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Critical Theory A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies



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Oxford University Press
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A wide-ranging and refreshingly up-to-date anthology of primary readings, Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies, edited by Robert Dale Parker, presents a provocative mix of contemporary and classic essays in critical theory. From the foundational ideas of Marx and Freud to key writings by Fanon and Foucault, the essays in this collection represent the most influential ideas in modern critical thought and in the contemporary interpretation of literature and culture. Ideal as a stand-alone reader or as a companion to a critical theory survey - including How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies, also by Robert Dale Parker - this collection of seminal readings invites students to join in the ongoing debates and controversiesof critical discussion, reading, writing, and interpretation.

Author Biography

Robert Dale Parker is James M. Benson Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Table of Contents

New Criticism
Cleanth Brooks, "The Language of Paradox"
Cleanth Brooks, "The Formalist Critics"
W. K. Wimsatt, "The Concrete Universal"
See also selections by Strier and Wolfson
Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics
Victor Shklovsky, "Art as Technique"
V. Propp, Morphology of the Folktale
Roman Jakobson, "The Metaphoric and Metonymic Poles"
Roman Jakobson, "Linguistics and Poetics"
Claude Lévi-Straus, "The Structural Study of Myth"
Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"
See also selections by Hall ("Encoding/Decoding"), Hayles, Mulvey, and White
Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense"
Jacques Derrida, "The End of the Book and the Beginning of Writing"
Roland Barthes, "From Work to Text"
J. Hillis Miller, "Stevens' Rock and Criticism as Cure, II"
Paul de Man, "Semiology and Rhetoric"
Diana Fuss, "Essentialism in the Classroom"
bell hooks, "Essentialism and Experience"
N. Katherine Hayles, "Speech, Writing, Code: Three Worldviews"
See also selections by Bauman, Chow, Cixous, Hall ("Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation"), Koshy, and Spivak
Sigmund Freud, "Psycho-analysis"
Jacques Lacan, "Seminar on 'The Purloined Letter' "
Slavoj Zizek, "Why Does a Letter Always Arrive at Its Destination?: Imaginary, Symbolic, Real"
See also selections by Cixous, Irigaray, Mulvey, Sedgwick, and Wittig
Laura Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema"
Hélène Cixous, "The Laugh of the Medusa"
Luce Irigaray, "This Sex Which Is Not One"
Toril Moi, "'Images of Women Criticism"
bell hooks, "The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators"
See also selections by Anzaldúa, Bauman, Butler, Fuss, McRobbie, Mohanty, Nussbaum, Rich, Sedgwick, Smith, Spivak, and Wittig
Queer Studies
Adrienne Rich, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence"
Monique Wittig, "The Straight Mind"
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "Gender Asymmetry and Erotic Triangles"
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
Martha C. Nussbaum, "The Professor of Parody: The Hip Defeatism of Judith Butler"
Robert McRuer, "Compulsory Able-Bodiedness and Queer/Disabled Existence"
Judith Halberstam, "Queer Temporalities and Postmodern Geographies"
See also selections by Anzaldúa and Dollimore
Karl Marx, from the preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
Karl Marx, "The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof"
Karl Marx, "The Working Day"
Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility"
Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, from "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception"
Bertolt Brecht, "Short Description of a New Technique of Acting Which Produces an Alienation Effect"
Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Towards an Investigation)"
Raymond Williams, "Dominant, Residual, and Emergent"
Fredric Jameson, "Cognitive Mapping"
See also selections by Barthes ("The Death of the Author"), Fanon, and Dollimore
Historicism and Cultural Studies
Hayden White, "The Historical Text as Literary Artifact"
Michel Foucault, "Panopticism"
Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style
Angela McRobbie, from "Jackie Magazine: Romantic Individualism and the Teenage Girl"
Stuart Hall, "Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation"
Stephen Greenblatt, "The Circulation of Social Energy"
Jonathan Dollimore, "The Politics of Containment"
Tricia Rose, "The Contradictory Politics of Popular Culture: Resisting, Selling Out, and 'Hot Sex' "
Lawrence Buell, "The Emergence of Environmental Criticism"
Richard Strier, "How Formalism Became a Dirty Word, and Why We Can't Do Without It"
Susan J. Wolfson, "Reading for Form"
See also selections by Hall ("Encoding/Decoding"), Haraway, hooks ("The Oppositional Gaze"), Koshy, and Williams
Postcolonial Studies and Race Studies
Frantz Fanon, "On National Culture"
Ngugi wa Thiong'o, "The Language of African Literature"
Homi K. Bhabha, "On Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse"
Gayatri C. Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?: Speculations on Widow Sacrifice"
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses"
Edward Said, "Narrative and Social Space"
Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "Talking Black: Critical Signs of the Times"
Renato Rosaldo, "Imperialist Nostalgia"
Ann duCille, "Discourse and Dat Course: Postcoloniality and Afrocentricity"
Susan Koshy, "The Fictions of Asian American Literature"
Rey Chow, "The Interruption of Referentiality: Poststructuralism and the Conundrum of Critical Multiculturalism"
See also selections by Bauman, Hall ("Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation"), hooks ("Essentialism and Experience" and "The Oppositional Gaze"), Jameson, and Rose
Reader Response
Stuart Hall, "Encoding/Decoding"
Barbara Herrnstein Smith, "Value/Evaluation" (1990, 1995)
Stanley Fish, "Introduction: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Interpretation," from Is There a Text in This Class?
H-Dirksen L. Bauman, "Towards a Poetics of Vision, Space, and the Body: Sign Language and Literary Theory"
Lisa Zunshine, "Theory of Mind and Experimental Representations of Fictional Consciousness"
See also selection by Barthes ("The Death of the Author"), Brecht, hooks ("The Oppositional Gaze"), and Mulvey

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