Research Guide: Literary Criticism

This guide will help you understand and locate literary criticism

Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism

Looking through different lenses

Many times literary critics analyze works of literature from a particular philosophical or literary perspective. This perspective often evolves as a reaction to the political, economic, cultural, educational and artistic climate of a historical period

  • These perspectives are referred to as Schools of Literary Criticism and may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Formalist 
    • Historical
    • Mythological 
    • Gender Studies
    • Deconstructionist
    • Post-Colonial
    • Marxist
    • Biographical
    • Psychological 
    • Sociological
    • Reader Response
    • Cultural Studies
    • Feminist
    • Critical Race Studies

Note:This is not necessarily an exhaustive list. There is ongoing debate as to naming conventions and overlap between the literary schools

Finding background information

Gale Virtual Reference Library, also known as Gale Ebooks, is a great source to find background information on a variety of topics, including literature, authors, time periods, literary theory and more. Use the link below to search for articles in the database. 

Literary Concepts

Selected Resources on Schools of Literary Criticism