An important collection of essays which treats Bakhtin as a provocative theorist whose work must be tested, explored and compared with the work of others. Contributors assess Bakhtin's contribution to difficult issues of colonialism, feminism, reception theory and theories of the body, amongst others. New articles explore the origins, previously unacknowledged, of Bakhtin's theory of language and provide a vivid account of the dramatic scandal surrounding Bakhtin's thesis on Rabelais. Contains dramatic new material, drawn from post-perestroika sources, which demythologizes the image of this important writer. A new bibliographical essay and introduction bring the English-language reader up-to-date with the progress of Bakhtin studies in Russia.