Not too long ago, literary theorists were writing about the death of the novel and the death of the author; today many are talking about the death of Theory. Theory, as the many theoretical ism's (among them postcolonialism, postmodernism, and New Historicism) are now known, once seemed so exciting, but it has become ossified and insular. This iconoclastic collection is an excellent companion to current anthologies of literary theory, which have embraced an uncritical stance toward Theory and its practitioners. With essays by nearly fifty prominent scholars. Theory's Empire questions the ideas, catchphrases, and excesses that have let Theory congeal into a predictable orthodoxy. More that just a critique, however, this collection provides readers with effective tools to redeem the study of literature, restore reason to our intellectual life, and redefine the role and place of Theory in the academy.