1997 Conference

What's Left of Theory:

New Work on the State and Politics of Literary Theory

56th Session
Friday - Sunday
September 26-28, 1997
Longfellow Hall
13 Appian Way
Harvard University

What remains of theory? What is the place of theory along a political spectrum? The 1997 meeting of The English Institute considered whether literary theory has necessary political affiliations, whether the question of politics has displaced theory, whether theory remains as an animating presupposition of politically engaged academic work. Are there spectres of theory that haunt the anti-theoretical bias, and how are we to think the relationship between literary theory and the sphere of political life?

Literature after Post-theory

JOHN GUILLORY, Harvard University
Directed Literature after Post-theory

JONATHAN CULLER, Cornell University
The Literary in Theory

MARJORIE LEVINSON, University of Michigan
Picturing Pleasure: Some Poems by Elizabeth Bishop

JOHN BRENKMAN, CUNY and Baruch College
Extreme Criticism


Breaking the Laws of Theory

KENDALL THOMAS, Columbia University School of Law
Directed Breaking the Laws of Theory

JEFF NUNOKAWA, Princeton University
The Labor of Desire: Wilde and his Discontents

MICHAEL WARNER, Rutgers University
Zones of Privacy, Zones of Theory

Sex and the State: Politics, Desire, and the Lesbian Body

JANET E. HALLEY, Stanford University School of Law
Legal Instantiations of Critical Theory, the Identity Politics of Theory, and the Case of 'Sex Harassment'


Theory Remains

JUDITH BUTLER, University of California, Berkeley
Directed Theory Remains

WILLIAM CONNOLLY, Johns Hopkins University
Secularism and the Return of Metaphysics

MICHAEL BERUBE, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
The Future of Contingency