Very Short Introductions

Oxford’s Very Short Introductions series (currently running 173 titles) offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects–from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative–yet always balanced and complete–discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society.

We’ve just added two of them to our collection.

A Very Short Introduction to Poststructuralism (B 841.4 .B45 2002)  Poststructuralism changes the way we understand the relations between human beings, their culture, and the world. Following a brief account of the historical relationship between structuralism and poststructuralism, this Very Short Introduction traces the key arguments that have led poststructuralists to challenge traditional theories of language and culture. Whilst the author discusses such well-known figures as Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan, she also draws pertinent examples from literature, art, film, and popular culture, unfolding the postructuralist account of what it means to be a human being.

A Very Short Introduction to Postmodernism (NX 456.5 .P66 B88 2002) Postmodernism has been a buzzword in contemporary society for the last decade. But how can it be defined? In this Very Short Introduction Christopher Butler challenges and explores the key ideas of postmodernists, and their engagement with theory, literature, the visual arts, film, architecture, and music. He treats artists, intellectuals, critics, and social scientists ‘as if they were all members of a loosely constituted and quarrelsome political party’ – a party which includes such members as Cindy Sherman, Salman Rushdie, Jacques Derrida, Walter Abish, and Richard Rorty – creating a vastly entertaining framework in which to unravel the mysteries of the ‘postmodern condition’, from the politicizing of museum culture to the cult of the politically correct.

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