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a dictionary of


Second Edition

A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory: Second Edition Edited by Michael Payne and Jessica Rae Barbera
2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-405-16890-8

a dictionary of
Second Edition


Advisory Board

Simon Frith
Henry Louis Gates, Jr
David Rasmussen
Janet Todd

A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication

This second edition first published 2010

2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, except for editorial material and organization 2010 Michael Payne
and Jessica Rae Barbera; Ordinary Language Criticism 2010 Toril Moi; Graphic Narrative
2010 Hillary Chute (adapted from Comics as Literature?: Reading Graphic Narrative 2008 MLA)
Edition history: Blackwell Publishing Ltd (1e, 1996)
Blackwell Publishing was acquired by John Wiley & Sons in February 2007. Blackwells publishing
program has been merged with Wileys global Scientific, Technical, and Medical business to form
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
A dictionary of cultural and critical theory / edited by Michael Payne and Jessica Rae Barbera.
2nd ed.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4051-6890-8 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. CultureDictionaries. 2. Critical
theoryDictionaries. I. Payne, Michael, 1941 II. Barbera, Jessica Rae.
HM621.D53 2010
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Set in 9.5/11.5pt Minion by Graphicraft Limited, Hong Kong
Printed in Singapore



List of Contributors


Preface to the First Edition (1996)

Preface to the Second Edition (2010)





AZ entries







Teresa Amott
Hobart and William Smith College

Andrew Bowie
Royal Holloway College

R. Lanier Anderson
Stanford University

Malcolm Bowie
(Christs College, Cambridge)

Oliver Arnold
Princeton University

Mary Ellen Bray

Rutgers University

Robin Attfield
University of Wales, Cardiff

Joseph Bristow
University of California Los Angeles

David Ayers
University of Kent

Michael Byram
University of Durham

Chris Baldick
Goldsmiths College, London

John Callaghan
University of Wolverhampton

Jessica Rae Barbera

University of Pittsburgh

Colin Campbell
University of York

Susan E. Bassnett
University of Warwick

Douglas Candland
Bucknell University

Robert Beard
Bucknell University

Glynis Carr
Bucknell University

Andrew Belsey
University of Wales, Cardiff

Erica Carter
University of Warwick

James R. Bennett
University of Arkansas

Stanley Cavell
Harvard University

Ian H. Birchall
Middlesex University

Howard Caygill
Goldsmiths College, London

Julian Bourg
Bucknell University

Lynn Cazabon
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Richard Fleming
Bucknell University

Danielle Clarke
University College Dublin

Pauline Fletcher
Bucknell University

Greg Clingham
Bucknell University

Simon Frith
Edinburgh University

Bethany J. Collier
Bucknell University

Jeanne Garane
University of South Carolina

Steven Connor
Birkbeck College, London

Susanne Gibson
University of Wales, Cardiff

David E. Cooper
University of Durham

Tara G. Gilligan
Lafayette College

Simon Critchley
New School for Social Research and University
of Tilburg

David Theo Goldberg

University of California, Irvine

Shadia B. Drury
University of Regina
Madhu Dubey
Northwestern University
William Duckworth
Bucknell University
Jonathan Dunsby
Eastman School of Music

Thomas C. Greaves
Bucknell University
Michael Green
University of Birmingham
Glyne A. Griffith
University of Albany SUNY
Peter S. Groff
Bucknell University

Alan Durant
Middlesex University

M.A.R. Habib
Rutgers University, Camden

Gerald Eager
Bucknell University

Stephen Heath
Jesus College, Cambridge

Andrew Edgar
University of Wales, Cardiff

Glen A. Herdling
Marvel Comics, New York

Gregory Elliott

William G. Holzberger
Bucknell University

Uzoma Esonwanne
St Marys University, Halifax

Paul Innes
University of Glasgow

Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze

(DePaul University)

Shannon Jackson
Harvard University

Xing Fan
Bucknell University

John J. Joyce
Nazareth College at Rochester

Susan L. Fischer
Bucknell University

May Joseph
New York University

Leonore Fleming
Duke University

Evelyne Keitel
Technische Universitt, Chemnitz


Hillary Chute
Harvard University


Frank Kermode
Kings College, Cambridge

John V. Murphy
Bucknell University

Peter Karl Kresl

Bucknell University

Paul Norcross
University of Chichester

Valerie Krips
University of Pittsburgh

Christopher Norris
University of Wales, Cardiff

Julia Kristeva
University of Paris VII

G. Dennis OBrien
Middlebury, VT

Sarah N. Lawall
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Tucker Orbison
Bucknell University

Linden Lewis
Bucknell University

Peter Osborne
University of Middlesex

Erik R. Lofgren
Bucknell University
David Macey
Janet MacGaffey
Bucknell University

Oyekan Owomoyela
University of Nebraska
Kathleen Page
Bucknell University
Kate Parker
Washington University, St Louis

Kirsten Malmkjr
Research Centre for English and Applied
Linguistics, Cambridge

Karl Patten
Bucknell University

Joseph Margolis
Temple University

Edward Payne
Courtauld Institute of Art

Ben Marsh
Bucknell University

Michael Payne
Bucknell University

Colin McCabe
University of Pittsburgh

Jean Peterson
Bucknell University

Graham McCann
Kings College, Cambridge

Christina Phillips
Harvard University

Andrew McNeillie
Oxford University Press, Oxford

James Phillips
Trinity University, San Antonio

J.N. Mohanty
Temple University

Meenakshi Ponnuswami
Bucknell University

Toril Moi
Duke University

Alice J. Poust
Bucknell University

Peter Morris-Keitel
Bucknell University

Kendal Rautzhan
Lewisburg, PA

Keith Morrison
University of Durham

Laurence J. Ray
University of Lancaster

Laura Mulvey
British Film Institute

Vasudevi Reddy
University of Portsmouth

Gary Steiner
Bucknell University

John S. Rickard
Bucknell University

Douglas Sturm
Bucknell University

K.K. Ruthven
University of Melbourne

Radhika Subramaniam
New York University

Aparajita Sagar
Purdue University

Tony Tanner
(Kings College, Cambridge)

Raphael Salkie
University of Brighton

Helen Taylor
University of Warwick

Matthias Schubnell
The College of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio

Demetrius Teigas
Deree College, Athens

Harold Schweizer
Bucknell University

Janet Todd
Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge

Peter R. Sedgwick
University of Wales, Cardiff

J.B. Trapp
Warburg Institute

John Shand
University of Manchester

Jeffrey S. Turner
Bucknell University

Andrew Shanks
University of Lancaster

Kenneth J. Urban
Bucknell University

Shu-mei Shih
University of California at Los Angeles
Richard Shusterman
Florida Atlantic University
Alfred K. Siewers
Bucknell University
Susan R. Skand
Rutgers University
Barry Smart
University of Auckland
Shiva Kumar Srinivasan
University of Wales, Cardiff
Fred L. Standley
Florida State University

Immanuel Wallerstein
Fernand Braudel Center, Binghamton University
Peter Widdowson
(University of Gloucestershire)
Harry Wilkins
University of Wales, Cardiff
Iain Wright
Australian National University
Slava I. Yastremski
Bucknell University
Virginia Zimmerman
Bucknell University


James P. Rice
Bucknell University

Preface to the First Edition (1996)

This dictionary provides a full and accessible reference guide to modern ideas in the broad interdisciplinary fields of cultural and critical theory, which have developed from interactions among modern
linguistic, literary, anthropological, philosophical, political, and historical traditions of thought. The
interdisciplinary focus of this book is on contemporary theory, reflecting the remarkable breaching
during the past 20 years of many of the traditional barriers that once separated disciplines within
and between the humanities and social sciences. Structuralist, post-structuralist, phenomenological,
feminist, hermeneutical, psychoanalytic, Marxist, and formalist modes of theory have been especially
influential; they are, therefore, prominent in the dictionary entries. Work in these fields that
appeared before the twentieth century is included when it forms an important context for understanding later thinking.
The length of articles is not intended as a judgment of the relative importance of topics, but rather
as an indication of either the extent of their current use by cultural and critical theorists or their
difficulty and complexity. A special feature of the dictionary is the inclusion of several speculative or
polemical essays on selected key topics and writers. Survey articles on area studies and period studies
are also incorporated and help to give a sense of connection between topics that might otherwise
seem simply discrete.
It understandably may appear premature to offer now a dictionary of cultural and critical theory,
since both cultural studies and critical theory are yet protean innovations in the discourses of the
humanities and human sciences. Indeed, there is good reason to question even whether the two sets
of terms in the previous sentence cultural studies/critical theory and humanities/human
sciences can sit comfortably side by side. Perhaps this dictionary might have been more accurately
titled a dictionary of mercurial discourse about the study of human beings at the end of the
twentieth century. But such an all-embracing title would also have created false expectations. There
is little here that would assist beginning students or general readers interested solely in the physical or
managerial sciences, except in so far as those sciences intersect with the arts, the critical humanities,
and the revisionary social sciences. There may also be little here to interest the traditional humanist,
if such there be, who continues to cherish a sense of art removed from the vicissitudes of history,
politics, economics, and the recent interventions of deconstruction, feminism, semiotics, Marxism,
and psychoanalysis. Nevertheless, even those who have contributed to such interventions might be
disturbed to find here articles on perennial topics in the history of ideas and on some authors who
have been vilified, perhaps justifiably, by activist intellectuals who find it no longer possible to believe
that history, politics, and economics can any more serve simply as background to the study of the



Preface to the First Edition

humanities. Although the scope of this dictionary is wide, the individual entries are often purposefully polemical.
Current intellectual discourse in the humanities and human sciences is often messy, difficult, and
dynamic. It embraces not only the greatest writers, artists, and thinkers of the past but also radio,
film, blues, rap, and comics; it crosses the traditional boundaries that once (always uncertainly)
separated the creative from the critical; it is engag in ways that might have made even Sartre uncomfortable, because of its restless concern for the excluded and the marginalized; it is self-critical and
self-conscious to the point where its language has occasionally seemed far too difficult, tortured, or
obscure. This dictionary in part reflects the messy dynamics of current discourse about the human
condition at the end of the twentieth century; nevertheless, it attempts to be useful by making that
discourse more widely intelligible.
The authors of the following entries have been asked to write for a worldwide English-reading
audience of students, scholars, and general readers. We have tried to be clear when clarity is possible,
but not to avoid difficulty and uncertainty. Authors have also been asked to assume a point of view
on their topics and to indicate that they have done so, when such seems to them appropriate. We
have made every effort to gather an ecumenical and international authorship, but there is also
represented here one fairly substantial group of contributions from a single academic institution in
the United States. By this means an attempt has been made to take, as it were, a seismographic reading of the innovations in cultural and critical studies at one university and to play those off against
work in many other institutions throughout the world, literally from Australia to Zimbabwe, in recognition of the cultural specificity of cultural studies.
It is hoped that the entries in this dictionary will be taken as provocative and provisional. Most of
them include suggestions for further reading; there is a thorough cross-referencing system (words
or names in capitals refer to full articles on these topics); and readers will find a comprehensive
bibliography and index at the end of the volume. In the event of a second edition of this book, readers are encouraged to communicate with the editor concerning errors of fact or omission, by way of
the publisher.
This book is dedicated to the memory of Raman Selden, who died very young soon after proposing this project. Where it has been possible to determine Professor Seldens original editorial
intentions, those have been followed whenever feasible. The members of the advisory board have been
exceptionally tolerant in agreeing to work with two general editors who unfortunately never met.
I would like especially to thank several of my students who assisted with the bibliography and contributed in other ways to this book: Ruth Davies, Tara Gilligan (both Knight Fellows), David
Barneda, Robert Woodward, and Ted Temple. Without the continuous support of Stephan
Chambers, Alyn Shipton, Andrew McNeillie, and particularly Denise Rea at Blackwell Publishers, this
project would never have been continued, much less completed. Sandra Raphael guided this project
through the final stages of production with tactful and intelligent efficiency. Reference librarians at
the British Library, the London Library, the Warburg Institute (London), Senate House Library
(University of London), and the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library (Bucknell University) were, as always,
helpful and resourceful.

Preface to the Second Edition (2010)

The editors of this second edition of A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory want first of all to
thank the many appreciative, careful readers and casual, hurried users of the first edition (in both its
English and Spanish versions) who took the time to express what they liked and what they thought
could be improved in this book. In preparing the second edition we have also been instructed by
published reviews of the first edition, which were very generous and helpful. We are fully aware,
however, that this edition will perhaps not totally satisfy professional anthropologists, who may still
be somewhat territorial in their insistence that matters cultural be thought about fundamentally,
if not exclusively, according to the protocols of their discipline. We hope, nevertheless, that the
revisions and additions in this second edition reflect how important it is that cultural theorists
embrace the disciplines of the social sciences no less than critical theorists embrace the disciplines of
the humanities.
Unashamedly, however, this edition is still addressed mainly to a combined audience of general
readers and a somewhat more academic audience of humanists and social scientists. The arrival of
cultural and critical theory in humanistic disciplines throughout the world led to an important
epistemological break (or epistemological slide, as Roland Barthes preferred more modestly to call
it) from about 1966 into the early years of the current millennium. Perhaps, however, one of the
biggest changes that has occurred since the publication of our first edition is that cultural and
critical theory has become ubiquitous indeed, mainstream in the discourses of the humanities
and social sciences. Although that appears to have produced more civil dialogue, it might have
also made cultural and critical theory seem respectable, tamer, and less sexy. (It is too early to tell,
however, what reception the Arabic edition of this book will have.)
The things that are new in this edition fall into the following categories. (1) There are approximately 60 pages of entirely new entries, including major pieces on Alain Badiou, the philosophy
of biology, skin, fairy tales, ethnomusicology, eroticism, and a host of other topics. (2) There are
also new entries that offer important reconceptualizations of earlier topics, such as comparative
racialization, racial neoliberalism, feminist philosophy, and ordinary language philosophy and
criticism. (3) A major innovation here is a set of critically reflective, broad-ranging articles (firstperson mini-manifestoes) that emerge from the authors life-long investment in certain topics, such
as Julia Kristeva on cultural diversity, Stanley Cavell on Emerson and philosophy, Simon
Critchley on politics and original sin, William Duckworth on virtual music, and Vasudevi Reddy
on cultures and minds. (4) Many other articles such as poetry, tragedy, Latin American Studies,
Victorian studies, and Irish studies have been entirely recast in light of recent work in those


jessica rae barbera

michael payne

Preface to the Second Edition

fields. (5) Finally, throughout the book, there are countless additions, updates, and refinements that
authors have wished to make to their earlier work.
Cultural and critical theory propose two complementary ways of thinking about texts and other
human artifacts: cultural theory opens out from the object(s) under consideration in the effort to
provide broad social and historical contexts for understanding; critical theory, on the other hand,
turns inward to enable us to assess the adequacy of our ways of seeing and thinking.
Like cultural and critical theory, Ren Magrittes La Clef des Champs (1936), reproduced on the
cover of this book, urges us to evaluate our world and the perspectives from which we view it. The
broken window and fallen glass with embedded images remind us of the relationship between
particular objects and ideas, and the unique contexts within which they exist the landscapes they
simultaneously reveal, alter, and rely upon. The paintings title persuades us that The Door to Freedom
might not be a door at all. For a moment we are destabilized, but then quickly encouraged. Shattered
assumptions offer freedom. After all, sometimes a seemingly mundane view turns out to be surprising; the window through which we look makes all the difference.


The editors wish to acknowledge first of all the patience and hard work of the many contributors to
this volume, whom we have come to think of as a true community of scholars. The editorial and
production staff at Wiley-Blackwell have once again been wonderful to work with. We have particularly appreciated the wise guidance and understanding flexibility of Emma Bennett, Isobel Bainton,
Caroline Clamp, Ginny Graham, Linda Auld, and John Taylor. Two entries are adapted from
material that first appeared in PMLA: Hillary Chutes Graphic narrative and Shu-mei Shihs
Comparative racialization. Denise Lewis was very helpful in preparing the electronic text of Julia Kristevas
Diversity and culture. As always we are grateful to our students, whom we have kept in mind as
our ideal readers.
In memorium:
Tony Tanner
Maleolm Bowie
Emmanuel Eze
Peter Widdowson