This authoritative guide introduces the key figures in contemporary critical theory to the beginning student. Important topics in critical theory which are covered in this volume include semiotics and discourse analysis, deconstruction, feminism, queer theory, and postmodernism. There are individual chapters on each of the following theorists: Lacan, Althusser, Barthes, Derrida, Levinas, Kristeva, Irigaray, Cixous, Foucault, Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari, Baudrillard, Bourdieu, Habermas, Jameson, and Said. Each chapter provides biographical information and details about the thinker's intellectual contexts, an explanation of key concepts, a discussion of the ways in which their theory has been applied, and suggestions for further reading. This text is designed as the perfect companion to From Kant to LA(c)vi-Strauss: The Background to Contemporary Critical Theory, also edited by Jon Simons.