- Today, theory isn’t exactly espoused or opposed so much as unthinkingly presupposed — if not simply shrugged off as passé. In this sense, theory has slipped into a state of semi-invisibility. Many of the most pioneering insights of “high theory” are now so institutionalized that they’re less readily recognizable as theory; ideas once regarded as revolutionary have been incorporated into the routine practices of academic disciplines. At the same time, such disciplines seem increasingly keen to deny theory’s lasting effects; thus, theory is rather ritualistically declared “dead,” and we assume that we’re safely “after theory.”
The new analog?