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Theory.org.uk Trading Cards


That article from the San Francisco Examiner in full

This piece from the San Francisco Examiner, 1 August 2000, is a helpful introduction to the Theory.org.uk Trading Card series:

Cultural theorists and trading card collectors alike are rushing to get their hands on the latest project from Theory.org.uk, the popular website of media, gender and identity theory: the Theory.org.uk Trading Card Series. Dismissing comments that the cards were "pointless" and for people with "too much time on their hands", site founder David Gauntlett of Leeds University, UK, argued that the cards were both educational and highly collectable. "The cards offer accessible guides to difficult-sounding ideas like 'structuration' and 'postmodernism'. They can be easily glanced at during college seminars or bewildering dinner-party conversations," he added.

A spokesperson for Topps, producers of the X-Men Trading Cards which are the summer's other card-collecting hit, denied claims that they were worried by the success of the Theory.org.uk cards, but admitted that a staff member had been sent to Paris to explore competitive possibilities. The spokesperson refused to confirm rumours that the Topps cards would be produced in association with the École Normale Supérieure, where theorist Michel Foucault once taught.

Although the Theory.org.uk cards were selling well in foil-wrapped packs from specialist outlets, the outfit surprised the trading card industry yesterday by announcing that they would be giving away high-resolution downloadable versions of their cards on the internet from 1st August. Using technology developed by Adobe, creators of the Acrobat format, Theory.org.uk argued that collectors would be able to print out their own colour collectables. Cards would be released on the Web at a rate of "two or three" per month.

The first three cards feature the theorists Anthony Giddens, Judith Butler and Michel Foucault. The cards rate their subjects in terms of strengths, weaknesses and special skills, as well as offering a finely-honed outline of their key ideas. Web links allow collectors to discover more about each theorist or concept.

For more on the series, and the latest cards, return to the main page.