The theorists whose papers are held in the CTA represent various schools of thought, including Deconstruction (Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, and Eugenio Donato), Reader-Reception Theory (Stanley Fish and Wolfgang Iser), Political Philosophy (Richard Rorty and Étienne Balibar) and Anglo-American Criticism (Ihab Hassan, Murray Krieger, and René Wellek).
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Murray Krieger, along with others, started a post-war struggle against institutional resistance to theory and criticism that was intended to create a place in departments of literature for literary criticism that is well grounded in theory. Krieger thereby played a leading role in establishing literary criticism and theory as a legitimate discipline within literature programs. This collection comprises book manuscripts, articles, seminars, lectures, correspondence and other writings documenting his professional life. The bulk and strength of the collection consists of drafts of Krieger's numerous publications (particularly thirteen monographs), student papers written for Allen Tate, and his correspondence with noted scholars, ranging from New Critics such as John Crowe Ransom to a veritable "who's who" of literary theory and criticism during the latter half of the 20th century. Correspondents include authors such as Vance Bourjaily, playwrights such as Barry Stavis, and debates with James T. Farrell. In addition to his writings and literary correspondence, items such as audio recordings, administrative files, financial records, and other materials provide documentation of Krieger's professional and university-related activities, including his founding of the School of Criticism and Theory at the University of California, Irvine (1975) and of the UC Humanities Research Institute (1987), also based at UCI.
Barbara Cohen was the director of HumaniTech program at the University of California, Irvine’s School of the Humanities, and the co-editor of Provocations to Reading: J. Hillis Miller and the Democracy to Come (2005) along with Dragan Kujundžić, Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville. This collection contains copyedited proofs of this text, as well as correspondence between the editors, copyeditors, authors, and Fordham University Press regarding the in process manuscript. Contributors to this work include Larisa Tokmkoff Castillo, Thomas Cohen, Jacques Derrida, Alexander Gelley, Peggy Kamuf, Juilet Flower MacCannell, J. Hillis Miller, Glenn Odom, Donald Pease, Marc Redfield, Dan Shen, Henry Sussman, and Jennifer Williams.
Catherine Malabou is a philosopher and theorist and professor in the department of Philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University. She was the 2015 Wellek Library Lecturer at the University of California, Irvine, and is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at UC Irvine starting in the Spring 2016 quarter. Malabou was a student of Jacques Derrida at Jean-Luc Marion during her doctoral studies at the Ecole Normale Superieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines (Fontenay-Saint-Cloud). Her work has explored themes of neuroscience, psychoanalysis, trauma, "plasticity," and epigenetics. The collection has not been processed, but is available for research. It includes manuscripts, printed materials, audiovisual materials, photographs, teaching and research materials, correspondence, and early scholarly work in analog and digital formats.
Étienne Balibar is best known as a Marxist philosopher and political theorist focused on historical materialism, critical theory, ethics, and political philosophy. This collection is mainly comprised of his manuscripts and research materials. As a student of Louis Althusser at the École Normale Supérieure from 1960 to 1965, Balibar contributed to Althusser’s collective theoretical work Reading Capital (1965). Major books written by Balibar include Spinoza and Politics (1985), Race, Nation, Class (with Immanuel Wallerstein, 1991), The Philosophy of Marx (1993), Politics and the Other Scene (2002), and We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (2004).
Eugenio Donato, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, at the University of California, Irvine, was an Armenian-Italian literary critic, particularly noted for his work on The Structuralist Controversy: The Languages of Criticism and the Science of Man (1970) with Richard Macksey. This collection contains publications, manuscripts, notes, annotated sources, subject files, and curriculum vitae.