This article interrogates the meaning and possibilities of theory and criticism in contemporary culture. The first part is focused on how theory settles as political and politized discourse du- ring precise moments of the twentieth century; I study its location in the profession and the relationship with institutions. The second part of the article analyzes the links between theory and the market and how theory became part of the professional system during the end of the century. Later, I study some cases in which theory performes as Reading act and political act in Kluge’s and Mitre’s films. Finally, I discuss the entry of theory in Argentine culture as a way to create new intellectual identities. In the article, I also discuss the ideas of Paul de Man, Edward W. Said, Jacques Rancière, Carlos Correas, David Viñas, between others. Regarding Rancière’s ideas on equality and emancipation, I will focus on the Latin American context to study how theories are not just «traveling theo- ries» (as Edward W. Said called them) but dis- courses that are colonized by new intellectual contexts.
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