We are seeking to understand the limits and possibilities of “agency” as manifest in literature and criticism.
The crisis, we think, has long since been declared. Critical theory, deconstruction, and the manifold critique of ideology, meant the lucid undoing of any complacent faith in human reason, progress, language, or consequence.
In the wake of theories that question the very possibility of right action, “agency” has become both a catchword and an idea we can no longer take for granted. Although “agency” seems a contemporary term, the idea’s antecedents share an expectation that human works and actions somehow engage social realities.
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