Welcome to the Introduction to Literary and Cultural Criticism Guide. Use the table of contents to find definitions, topic overviews, books, articles, and more that will help you with your research.
If you don't find what you are looking for or need help navigating this guide or any of the resources it contains, don't hesitate to contact the author of this guide or Ask a Librarian.
Want to learn more about the background and context of literary scholarship? Below is a selection of resources that can help you to develop a better understanding of literary research, including the discourses of critical theory.
Always remember that research is not a linear process--it takes a lot of moving back and forth between sources and ideas to understand a topic and how it has developed over time.
The resources in this section provide information such as brief intellectual biographies of literary and cultural critics as well as annotations and reviews of the current scholarship on a topic.
I. Literary and Cultural Critics
This type of sources offer overviews and summaries; use them to gather, possibly, the following information: 1. A literary/cultural critics/theorist's contribution in the field of literature.
* his/her "new" approach/method/theory
* his/her "impact" on the scholarship of a particular type of literature
2. Seminal publications by and about a critic/theorist (as mentioned in the essays and listed in the bibliographies)
* note authors/scholars who are experts on the critic or the theory
* note major journals in the fields, where you are likely to find current scholarship on your topics.
* Are there scholars/journals from other fields as well?
3. People, events, ... related to an art historian
* how a critic/theorist is shaped by his/her education;
* who or what influenced their theory;
* what was the field of study like prior.
II. Recent Bibliographies & Reviews of Books
- Literary and Critical Theory (an annotated bibliography)
- The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory
- Dissertations and Theses (Check out the bibliographies of recent dissertations on a topic.)
- Dissertation Reviews ( yet to be published, which "offer a glimpse of each discipline's immediate present")
- H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences (1994 - )
- New York Review of Books (1963 - )
1. You might consider such questions as:
- Does the reviewer agree or disagree with the book’s theses and approaches?
- Does the reviewer provide new evidence not included in the book?
- What does the reviewer see as the relevance of the book?
- What questions not included in the book does the reviewer identify?
- Based on this book review, what do you think are a few of the major questions or methodologies being used in your chosen field?
What's the next larger context?
When there Aren't any (or many) books published on your topic, try place your idea in the knowledge hierarchy. For examples:
connect Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling with 16th-century Italian art, focusing on patronage in Rome during the Renaissance and Baroque periods;
or, dealing with influential Italian artists through history, etc.?