III. General Introduction

Best, Steven & Douglas Kellner. Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations. New York: Guildford, 1991.(Chinese Translation: 《後現代主義批判性質疑》Trans. 朱元鴻

        "In this timely volume, the authors systematically analyze postmodern theory to evaluate its relevance for critical social theory and radical politics today. The book provides: An introduction and critiques of the work of Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Laclau and Mouffe, and Jameson,which assess the varying contributions and limitations of postmodern theory.  A discussion of postmodern feminist theory and the politics of identity. 

    A systematic study of the origin of the discourse of the postmodern in historical, sociological, cultural, and philosophical studies.  A multi-perspectival social theory which combines postmodern and modern perspectives."   from the back cover

*Bertens, Hans. The Idea of the Postmodern: A History. London and New York: Routledge,
Useful as a guide

      "The question of what postmodernism actually means is not an easy one to answer: it has meant different things to  different people at different times, rising from humble literary-critical origins in the 1950s to a level of global conceptualization in the 1980s. How does the student approaching the subject for the first time distinguish between the various conceptual levels at which the terms 'postmodern' and 'postmodernism' have been employed, or between the diverse interpretations of the postmodern that -- sometimes consecutively and at other times  simultaneously -- have been put forward over the past thirty years?
    "In The Idea of the Postmodern, Hans Berten clears up the confusion by tracing and analyzing the debate in an acessible way and witty style. He sets out the interdisciplinary aspects, the critical debates, and the key theorists of postmodernism, and discusses the relationship between postmodernism and poststructuralism, and postmodernism and modernism." from the from flyleaf

Connor, Steven. Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1989. 

*---. Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary.  2nd Ed.  Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1997.  Useful as a guide  (See notes and comments)

    The new edition includes critical accounts of the most recent work of theorists such as Jean-Francois Lyotard, Fredric Jameson and David Harvey, as well as discussions of the new postmodernisms which have emerged in the areas of law, music, dance, science fiction, popular culture, spatial theory, feminism, ethnography, ecology and the new technologies.  The book concludes with expanded discussions of postmodern critical style and cultural politics and a completely updated and revised bibliography.

*Jencks, Charles.  What is Post-Modernism?  4th Ed.  National Book Network, 1996.

Pefanis, Julian. Heterology and the Postmodern: Bataille, Baudrillard, and Lyotard. Durham: Duke UP, 1991. 

    presents a new view of the history of poststructuralism (heterology) and the origins of postmodernism by analyzing three important French theorists. 

*Rose, Margaret A. The Post-Modern and the Post-Industrial. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991.

    Introduces a variety of (esp. early) definitions of postmodernism and post-industrialism, as well as theorists on postmodernism.  Discusses how the term postmodernism is used in different disciplines (e.g. literature, architecture, philosophy, art history, anthropology, geography, etc.) (See notes and comments)

Sarup, Madan.  An Introductory Guide to Post-structuralism and Postmodernism.   Athens : University of Georgia Press, 1993