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Routledge Critical Thinkers


About the Series

Routledge Critical Thinkers is designed for students who need an accessible introduction to the key figures in contemporary critical thought. The books provide crucial orientation for further study and equip readers to engage with theorists' original texts.

The volumes in the Routledge Critical Thinkers series place each key theorist in his or her historical and intellectual context and explain:

  • why he or she is important
  • what motivated his or her work
  • what his or her key ideas are
  • who and what influenced the thinker
  • who and what the thinker has influenced
  • what to read next and why.

Featuring extensively annotated guides to further reading, Routledge Critical Thinkers is the first point of reference for any student wishing to investigate the work of a specific theorist.

42 Series Titles

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Hans-Georg Gadamer

Hans-Georg Gadamer

1st Edition

Karl Simms
March 23, 2015

Hans-Georg Gadamer’s theory of hermeneutics is one of the most important modern theories of interpretation and understanding, and at its heart is the experience of reading literature. In this clear and comprehensive guide to Gadamer’s thought, Karl Simms: presents an overview of Gadamer’s life and...

Mikhail Bakhtin

Mikhail Bakhtin

1st Edition

Alastair Renfrew
November 20, 2014

Mikhail Bakhtin was one of the twentieth century’s most influential literary theorists. This accessible introduction to his thought begins with the questions ‘Why Bakhtin?’ and ‘Who was Bakhtin?’, before dealing in detail with his ideas on authorship and subjecthood, language, dialogism, ...

Theorists of the Modernist Novel James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf

Theorists of the Modernist Novel James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf

1st Edition

Deborah Parsons
November 30, 2006

Tracing the developing modernist aesthetic in the thought and writings of James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf, Deborah Parsons considers the cultural, social and personal influences upon the three writers. Exploring the connections between their theories, Parsons pays particular ...

Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt

1st Edition

Mark Robson
October 22, 2007

Stephen Greenblatt is the most important exponent of 'new historicism', a dynamic critical movement which rejects the traditional reliance on individual canonical texts, exploring a multitude of other, more marginal works and voices. Questioning not just literary but social, political and cultural ...

Paul Gilroy

Paul Gilroy

1st Edition

Paul Williams
December 13, 2012

Paul Gilroy has been a controversial force at the forefront of debates around race, nation, and diaspora. Working across a broad range of disciplines, Gilroy has argued that racial identities are historically constructed, formed by colonization, slavery, nationalist philosophies, and consumer ...

Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon

1st Edition

Pramod K. Nayar
November 16, 2012

Frantz Fanon has established a position as a leading anticolonial thinker, through key texts such as Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth. He has influenced the work of thinkers from Edward Said and Homi Bhabha to Paul Gilroy, but his complex work is often misinterpreted as an ...

Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger

2nd Edition

Timothy Clark
March 25, 2011

Since the publication of his mammoth work, Being and Time, Martin Heidegger has remained one of the most influential figures in contemporary thought, and is a key influence for modern literary and cultural theory. This guidebook provides an ideal entry-point for readers new to Heidegger, ...

Giorgio Agamben

Giorgio Agamben

1st Edition

Alex Murray
April 14, 2010

Giorgio Agamben is one of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary continental philosophy and critical theory. His work covers a broad array of topics from biblical criticism to Guantanamo Bay and the ‘war on terror’. Alex Murray explains Agamben’s key ideas, including: an ...

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre

1st Edition

Christine Daigle
October 16, 2009

A critical figure in twentieth-century literature and philosophy, Jean-Paul Sartre changed the course of critical thought, and claimed a new, important role for the intellectual. Christine Daigle sets Sartre’s thought in context, and considers a number of key ideas in detail, charting their impact...

F.R. Leavis

F.R. Leavis

1st Edition

Richard Storer
July 14, 2009

‘informative, succint, circumspect; an exacting introduction to Leavis as an incisive master critic. Ideal for today’s students and general readers’ – Chris Terry, Times Higher Education F.R. Leavis is a landmark figure in twentieth-century literary criticism and theory. His outspoken and ...

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

2nd Edition

Pamela Thurschwell
April 27, 2009

The work of Sigmund Freud has penetrated almost every area of literary theory and cultural studies, as well as contemporary culture. Pamela Thurschwell explains and contextualises psychoanalytic theory and its meaning for modern thinking. This updated second edition explores developments and ...

Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard

2nd Edition

Richard J. Lane
December 08, 2008

Jean Baudrillard is one of the most controversial theorists of our time, famous for his claim that the Gulf War never happened and for his provocative writing on terrorism, specifically 9/11. This new and fully updated second edition includes: an introduction to Baudrillard’s key works and ...

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