Cultural Theory Journals

This is not a comprehensive list of journals in which cultural theory and cultural studies work appears (if such could exist), but rather seeks to give a good selection of well-known and lesser-known examples that will lead to other journals.

VIII. Literary Theories

Just as I will argue in the next section that historical theory is of interest beyond the profession of history, literary theory, by raising general questions of "textual" interpretation, has had a broad impact beyond literary study in recent decades. A number of strands of new literary and "textual" theory (i.e., feminist, neo-marxist, deconstructive) are represented in other sections.

IV. Marxisms and Neo-Marxisms

This broad category is meant to encompass a variety of Marxist theories which have in common their rejection of economic or class determinism, and a concomitant belief in at least the semi-autonomy of the cultural sphere. They also have in common the claim that most empirical social science, history, and literary analysis works from within capitalist categories, and thus neo-marxists offer an interdisciplinary critique based on analysis of the total political-economic-cultural system.

II. Myth and Symbol School

The first clearly identifiable school of AS theory and method is generally referred to as the "myth and symbol" approach. These critics worked on the assumption that something like the essence of American culture could be culled by reading representative great individual works of the American imagination (though some moved out of the canon into popular texts). Myth and symbol scholars claimed to find certain recurring myths, symbols, and motifs in many of these works (the American Adam, the virgin land, the machine in the garden and so on).

V. Postmodern and Poststructuralist Theories

The term postmodern is used rather loosely to refer to a number of theoretical approaches developed since the late 1960s.

VI. Critical Race/Ethnicity Theories

The breakdown of notions of American exceptionalism and class consensus analyzed in Section IV, was driven in large part by social movements of the 1960s. Those movements also set in motion a profound rethinking and rewriting of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and other modalities of "difference" that further challenged monolithic conceptions of Americanness. This process was fueled by the rise of ethnic and women's studies within and outside AS. And the new scholarly attention paid to previously marginalized subjects of history deeply reshaped theories and methods of study.

XI. Postcolonial / Decolonial Theories

"Postcolonial" (or post-colonial) as a concept enters critical discourse in its current meanings in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but both the practice and the theory of postcolonial resistance go back much further (indeed to the origins of colonialism itself).

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