Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary

ISBN : 9780190636579

Colin MacCabe; Holly Yanacek; The Keywords Project
400 ページ
140 x 210 mm



  • Updates and significantly extends Raymond Williams's classic work, Keywords
  • A collection of 125 short essays on key words in contemporary society
  • Updates 40 of Williams's original entries through access to new lexical sources and corpora, and adds 85 new entries

Keywords for Today takes us deep into the history of the language in order to better understand our contemporary world. From nature to cultural appropriation and from market to terror, the most important words in political and cultural debate have complicated and complex histories. This book sketches these histories in ways that illuminate the political bent and values of our current society. Written by The Keywords Project, an independent group of scholars who have spent more than a decade on this work, Keywords for Today updates and extends Raymond Williams's classic work, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. It updates some 40 of Williams's original entries and adds 86 new entries, ranging from access to youth.
The book is both a history of English, documenting important semantic change in the language, and a handbook of current political and ideological debate. Whether it is demonstrating the only recently-acquired religious meaning of fundamentalism or the complicated linguistic history of queerKeywords for Today will intrigue and enlighten.


How to Read Keywords for Today 
Appendix 1: Sources of Lexical Data 
Appendix 2: History of the Keywords Project


The Keywords Project is an independent group of scholars who, with the support of the University of Pittsburgh, Jesus College, Cambridge, and the academic journal Critical Quarterly, have spent more than a decade preparing Keywords for Today.
Colin MacCabe is Distinguished Professor of English and Film at the University of Pittsburgh. He taught the history of modern and Early Modern English at Cambridge and Strathclyde universities before becoming Head of Production at the British Film Institute in 1985. Since then he has combined literary criticism and film production. 

Holly Yanacek is Assistant Professor of German in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at James Madison University. Her research focuses on 19th century and 20th century German literature, emotion studies, narrative theory, moral philosophy, and cultural studies.


Sylvia Adamson, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics and Literary History, School of English, University of Sheffield
Kathryn Allan, Senior Lecturer in the History of English, University College London
Susan Z. Andrade, Associate Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh
Jonathan Arac, Director of the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh
Jennifer Davis, Faculty of Law and Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge
Alan Durant, Professor of Communication in the School of Law, Middlesex University, London
Philip Durkin, Deputy Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary
Matthew Eagleton-Pierce, Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy, SOAS University of London
Stephen Heath, Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and Keeper of the Old Library
Colin MacCabe, Distinguished Professor of English and Film, University of Pittsburgh
Seth Mehl, Research Associate, School of English, University of Sheffield
Arjuna Parakrama, Senior Professor of English, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Kellie Robertson, Associate Professor of English, University of Maryland
Holly Yanacek, Assistant Professor of German, James Madison University

"This is a Keywords for our time--a fascinating, intricately erudite work of conceptual genealogy that reveals the interwoven logics of past and present. With grace and precision, the authors have produced an invaluable guidebook to the perilous landscapes of culture and society. Raymond Williams would have been proud."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University