)." (Times Literary Supplement, 6 January 2012)

"Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through graduate students." (Choice, 1 May 2011)

Praise for the first edition:

"Thoughtfully structured and containing an impressive array of generally well-written entries, this book will be a welcome addition to the shelves of many reference collections." Reference Reviews