Faculty Committee

Bernadette Andrea, Alan Liu, Mark Maslan, Christopher Newfield, Rita Raley, Glyn Salton-Cox, Russell Samolsky

Notes and Resources

All works from the following list (except the full-length books specified at the end and those marked with an *) are from David H. Richter, The Critical Tradition:  Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends, 3rd ed. (Bedford, 2006).

For help in creating a “cognitive map” of the history of theory, students should also consult such texts as: M. H. Abrams’s A Glossary of Literary Terms, Raymond Williams’s Keywords,  Rene Wellek’s A History of Modern Criticism, and other anthologies of theory such as Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato  (2d ed). Those marked with a cross (+) are digitized and available online, consult with the Staff Graduate Adviser.

Part I

From Part One of the Richter Anthology.

  • Plato, Republic, Book X +
  • Aristotle, Poetics +
  • Horace, The Art of Poetry +
  • Longinus, On the Sublime +
  • Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry +
  • Aphra Behn, Preface to The Lucky Chance +
  • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism +
  • Samuel Johnson, from “Preface to Shakespeare” +
  • David Hume, Of the Standard of Taste +
  • Immanuel Kant, from Critique of Judgement +
  • William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads +
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from Biographia Literaria +
  • John Keats, from Letter to George and Thomas Keats +
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defence of Poetry +
  • G. W. F. Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of Art +
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Poet +
  • Matthew Arnold, The Function of Criticism at the Present Time +
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music and Part I, On the Genealogy of Morals (*) +
  • Henry James, The Art of Fiction +
  • T.S. Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent +
  • W.E.B. Du Bois, from The Souls of Black Folk +
  • Mikhail Bakhtin, from Discourse in the Novel (“Heteroglossia”) +
  • Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare’s Sister from A Room of One’s Own +
  • Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology (*) +
  • Kenneth Burke, Literature as Equipment for Living +
  • J.L. Austin, from How to Do Things with Words +
  • Simone de Beauvoir, Myths: Of Women in Five Authors +
  • Northrop Frye, The Archetypes of Literature +
  • Erich Auerbach, Odysseus’ Scar +

Part II

From Part Two of the Richter Anthology.

  1. Formalisms
    • Victor Shklovsky, “Art as Technique” +
      W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley,
    • “The Intentional Fallacy” +
    • Cleanth Brooks, “Irony as a Principle of Structure” +
  2. Structuralism, Semiotics, and Deconstruction
    • Ferdinand de Saussure, “Nature of the Linguistic Sign” +
    • Claude Lévi-Strauss, “The Structural Study of Myth” +
    • Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author” +
    • Michel Foucault, “What is an Author?”
    • Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” +
    • Paul de Man, from Blindness and Insight (chapter 1) and “The Resistance to Theory” (*)
  3. Reader-Response Criticism
    • Wolfgang Iser, “The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach” +
    • Hans Robert Jauss, “The Three Stages of Interpretation” +
  4. Psychoanalytic Theory
    • Sigmund Freud, “The Uncanny” (*) and “Mourning and Melancholia” (*) +
    • Jacques Lacan, “The Mirror Stage and “The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason since Freud” +
    • Harold Bloom, “A Meditation upon Priority” +
    • Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” +
  5. Marxist Criticism
    • Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” +
    • Louis Althusser, from Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses +
    • Raymond Williams, from Marxism and Literature +
      Fredric Jameson, from The Political Unconscious +
  6. New Historicism and Cultural Studies
    • Clifford Geertz, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” (*) +
    • Pierre Bourdieu, from Distinction +
    • Stephen Greenblatt, “Invisible Bullets” (*) +
    • John Guillory, from Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation +
  7. & 8. Feminist Literary Criticism/Gender Studies and Queer Theory
    • Julia Kristeva, “Women’s Time”
    • Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa” +
    • Luce Irigaray, “This Sex Which Is Not One” (*) +
    • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, from Epistemology of the Closet +
  8.  [see above]
  9. Postcolonialism and Ethnic Studies
    • Edward W. Said, from the Introduction to Orientalism +
    • Gayatri Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (*) +
    • Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “Writing, ‘Race,’ and the Difference It Makes” +
  10. Theorizing Postmodernism
    • Jean Baudrillard, from The Precession of Simulacra +
    • Jürgen Habermas, “Modernity versus Postmodernity” +
    • Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”
    • Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto” +

Separate Books

  • Karl Marx, Capital (Part I of Vol. I) +
  • Sigmund Freud, Interpretation of Dreams (Chapters II-IV, VI, VII)
  • Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (pp. 1-165) and The Gift of Death (Chapter 3)
  • Roland Barthes, S/Z (pp. 3-33, 221-54)
  • Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. I
  • Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition (concluding essay: “Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism?”) +
  • Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (chapters 1-2, 14) +
  • Judith Butler, Gender Trouble and Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence (Chapters 1-2) +
  • Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Introduction, Part 3) +

Revised 6/07