Theory and the disappearing future: On de man, on Benjamin

Tom Cohen, Claire Colebrook, J. Hillis Miller

Research output: Book/ReportBook

6 Scopus citations


Paul de Man is often associated with an era of ‘high theory’, an era it is argued may now be coming to a close. This book, written by three leading contemporary scholars, includes both a transcript and facsimile print of a previously unpublished text by de Man of his handwritten notes for a lecture on Walter Benjamin. Challenging and relevant, this volume presents de Man’s work as a critical resource for dealing with the most important questions of the twenty-first century and argues for the place of theory within it. The humanities are flooded with crises of globalism, capitalism and terrorism, contemporary narratives of financial collapse, viral annihilation, species extinction, environmental disaster and terrorist destruction. Cohen, Colebrook and Miller draw out the implications of these crises and their narratives and, reflecting on this work by de Man, explore the limits of political thinking, of historical retrieval and the ethics of archives and cultural memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages176
ISBN (Electronic)9781136657375
ISBN (Print)9780415604529
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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