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ENGL 3010 and 4700 - Literary and Critical Theory

This comprehensive and specific subject guide covers primary texts from various schools of literary and critical thought, which can be accessed through MGA libraries.

What is Literary and Critical Theory?


Image is from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

Image is from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

FERDINAND de SAUSSURE, creator of the modern theory of structuralism.

Literary theory is the field of study concerned with inquiry into the evaluation, analysis, and understanding of literary works and other texts often incorporating concepts from other disciplines, such as philosophy, politics, or sociology, theories relating to English.

Literary theory or critical theory involves the analysis or decoding of the meaning of a work of literature or any text.  Theory draws on insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and philosophy in order to     understand the deeper implications of any text. 

Definition provided by Chris Cairney, Associate Professor, MGA Department of English.

Journals Focused on Literary Theory:


Diacritics focuses on debates about literary theories.

Essays in Criticism presents articles on English literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Also contains book reviews.

New Literary History examines the ways that literature and criticism change.

Paragraph: The Journal of the Modern Critical Theory Group considers critical theory on a general level and in its application to literature and other arts.


Using GALILEO you can find these journals by clicking the tab "Journals A-Z" and searching for the journal by name.  

Reference Books:


Literary Reference Center


Contact a Campus:

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