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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown


A term used by Michel Foucault to describe a heterogeneous and discontinuous epistemological field which is not to be understood as a cultural totality. It is an unmasterable web of historical ideas, social practices, power relations, and discursive formations that provides an alternative to the totalizing history that seeks to draw "all phenomena around a single center -- a principle, a meaning, a spirit, a world-view, an overall shape."

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
Director: Ian Lancashire.
Last modified: March 31, 1997