112th: Theory with Jordan Alexander Stein
Join Book Culture on Wednesday, October 30th at 7pm to celebrate the release of Avidly Reads Theory by Jordan Alexander Stein.
Avidly―the online magazine founded in 2012 by Sarah Blackwood & Sarah Mesle and supported by the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB)―specializes in short-form critical essays devoted to the intersection of expertise and passion. Now, Blackwood & Mesle are partnering with NYU Press to launch Avidly Reads, an exciting new series of books that are part memoir, part cultural criticism, each bringing to life the author’s emotional relationship to a cultural artifact or experience.
As an avowed “theory head,” Jordan Alexander Stein confronts a contradiction: that the abstract, and often frustrating rigors of theory also produced a sense of pride and identity for him and his friends: an idea of how to be and a way to live. Although Stein explains what theory is, this is not an introduction or a how-to. Organized around five ways that theory makes us feel—silly, stupid, sexy, seething and stuck—Stein travels back to the late nineties to tell a story of coming of age at a particular moment and to measure how that moment lives on now.
Jordan Alexander Stein teaches in the English department and the Comparative Literature program at Fordham University.