Every history of theory is simultaneously a theory of history.
Rajan and O''Driscoll''s wide-ranging volume tackles the issue of
providing an intellectual history of theory, given a considerable
continuity between theory and the history of ideas, and also given
theory''s own questioning of traditional intellectual historical
models. The editors address this challenge by providing thirteen
essays on a variety of theorists from Derrida to Zizek. Under the
paradigms of genealogy, performativity, physiology, and technology,
the essayists explore metaphors for connecting the work of
theorists from different times, that are drawn from areas other
than history, and that can enrich and revise our understanding of
the histories of theory.
Not only do these essays reflect the impact on writing about
theory - and by extension on intellectual history - in areas such
as psychoanalysis, philosophy, literature, and cultural studies,
but they are also an exploration of theme and situation - the
writing of intellectual history after the linguistic turn and the
poststructuralist critique. Written for the theory specialists, as
well as intellectual historians and those in the humanities and
social sciences who are concerned with critical theory, the essays
represent a re-evaluation of the current state of theory, as
addressed by leading scholars in the field.