Theory Is Dead?

“In the 1970’s and 80’s, legions of students and professors in humanities departments embraced the view that the world was a ‘text’ – that the personal and political were shaped by language and that literary and cultural critics possessed tools as powerful as those of, say, political scientists for understanding the world and effecting social change. While outside observers have long inveighed against theory’s abstruse argot and political pretensions, this year theory seems to have lost much of its cachet, even among its would-be defenders.”