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19 Volumes | 1998 - 2011


Transitions critically explores movements in literary theory. Guiding the reader through the poetics and politics of interpretative paradigms and schools of thought, Transitions helps direct the student's own acts of critical analysis. As well as transforming the critical developments of the past by interpreting them from the perspective of the present day, each study enacts transitional readings of a number of well-known literary texts. 'This diverse series...will develop into a substantial resource for its student readership...Transitions proves its worth by unapologetically engaging the reader with a difficulty which is never hostile or difficult for its own sake but exhilarating and enlightening.' - Martin McQuillan, Textual Practice

All books of the series Transitions

2011 | Approaches to Literature | Book

Roland Barthes

Or the Profession of Cultural Studies

Roland Barthes was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century, but why should the reader of today, or tomorrow, be concerned with him? Martin McQuillan provides a fresh perspective on Barthes, addressing his political and …

2011 | Approaches to Literature | Book

Postmodern Narrative Theory

How have developments in literary and cultural theory transformed our understanding of narrative? What has happened to narrative in the wake of poststructuralism? What is the role and function of narrative in the contemporary world?

In this …

2008 | Approaches to Literature | Book


Identity, Space, Time

Julian Wolfreys introduces students to the central concept of transgression, showing how to interpret the concept from a number of theoretical standpoints. He demonstrates how texts from different cultural and historical periods can be read to …

2007 | Literature to 1900 | Book

Dickens to Hardy 1837–1884

The Novel, the Past and Cultural Memory in the Nineteenth Century

This authoritative survey examines how the Victorian middle-classes perceived themselves, through analyses of the literature of the period. Asking how the middle classes distinguished themselves from their forbears, Julian Wolfreys reads in detail …

2005 | Approaches to Literature | Book


Who do you think you are? In Subjectivity, Ruth Robbins explores some of the responses to this fundamental question. In readings of a number of autobiographical texts from the last three centuries, Robbins offers an approachable account of …

2005 | Approaches to Literature | Book

Julia Kristeva and Literary Theory

Engaged debate among feminist, political, and psychoanalytic thinkers has secured Julia Kristeva's status as one of the most formidable figures in twentieth-century critical theory. Nevertheless, her precise relevance to the study of literature - …

2004 | Approaches to Literature | Book


This concise introduction to the concept of ideology provides an overview of the term and considers its impact on literary theory. James M. Decker analyzes the history of Western ideology from its pre-Enlightenment roots to its current …

2004 | Approaches to Literature | Book


Why has Western thought been so persistent in its organisation of human bodies, and other categories, in terms of the binary opposition male and female? Is gender nothing more than an ideology, or does it have its basis in sexual difference?

This …

2003 | Literature to 1900 | Book

Pope to Burney, 1714–1779

Scriblerians to Bluestockings

This essential guide defines literature of the eighteenth century as a literature written and received as public conversation. Moyra Haslett discusses and challenges conventional ways of reading the period, particularly in relation to notions of …

2003 | Approaches to Literature | Book

Queer Theories

This essential introductory guide explores and aggressively expands the provocative new field of sexual identity studies. It explains the history of sexual identity categories, such as 'gay' and 'lesbian', covers the reclamation of 'queer' as a …

2003 | Approaches to Literature | Book


This dynamic study of the history of the idea of race traces the concept from its prehistory across 400 years to its current status. Brian Niro introduces key theorists and philosophers and a wide variety of literary and theoretical concepts …

2003 | Approaches to Literature | Book

Louis Althusser

The publication of Louis Althusser's autobiography, The Future Lasts Forever, shattered the myth of Althusser as austere structural Marxist. It not only illuminated the private life of this public thinker, but suggested that his previously …

2003 | Contemporary Literature | Book

Orwell to the Present

Literature in England, 1945–2000

This essential introductory guide provides a comprehensive critical survey of the diverse and rich body of literary writing produced in England in the postwar period. John Brannigan explores the relationship between literature and history, and …

2002 | Approaches to Literature | Book

Formalist Criticism and Reader-Response Theory

This invaluable guide by Todd F. Davis and Kenneth Womack offers an accessible introduction to two important movements in the history of twentieth-century literary theory. A complementary text to the Palgrave volume Postmodern Narrative Theory by …

2002 | Literature to 1900 | Book

Burke to Byron, Barbauld to Baillie, 1790–1830

Definitions of the Romantic period have undergone considerable change in the last few years. Beyond the careers of the 'Big Six' (Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats), critics have begun to recognise a …

2001 | Approaches to Literature | Book

Jacques Lacan

Psychoanalysis and the Subject of Literature

The French theorist Lacan has always been called a 'literary' theoretician. Here is, for the first time, a complete study of his literary analyses and examples, with an account of the importance of literature in the …

2001 | Approaches to Literature | Book


One of the most profound thinkers of the twentieth century, Georges Bataille has only recently come to prominence in the Anglophone academy, partly through the influence of post-structuralism. Once seen as no more than a philosopher of eroticism …

2000 | Approaches to Literature | Book

Literary Feminisms

Literary Feminisms provides a map for charting the difficult waters that feminist theories have created in literary studies. Ruth Robbins shows the reasons for the development of feminist literary critiques, explains the difficulties and exposes …

1998 | Approaches to Literature | Book

New Historicism and Cultural Materialism

New historicism and cultural materialism emerged in the early 1980s as prominent literary theories and came to represent a revival of interest in history and in historicising literature. Their proponents rejected both formalist criticism and …