Explaining both why theory is important and how to use it, Lois Tyson introduces beginning students of literature to this often daunting field in a friendly and readable style. The new edition of this textbook is clearly structured with chapters based on major theories frequently covered both in courses on literature and on critical theory.
Key features include:
• coverage of major theories including reader-response theory, New Criticism (formalism), psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, lesbian/gay/queer theories, African American theory, and postcolonial theory
• practical demonstrations of how to use these theories to interpret short literary works selected from canonical authors including William Faulkner and Alice Walker
• a chapter on reader-response theory that shows students how to use their personal responses to literature while avoiding typical pitfalls
• sections on cultural criticism for each chapter that use our selected theories to interpret productions of popular culture
This new edition also includes updated and expanded theoretical vocabulary, as well as "basic concepts" and "further study" sections, and an expanded "next-step" appendix that suggests additional literary works for extra practice. Comprehensive, easy to use, and fully updated throughout, Using Critical Theory is the ideal first step for students beginning degrees in literature, composition, and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
1. Critical theory and you 2. Using concepts from reader-response theory to understand our own literary interpretations 3. Using concepts from New Critical theory to understand literature 4. Using concepts from psychoanalytic theory to understand literature 5. Using concepts from Marxist theory to understand literature 6. Using concepts from feminist theory to understand literature 7. Using concepts from lesbian, gay, and queer theories to understand literature 8. Using concepts from African American theory to understand literature 9. Using concepts from postcolonial theory to understand literature 10. Holding on to what you’ve learned Appendices
Lois Tyson is Professor Emerita of English at Grand Valley State University, USA. She is the author of Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide (3rd edition, Routledge, 2014).