Suhrkamp’s “Theory” series appeared over a period of 20 years, from 1966 to 1986. The publishing house included over 200 titles in the series, including basic texts on the humanities and cultural studies: Kuhn’s 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions', Habermas’s 'Knowledge and Human Interests', Althusser’s 'For Marx', Mauss’s 'The Gift', Bourdieu’s 'Zur Soziologie der symbolischen Formen', Searle’s 'Speech Acts', Foucault’s 'The Archaeology of Knowledge', Knorr-Cetina’s 'The Manufacture of Knowledge'. With the help of archival records, interviews, and readings, Morten Paul reconstructs the creation of the series against the backdrop of questions relating to the social relevance of theoretical texts. How does theory behave in relation to practice, which supplies it with form as a text, book, or series? How does this form determine the social impact of theory? And why was this series ultimately doomed to failure, given the success of edition suhrkamp and suhrkamp taschenbuch wissenschaft? The book is part of the series Applied Publishing Studies.
Morten Paul, (b. in 1987), wrote his thesis on the “Theory” series in the Suhrkamp Research Group at the German Literature Archive Marbach, obtaining his doctorate at the University of Konstanz.