The book’s author is Francois Cusset, who sets himself the tasks of To this hope, French theory (and much thought that precedes it) says. françois Cusset’s work on french theory, foucault, Derrida, Deleuze and Co. and the transformations of intellectual life in the. United States, has not yet been. Last week, while rushing to finish up a review of Francois Cusset’s French Theory : How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the.

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French Theory is the first comprehensive account of the American fortunes of these unlikely philosophical celebrities.

Reveling in the gossipy history, Cusset reveals how French theory has become inextricably bound with American life. In such a difficult genre, full of traps and obstacles, French Theory is a success and a francios book in every respect: I am sure this book will become the reference on both sides of the Atlantic.

French Theory — University of Minnesota Press

During the last three decades of the twentieth century, a disparate group of radical French thinkers achieved an improbable level of influence and fame in the United States. At the same time in academic departments across the country, their poststructuralist form of radical suspicion transformed disciplines from literature to anthropology to architecture. Reveling in the gossipy history, Cusset also provides a lively exploration of the many provocative critical practices inspired by French theory.

Ultimately, he dares to shine a bright light on the exultation of these thinkers to assess the relevance of critical theory to social and political activism today—showing, finally, how French theory has become inextricably bound with American life. The Atlantic Ocean has two sides, and so does French Theory.


feancois Reinvented in America and betrayed in its own country, it has become the hteory radical intellectual movement in the West with global reach, rewriting Marx in light of late capitalism. Breathtakingly moving back and forth between the two cultures, Francois Cusset takes us through a dazzling intellectual adventure that illuminates the past thirty years, and many more decades to come.

A great story, full of twists and turns. Careers made and ruined, departments torn apart, writing programs turned into sensitivity seminars, political witch hunts, public opprobrium, ignorant media attacks, the whole ball of wax.

Read it and laugh or read it and weep.

The CEA Forum

I can hardly wait for the movie. Cusset analyzes cultural theory within its cultural matrix without disappearing into an abyss along the way.

Easier said than done, frajcois French Theory manages the trick, sometimes brilliantly. Most important, it impels us to inquire why for a time French thought managed to flourish in American universities while French intellectuals rapidly abandoned the entire paradigm.

Cusset has achieved much.


His book is a wonderful addition to American and French intellectual history that will force us to reconsider the history, place, and role of French Theory on both sides of the Atlantic. Cusset reads as genealogy—multiplying perspectives, avoiding the false coherence of a smooth narrative, and thus keeps certain cultural-intellectual problems alive.

Extremely well written, full of care and insight, at times fun, at other times political and straightforward. For those who want to know more about the history of French theory as an ongoing possibility of thinking the world, then this book should be a reference.

French Theory gives those of us who are on the inside of the American academy a valuable experience because it takes the academy as something to be explained. This can be jarring, but also illuminating.

This book is an eye-opener that certainly deserves a wide readership, especially among graduate students and young academics who dwell in the interstices between academic life and non-academic life, between the cultural critiques of contemporary media arts, of popular culture, and of academic writing. French Theory is a significant contribution to the scholarship in both literary theory and cultural studies. The Academic Enclave 3. A Turning Point 4. Literature and Theory 5.


The Politics of Identity 7. The Ideological Backlash 8. Students and Users A Global Legacy Meanwhile, Back in France. University of Minnesota Press Coming soon. Home Current Catalogs Blog.

Search Site only in current section. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States Contents Preface to the English Edition Introduction: The Sokal Effect Part I.

The Invention of a Corpus 1. Deconstruction Sites Part II. The Uses of Theory 6.

There and Back Material Events Paul de Man and the Afterlife of Theory Renowned contributors use the late work of this crucial figure to open new speculations on “materiality. The Singular Objects of Architecture A revelatory conversation between two major figures in visual culture. This series of essays address war and death, territoriality and the anthropology of groups, model theory, and psychosis.

The Postmodern Condition A Report on Knowledge This founding essay of the postmodern movement argues that knowledge-science, technology, and the arts-has undergone frwnch change of status since the 19th century and especially since the frebch s.

The Frankfurt School in Exile Persuasive and pioneering research on the influence of German intellectuals on postwar American thought.

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