The intellectual content of such paradigms as Critical Theory, neo-Marxism, and poststructuralism has been abundantly traced. What remains to be studied, however, is the tremendous impact these schools of thought had on both the academic field and Western countercultures during the Cold War. This article I proposes to conceive of theory as a genre, that is, as an institution controlling the production, dissemination, and reception of texts. Drawing on the archives of the leading West German theory publishers Suhrkamp and Merve, the article follows the policies and strategies that led to the emergence of the countercanon of theory between the 1960s and the 1980s.

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