American literary critic Edward Said to refer to the ‘cult of Bakhtin’ in fairly disparaging terms.2 It has also encouraged the appropriation of his work by a number of competing schools of thought, each claiming Bakhtin as ‘their’ own. He has been portrayed as a poststructuralist long before Derrida and Foucault decentred the subject, a Russian Formalist (albeit a rather unorthodox one), a nascent modernist or postmodernist, and even a religious thinker. However, despite the inordinate amount of attention lavished upon Bakhtin, his work does contain a number of rich and suggestive elements which have much to offer to a radical cultural theory and politics.