This authoritative guide introduces the key figures in contemporary critical theory for the beginning student. The critical theory covered in the volume includes: semiotics and discourse analysis; structuralism and post-structuralism; ideology critique; deconstruction; feminism; queer theory; psychoanalysis; postcolonialism; postmodernism; and the descendents of Frankfurt School Critical Theory. There are individual chapters on: Lacan; Althusser; Barthes; Derrida; Levinas; Kristeva; Irigaray; Cixous; Foucault; Lyotard; Deleuze; Baudrillard; and Guattari; Bourdieu; Habermas; Jameson; and Said. Each chapter provides biographical information and details about the thinker's intellectual context, an explanation of key concepts, an outline of the major angles of the theorist's work, an indication of ways in which their theory has been applied and suggestions for further reading. This text is designed as a companion to "From Kant to Levi-Strauss: The Background to Contemporary Critical Theory", which is also edited by Jon Simons and published by Edinburgh University Press.
Jon Simons is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University who has broad expertise in contemporary critical theory. He is the author of Foucault and the Political (Routledge, 1995) and the editor of and contributor to From Kant to Levi-Strauss: The Background to Contemporary Critical Theory and Contemporary Critical Theorists: From Lacan to Said (Edinburgh University Press, 2002 & 2004 respectively).