The Third World of Theory (Clarendon Lectures in English Literature)
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2004
List Price: $19.95
Format: Hardcover, 180 pages
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Parent Company: University of Oxford
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The Third World of Theory, originally given as the Clarendon Lectures in English at Oxford University, is an important contribution to Cultural Studies from one of its leading critics. Beginning with Edmund Burke and eighteenth-century Rationalism, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discusses a wide range of key topics in contemporary Cultural and Afro-American Studies, from Raymond Williams and issues of identity, to Frantz Fanon’s importance as a global theorist, and Isaiah Berlin’s essay on pluralism.
Gates is a genial and energetic guide throughout, elegantly combining distinguished scholarship and involved discussion with his own personal experiences (we learn, for instance of Gates’ own encounter with James Baldwin and his journey across France with the famous actress-singer Josephine Baker). The culture wars have presented us with a surfeit of either-ors—tradition versus modernity; Eurocentrism versus Afrocentricism; communitarianism versus individualism. Gates’s powerful conclusion points us away from these banal dichotomies and appeals for a multiculturalism in which differences are accepted and celebrated. This volume is introduced by the preeminent cultural theorist Homi Bhabha.
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