In Trouble, In Theory

  • Rachel Bowlby University College London


What is the link between trouble and theory? What kind of a question is that? Hardly a theoretical one, surely. For trouble is far from being a theoretical category. Is the question meant to be mainly a matter of language? Of the words themselves? 

The theory is always, inevitably, in trouble. Trouble and theory, theory and trouble. An eternal partnership, a marriage forever made and unmade in theoretical heaven and hell. Never and ever to be consummated, to be broken up and then put back together again. Long live the theory of trouble—and the trouble with theory. Our troublesome, thinking future.