Post-Colonial Criticism (1990s-present) 10. Critical theory (also capitalized as Critical Theory to distinguish the school of thought from a theory that is in some way "critical" ) is an approach to social philosophy that focuses on reflective assessment and critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures. But it was not until the broad impact of structuralism began to be felt in the English-speaking academic world that “literary theory” was thought of as a unified domain. According to these theorists, a critical theory may be distinguished from a traditional theory according to a specific practical purpose: a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human emancipation from slavery, acts as a liber… For centuries, scholars, thinkers, authors and readers have pondered fundamental questions about how, why and what we read. The theory and criticism of literature are, of course, also closely tied to the history of literature. In history, major critical theories abound. Critical It differs from traditional theory, which focuses only on understanding or explaining society. The modern sense of “literary theory,” however, dates only to approximately the 1950s, when the structuralist linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure began strongly to influence English language literary criticism. Critical theories also try to explain group differences in crime rates in terms of the larger social environment; some focus on class differences, some on gender differences, and some on societal differences in crime. Literary Theories: A Sampling of Critical Lenses Literary theories were developed as a means to understand the various ways people read texts. Critical Approaches to Literature Plain text version of this document. The radical theory had been used to train (or indoctrinate) federal employees, who were told during some “diversity” training sessions that the United States is a racist society, and white people are to blame.. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Karl Marx’s ideas challenged the status qu… Critical theory, Marxist-inspired movement in social and political philosophy originally associated with the work of the Frankfurt School.Drawing particularly on the thought of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud, critical theorists maintain that a primary goal of philosophy is to understand and to help overcome the social structures through which people are dominated and oppressed. They're called critical theories. The functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, is one of the major … Even among those listed below, combine methods from more than one of these approaches (for instance, the deconstructive approach of Paul de Man drew on a long tradition of close reading pioneered by the New Critics, and de Man was trained in the European hermeneutic tradition). Does not designate any one critical theory, but focuses on the activity of reading a work of literature. Introduction Summaries New Criticism Archetypal Criticism Psychoanalytic Criticism Feminist Criticism Marxist Criticism Reader-Response Criticism Cultural Studies New Historicism Deconstruction Conclusion. Quotations are from X.J. Critical theory articulates what we bring to literature, which presumably determines what we get out of it. Introduction to Literature. Literary criticism and theory has a long and varied past. Formalism, New Criticism, Neo-Aristotelian Criticism (1930s-present) 3. Psychoanalytic theory seeks to understand and critique literature and its implications about culture from a Freudian perspective, often examining literary content and its reflection of society or government as a symbolism of basic human motives. Reader-Response Criticism (1960s-present) 6. Psychoanalytic theory seeks to understand and critique literature and its implica… Below is a list of sources that we have found valuable for understanding Critical Race Theory, mostly from within, though some sources that are critical of it are included as well. Introduction to Literature Literary theory refers to any What does "common sense" say about this? The twenty-two selections in Critical Theory: The Essential Readings provide students with a lucid overview of the central themes and concerns of critical theory. In the academic world of the United Kingdom and the United States, literary theory was at its most popular from the late 1960s (when its influence was beginning to spread outward from elite universities like Johns Hopkins, Yale, and Cornell) through the 1980s (by which time it was taught nearly everywhere in some form). 9.5.6 Critical Theory, Mass Media, and Popular Culture. Post-Structuralism/Deconstruction (1966-present) 8. This is not a chaos of subjectivity. \"Literary theory,\" sometimes designated \"critical theory,\" or \"theory,\" and now undergoing a transformation into \"cultural theory\" within the discipline of literary studies, can be understood as the set of concepts and intellectual assumptions on which rests the work of explaining or interpreting literary texts. Instead, critical theory tries to examine what types of questions we should pose about literary works. Feminism, New Historicism and Psychoanalytic theory are examples of literary criticism that perform the cultural work of exposing and challenging ideologies contained within a text, focusing on the political implications that inform and are represented within a work. The main introduction and prefaces to sections discuss the writers and selections, highlighting connections between ideas and their historical contexts. What Are the Functions of Literary Criticism? The Critical Race Theory training was exposed by Christopher Rufo, a contributing editor for the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.. Debra Pachucki has been writing in the journalistic, scholastic and educational sectors since 2003. While each of these approaches examines a different area of oppression, all are critical approaches to enact great social changes, not only in western societies, but in cultures worldwide. A literary work is converted into an activity that goes on in a reader's mind, and what had been features of the work itself--including narrator, plot, characters, style, and structure--are less important than the connection between a reader's experience and the text. The proponents of each theory believe their theory is the theory, but most of us interpret texts according to the "rules" of several different theories at a time. In addition, postmodernism, feminism, and postcolonialism have greatly influenced how critical theories have grown and expanded to challenge a greater number of social power structures. To help you decide on a literary theory and to begin analyzing your chosen text, consider the questions presented below: In many cases, such as those of the historian and philosopher Michel Foucault and the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the authors were not primarily literary critics, but their work has been broadly influential in literary theory. American pragmatism and other American approaches, Harold Bloom, Stanley Fish, Richard Rorty, Cognitive Cultural Studies – applies research in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive evolutionary psychology and anthropology, and philosophy of mind to the study of literature and culture, Frederick Luis Aldama, Mary Thomas Crane, Nancy Easterlin, William Flesch, David Herman, Suzanne Keen, Patrick Colm Hogan, Alan Richardson, Ellen Spolsky, Blakey Vermeule, Lisa Zunshine, Cultural studies – emphasizes the role of literature in everyday life, Raymond Williams, Dick Hebdige, and Stuart Hall (British Cultural Studies); Max Horkheimer andTheodor Adorno; Michel de Certeau; also Paul Gilroy, John Guillory, Darwinian literary studies – situates literature in the context of evolution and natural selection, Deconstruction – a strategy of “close” reading that elicits the ways that key terms and concepts may be paradoxical or self-undermining, rendering their meaning undecidable, Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Gayatri Spivak, Avital Ronell, Gender (see feminist literary criticism) – which emphasizes themes of gender relations, Luce Irigaray, Judith Butler, Hélène Cixous, Elaine Showalter, Formalism – a school of literary criticism and literary theory having mainly to do with structural purposes of a particular text, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Erich Auerbach, René Wellek, Marxism (see Marxist literary criticism) – which emphasizes themes of class conflict, Georg Lukács, Valentin Voloshinov, Raymond Williams, Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, New Criticism – looks at literary works on the basis of what is written, and not at the goals of the author or biographical issues, W. K. Wimsatt, F. R. Leavis, John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, New Historicism – which examines the work through its historical context and seeks to understand cultural and intellectual history through literature, Stephen Greenblatt, Louis Montrose, Jonathan Goldberg, H. Aram Veeser, Postcolonialism – focuses on the influences of colonialism in literature, especially regarding the historical conflict resulting from the exploitation of less developed countries and indigenous peoples by Western nations, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Homi Bhabha and Declan Kiberd, Postmodernism – criticism of the conditions present in the twentieth century, often with concern for those viewed as social deviants or the Other, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and Maurice Blanchot, Post-structuralism – a catch-all term for various theoretical approaches (such as deconstruction) that criticize or go beyond Structuralism’s aspirations to create a rational science of culture by extrapolating the model of linguistics to other discursive and aesthetic formations, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, Psychoanalysis (see psychoanalytic literary criticism) – explores the role of consciousnesses and the unconscious in literature including that of the author, reader, and characters in the text, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Harold Bloom, Slavoj Žižek, Viktor Tausk, Queer theory – examines, questions, and criticizes the role of gender identity and sexuality in literature, Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Michel Foucault, Reader-response criticism – focuses upon the active response of the reader to a text, Louise Rosenblatt, Wolfgang Iser, Norman Holland, Hans-Robert Jauss, Stuart Hall, Structuralism and semiotics (see semiotic literary criticism) – examines the universal underlying structures in a text, the linguistic units in a text and how the author conveys meaning through any structures, Ferdinand de Saussure, Roman Jakobson, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, Mikhail Bakhtin, Yurii Lotman, Umberto Eco, Jacques Ehrmann, Northrop Frye and morphology of folklore, Eco-criticism – explores cultural connections and human relationships to the natural world, Other theorists: Robert Graves, Alamgir Hashmi, John Sutherland, Leslie Fiedler, Kenneth Burke, Paul Bénichou, Barbara Johnson, Blanca de Lizaur, Dr Seuss. Sanyika Shakur, aka Kody Scott, came to . This handbook grants the reader access to the tradition and the core concepts and approaches of critical theory. Its philosophy is a re#ection of realities, potentials, and limits of struggles. Feminism, New Historicism and Psychoanalytic theory are examples of literary criticism that perform the cultural work of exposing and challenging ideologies contained within a text, focusing on the political implications that inform and are represented within a work. Critical Theory Reading List Several people have asked me to provide a reading list of primary sources that will give them a good grounding in contemporary critical theory, which forms the ideological foundation for large segments of the modern social justice movement. Similarly, New Criticism is a critical theory that explores literary texts as self-contained works that stand apart from any influences of the world, including its author. Feminists take for their study the subjects of marginalization and minority cultures, while New Historicists look at a text in relation to its historical context and influences. Listed below are some of the most commonly identified schools of literary theory, along with their major authors. Kennedy and Dana Gioia’s Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, Sixth Edition (New … Described below are nine common critical approaches to the literature. Perdue University: Introductory Guide to Critical Theory; Dino Franco Felluga, Marxists: George Novak's Understanding History; "Major Theories of History from the Greeks to Marxism", PBS: NOVA; "Relativity and the Cosmos"; Alan Lightman; September 9, 1997, "Rhetoric and Philosophy"; Richard A. Cherwitz; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1990, University of Minnesota: Department of Communication Studies; "Resources on Kenneth Burke". Critical theories provide a specific framework of perspective for interpreting texts, politics, religion, events, the natural world, human development and behavior -- whatever the subject of inquiry is. Maintaining that ideologyis the pri… This includes both literary critics who have tried to understand and/or identify aesthetic values and those like Oscar Wilde who have stressed art for art’s sake. 1. Believe it or not, Critical Race Theory is not a liberal … The practice of literary theory became a profession in the 20th century, but it has historical roots as far back as ancient Greece (Aristotle’s Poetics is an often cited early example), ancient India (Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra), ancient Rome (Longinus’s On the Sublime) and medieval Iraq (Al-Jahiz’s al-Bayan wa-‘l-tabyinand al-Hayawan, and ibn al-Mu’tazz’s Kitab al-Badi). Pachucki holds a Bachelor's degree in education and currently teaches in New Jersey. As literary theory is used to interpret and explain texts, scholars use historical theories to understand and critique historical events. There are many types of literary theory, which take different approaches to texts. Start studying Critical Theories List. Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole. September 17, 2013 Eugene Wolters 19 Comments. Critical theory (or literary theory), on the other hand, tries to explain the assumptions and values upon which various forms of literary criticism rest. I'd like to separate it, as much as possible, into fields, eras, etc. Feminist Cri… Critical Theory has a narrow and a broad meaning in philosophy and in the history of the social sciences. Broad schools of theory that have historically been important include historical and biographical criticism, New Criticism, formalism, Russian formalism, and structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism and French feminism, post-colonialism, new historicism, deconstruction, reader-response criticism, and psychoanalytic criticism. Mark Tadajewski, Towards a history of critical marketing studies, Journal of Marketing Management, 10.1080/02672571003668954, 26, 9-10, (773-824), (2010). CRITICAL THEORY. Critical theory feels associated with actual and potential social struggles of exploited and oppressed groups. Critical theorists also have begun to look at oppression and emancipatory action as they relate more broadly to technologies of mass media and other aspects of popular culture. Other major theories of rhetoric and philosophy include realism, which regards absolute truth as independent of yet knowable to people; relativism, which holds that reality and truth are manifold, dependent upon human influence and interpretation and Existentialism, which, as immortalized in the philosopher Descartes' quote, "I think, therefore I am," maintains that people actively construct existence, truth and reality through thought. Formalism, an example of aesthetic criticism, examines and critiques the inherent qualities of a literary text, while reducing or minimizing its historical, political or cultural contexts. The theories of Kenneth Burke underpin much of current rhetorical and philosophical discourse. Rhetoric and philosophy both seek to study and understand the nature of human thought and how those thoughts are conveyed. The mods gave me the go-ahead to start a thread to compile a reading list for r/criticaltheory the way r/philosophy has. Several versions of critical theory exist, but all explain crime in terms of group differences in power. Strictly speaking, when we interpret a literary text, we are doing literary criticism; when we examine the criteria upon which our interpretation rests, we are doing critical theory. Crossref Volume 7 , Issue 1 Both formalism and New Criticism fall into the categories of aesthetics, as questions and answers about texts that stem from these schools of thought are more concerned with the literary or pleasurable qualities of a text rather than is influences and statements about society or culture. Moral Criticism, Dramatic Construction (~360 BC-present) 2. Critical Theories: Marxist, Conflict, and Feminist. Psychoanalytic Criticism, Jungian Criticism(1930s-present) 4. Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism _____ Below or just a few of the many literary theories or lenses that you can use to view and talk about art, literature, and culture. Critical theory reading list! At the heart of the theories in this chapter is social stratification by class and power, and they are the most “politicized” of all criminological theories. The practice of literary theory became a profession in the 20th century, but it has historical roots as far back as ancient Greece (Aristotle’s Poetics is an often cited early example), ancient India (Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra), ancient Rome (Longinus’s On the Sublime) and medieval Iraq (Al-Jahiz’s al-Bayan wa-‘l-tabyinand al-Hayawan, and ibn al-Mu’tazz’s Kitab al-Badi). Aestheticism – often associated with Romanticism, a philosophy defining aesthetic value as the primary goal in understanding literature. The aesthetic theories of philosophers from ancient philosophy through the 18th and 19th centuries are important influences on current literary study. It is not meant to be exhaustive, of course, as that would require listing thousands and thousands of sources now, most of which we have obviously not read. Critical theories also provide a way to form insightful, meaningful conclusions based on a justified rationale. Art criticism is the expression used to describe the act of making selective judgments, both positive and negative, about an art piece. 87 Texts Every Critical Theorist Needs to Read. Functionalist Theory. While his theories vary, Burke's theories often examined the nature of language as a symbolic action that motivates thought and behavior. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. In all of the major academic disciplines, established schools of thought exist. The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to critical theory: . In modern times, most literary criticisms and theories fall into the categories of aesthetics and politics. What’s notable about critical theory is that it specifically distinguishes itself from ‘traditional’ theories through its emphasis on criticism. 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