The New Hegemony in Literary Studies

Paper Text – $27.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1953-6

Cloth Text – $59.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1952-9
Publication Date
February 2003
Page Count
120 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

The New Hegemony in Literary Studies

Contradictions in Theory
Tony Hilfer

In a trenchant critique of the full range of theoretical discourses that have come into favor in literary studies since the 1960s, Tony Hilfer demonstrates that these forms of criticism present themselves as unquestionable-ways of thinking that are too self-evident to need arguing or evidence. They do not subject their own claims to the kind of suspicious scrutiny that they devote to all other thought. Assimilating the methods of almost all of the major recent modes of criticism-Marxism, feminism, deconstruction, New Historicism, Foucauldianism-Hilfer brings them acutely to bear on his central argument: that these methods systematically fail to live up to their own methodological scruples.

Written with great care and a deep commitment to the value and integrity of freely inquiring literary criticism, this tonic work stands as a corrective to the orthodoxy of Theory, and as a bracing reminder of how a critical approach works when it is well and judiciously applied.

About the Author
Tony Hilfer is a professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin. His recent works include American Fiction Since 1940 (Longman, 1992) and The Crime Novel: A Deviant Genre (University of Texas Press, 1990).