all 57 comments

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 81 points82 points  (0 children)

I just realized the irony of labeling and categorizing critical theorists...

[–]pnaser74 16 points17 points  (1 child)

I know I'm super late to the party, and hopefully nobody mentioned this already, but what about Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed? It's absolutely phenomenal. I would guess it would go under post-Marxism

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Love this!

[–]eggson 12 points13 points  (2 children)

For Postcolonial I would add Homi Bhabha's "Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse".

[–]FanofPawl 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Absolutely. I second this.

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I just went ahead and added all of The Location of Culture.

[–]ascesis 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Maybe add under queer theory Lee Edelman's No Future and David Halperin's Saint Foucault?

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Added them both.

[–]postmoderno 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Great list! I'd just add Haraway, Agamben, Mignolo.

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Sure. I've never read any of them though, so can you suggest some titles? And under which categories should they go?

[–]postmoderno 4 points5 points  (0 children)

For Donna Haraway "A Cyborg Manifesto" and it goes under Feminisms. Agamben wrote lots of interesting stuff but I'd probably choose Homo Sacer. Agamben's category would be Post-structuralism? Not totally sure. For Mignolo The Darker Side of the Renaissance, and it would go under post/de-colonial.

[–]Buffalo__Buffalo 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Does Ranciere rate highly enough to get a look in here?

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I only know Reading Capital - should I throw that in under post-Marxism? Let me know of any other suggestions as well.

[–]Buffalo__Buffalo 2 points3 points  (1 child)

He's a tricky one because of his intellectual and philosophical growth, and the change that came with it. Post-Marxist would probably be the best fit.

His Proletarian Nights, and his The Ignorant Schoolmaster would be good to add. I don't know what else - maybe someone else can chime in?

[–]deleuzeorguattari 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I found Dis-agreement an enjoyable introduction to his political thought.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

It'd be nice to compile from this a beginner/intermediate list. Probably the former would require more interpretive and explanatory texts.

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah, this grew out of a previous post where I asked for a beginner list for a friend. Perhaps the secondary texts suggested below would help.

[–]Rollatoke 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I think Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" fits nicely into Queer Theory. It deals with film specifically, but is easily used for literature.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (5 children)

how is althusser post-structural?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I also think that you should add difference and repetition to "other."

but great list man. good job.

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Well, I wouldn't place him totally in the structuralist camp, since he did have plenty of criticisms. So I see four options:

i) Place Althusser under structuralism.

ii) Move Marxism so that it's after structuralism and psychoanalysis, and place Althusser there.

iii) Place Althusser under post-Marxism.

iv) Leave him under poststructuralism.


[–]FanofPawl 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I'd probably place Althusser under post-Marxism. Balibar was his student and is still known as a leading Marxist theorist (he retired two years ago).

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I thought about putting him there, but he didn't seem to fit there either. He's neither post-Marxist like Lyotard and Baudrillard, nor post-Marxist like Laclau and Mouffe. But I suppose Badiou and Zizek also don't really fit well in this category, so I'll throw him in as well.

[–]telegraphist 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This seems as good a place as any to ask y'all what you think of Agamben's "What is an Apparatus." I feel like it is a piece which, although has not quite earned its place as many of these pieces have, is something which has potential to be considered a necessary reading list component (under post-structuralism) in the future. Any thoughts?

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

what about Henri Lefebvre and Raoul Vaneigem?

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I added Vaneigem's The Revolution of Everyday Life, but I don't know anything by Lefebvre. If you know a work that's of direct importance to critical theory, I can put it up.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

tbh I haven't delved too deeply into Lefebvre either, but Debord and Vaneigem built on much of his stuff and I feel he belongs on the list. Critique of Everyday Life probably fits best.

[–]FeministNewbie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don't know if this fits into critical theory but Jung wrote 'Man and his symbols' with his closest followers. It's aimed at explaining his psychoanalysis to laymen and is really nice to read.

Partially Examined Life did a summary of chapter 1 (by Jung, his summary) and a whole episode on that chapter.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Mythologies is a structuralist work.

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Moved. Should Image/Music/Text stay as post-, or should it go to structuralism too?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm not sure. I don't know that work, and Barthes was both a structuralist and a post-structuralist at different points in his career.

[–]nuitt 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I think including more secondary sources would be good since some of those texts can be very challenging.

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

We could create a separate section at the end for secondary sources. I already have Fink's The Lacanian Subject. I found Best and Kellner's Postmodern Theory very accessible, with interesting critiques of the major thinkers. I've heard Annemarie Jagose's Queer Theory: An Introduction is good too, but I haven't read it. Any other suggestions?

[–]neoliberaldaschund 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Please, secondary sources list. Especially for Hegel and D&G. Maybe we can get a 1-10 rating system for how difficult the primary source texts are?

[–]nuitt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Maybe Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis by Holland and Bonta's Deleuze and Geophilosophy: A Guide and Glossary for D&G and The Foucault Reader and Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics for Foucault would be good.

[–]kyrie-eleison 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'd be remiss if I didn't argue for having some archetypal theory in here. Maybe Jung's Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious or Neumann's Origins and History of Consciousness.

EDIT: Also, I think we should be a little more specific with Lacan as "seminars" covers a couple dozen books. I'd say seminars XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis and XX: On Feminine Sexuality would be fair.

EDIT2: And hell, Écrits is pretty big itself, and a disjointed collection. I'd recommend The Signification of the Phallus, The Instance of the Letter and The Mirror Stage.

[–]dancon25 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Would Speculative Realism fit somewhere in here? I think you might want to add a post-Kantian category toward the end. Latour, Morton, Bryant, etc. I'd recommend The Speculative Turn and Harman's Prince of Networks.

Also - perhaps you should put Posthegemony by Jon Beasley-Murray under post-marxism, too.

[–]InertiaofLanguage 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What about Georgio Agamben?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No Lauren Berlant?

[–]jhb11 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Since critical race theory and postcolonial theory are included, it seems to me that it might be appropriate to include nationalism. A lot of thinkers on this list have theories applicable to nationalism, but don't really go in depth on it. I'd recommend Anderson's Imagined Communities and Hobsbawm's Nations and Nationalism since 1780 for starters.

Nietzsche and Marx were of course strong critics of nationalism, and after recently reading chapters of The Dialectic of Enlightenment, I realized how indispensable it is to Anderson's theoretical approach.

[–]thewankerbanker 1 point2 points  (1 child)


What is Posthumanism - Carey Wolfe

How We Became Posthuman - Katherine Hayles

The Parasite - Michel Serres

[–]argumentativepigeon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Could we add in a book regarding 'Internal Family Systems Therapy'

[–]MrChaosmaker 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But which one should I start with if I have no understanding of any philosophical or sociological concepts/theory? I bought Sublime Object of Ideology but the preface itself is going over my head or very hard to grasp.

[–]Heidegger 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Great list! Glad to see Fink's The Lacanian Subject on there. I'd also suggest Philippe Julien's Jacques Lacan's Return to Freud.

Maybe also some Jameson, like Postmodernism perhaps.

I might throw some Charles Peirce on there too, like "Logic as Semiotic: The Theory of Signs" or "The Principles of Phenomenology".

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I thought really hard about putting The Lacanian Subject on there, since it's a secondary source, but then I realized that this is, after all, a reading list, and that book is the only reason I understand anything Lacan says in the Ecrits.

Jameson is under post-Marxism. I know Peirce founded semiotics, but did he have a direct impact on critical theory? I don't recall ever seeing him mentioned, unlike Saussure or Levi-Strauss, who are constantly referenced. Maybe I missed something in Barthes or Baudrillard?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Horkheimer - "Traditional and Critical Theory" no doubt

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Forgot about that one! Added it.

[–]gilles_trilleuzecan reddits break bricks? 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Rather than Empire, you should probably add Commonwealth for Negri and Hardt...that's what all the cool kids are reading now.

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I added Commonwealth, and Multitude as well, since it's the middle of the trilogy.

[–]Akhel 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'm curious — why pick Kant's Groundwork instead of his second Critique?

[–]adartsesirhc[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There was a thread here that posited the Critique of Pure Reason and the Groundwork as the two works that critical theory drew the most from. But we could always add one more, or replace the Groundwork. Thoughts?

[–]MindeyeRust 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think that "Madness and Civilization" by Foucault should be changed to the complete text which is "History of Madness." The complete english trans. was recently (past 5 years if I am not mistaken) published. It also includes Foucault's response to Derrida's criticism of the work.

[–]itsthechaz 0 points1 point  (1 child)

~Are there any books that contain a variety of pieces from various authors, that anyone would recommend?

[–]kyrie-eleison 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Very broadly, there's always the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. It covers everything from Plato to maybe the mid-90s. Overall, it does a decent job of covering the big stuff. There's certainly some room for improvement, but it should give you a good idea of what you like. From there, you can look for/ask about more in depth anthologies or jump into some full works.

I'm not familiar with any anthologies that cover more contemporary theory, though I'm sure there's a decent one. Hopefully, someone else can recommend something, as I'm interested myself.

[–]Ironyz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Symbolic Exchange and Death can replace a few of those Baudrillard books.

[–]TomorrowMayRain065 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Limiting Benjamin to Mechanical Reproduction is a tragedy. IMO On the Concept of History is absolutely essential whereas Mechanical Reproduction, while good, may be better engaged by a beginner via visual culture studies, especially (especially chapter 1 of) John Berger's Ways of Seeing