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Critical Inquiry is a peer-reviewed journal in the humanities published out of the University of Chicago. It is considered a leading journal within literary studies, and particularly in the field of critical theory.

The journal was founded in 1974 by Wayne Booth and Sheldon Sacks, and is currently edited by W. J. T. Mitchell. The journal has been the site of a number of important debates within literary studies. It was where Stanley Fish published his article "Interpreting the Variorum", in which he proposed his idea of interpretive communities, as well as where M. H. Abrams and J. Hillis Miller had a well-known debate about deconstruction. It was also where Jacques Derrida published his essay in memory of Paul DeMan, which many read as being a defense of DeMan's anti-semitic writings during World War II.

The journal is known for having a particularly well-known set of editors and editorial board, including Lauren Berlant, Bill Brown, and Arnold Davidson as editors, and Stanley Fish, Fredric Jameson, Homi Bhabha and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Edward Said was on the editorial board until his death.

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