Pachucki holds a Bachelor's degree in education and currently teaches in New Jersey. Rhetoric and philosophy both seek to study and understand the nature of human thought and how those thoughts are conveyed. Functionalist Theory. The modern sense of “literary theory,” however, dates only to approximately the 1950s, when the structuralist linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure began strongly to influence English language literary criticism. In all of the major academic disciplines, established schools of thought exist. Critical theory, Marxist-inspired movement in social and political philosophy originally associated with the work of the Frankfurt School.Drawing particularly on the thought of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud, critical theorists maintain that a primary goal of philosophy is to understand and to help overcome the social structures through which people are dominated and oppressed. There are many types of literary theory, which take different approaches to texts. Feminism, New Historicism and Psychoanalytic theory are examples of literary criticism that perform the cultural work of exposing and challenging ideologies contained within a text, focusing on the political implications that inform and are represented within a work. In many cases, such as those of the historian and philosopher Michel Foucault and the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the authors were not primarily literary critics, but their work has been broadly influential in literary theory. \"Literary theory,\" sometimes designated \"critical theory,\" or \"theory,\" and now undergoing a transformation into \"cultural theory\" within the discipline of literary studies, can be understood as the set of concepts and intellectual assumptions on which rests the work of explaining or interpreting literary texts. Described below are nine common critical approaches to the literature. Critical 1. If you're interested in knowing more, see the Purdue Online Writing Lab or OWL or read Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide, by Louis Tyson. Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole. Critical Race Theory is against free societies. In the academic world of the United Kingdom and the United States, literary theory was at its most popular from the late 1960s (when its influence was beginning to spread outward from elite universities like Johns Hopkins, Yale, and Cornell) through the 1980s (by which time it was taught nearly everywhere in some form). She has worked professionally with children of all ages and is pursuing a second Masters degree in education from Monmouth University. Specific theories are distinguished not only by their methods and conclusions, but even by how they define a “text.”. Felix Weil’s father, Herman, made his fortune by exporting grain from Argentina to Europe. Formalism, an example of aesthetic criticism, examines and critiques the inherent qualities of a literary text, while reducing or minimizing its historical, political or cultural contexts. Its philosophy is a re#ection of realities, potentials, and limits of struggles. Believe it or not, Critical Race Theory is not a liberal … Feminists take for their study the subjects of marginalization and minority cultures, while New Historicists look at a text in relation to its historical context and influences. Strictly speaking, when we interpret a literary text, we are doing literary criticism; when we examine the criteria upon which our interpretation rests, we are doing critical theory. Psychoanalytic theory seeks to understand and critique literature and its implica… Instead, critical theory tries to examine what types of questions we should pose about literary works. While his theories vary, Burke's theories often examined the nature of language as a symbolic action that motivates thought and behavior. Just like everything else in life, art has its critics. Critical theory feels associated with actual and potential social struggles of exploited and oppressed groups. Similarly, New Criticism is a critical theory that explores literary texts as self-contained works that stand apart from any influences of the world, including its author. The theory and criticism of literature are, of course, also closely tied to the history of literature. In addition, postmodernism, feminism, and postcolonialism have greatly influenced how critical theories have grown and expanded to challenge a greater number of social power structures. Feminists take for their study the subjects of marginalization and minority cultures, while New Historicists look at a text in relation to its historical context and influences. New Historicism/Cultural Studies (1980s-present) 9. “The methodology underpinning much of the social justice perspective is known as critical theory. Critical Theories: Marxist, Conflict, and Feminist. CRITICAL THEORY. Quotations are from X.J. Critical theory (or literary theory), on the other hand, tries to explain the assumptions and values upon which various forms of literary criticism rest. This is not a chaos of subjectivity. According to these theorists, a critical theory may be distinguished from a traditional theory according to a specific practical purpose: a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human emancipation from slavery, acts as a liber… Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Education. Literary theory refers to any Introduction to Literature Listed below are some of the most commonly identified schools of literary theory, along with their major authors. Critical theorists also have begun to look at oppression and emancipatory action as they relate more broadly to technologies of mass media and other aspects of popular culture. As literary theory is used to interpret and explain texts, scholars use historical theories to understand and critique historical events. Perdue University: Introductory Guide to Critical Theory; Dino Franco Felluga, Marxists: George Novak's Understanding History; "Major Theories of History from the Greeks to Marxism", PBS: NOVA; "Relativity and the Cosmos"; Alan Lightman; September 9, 1997, "Rhetoric and Philosophy"; Richard A. Cherwitz; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1990, University of Minnesota: Department of Communication Studies; "Resources on Kenneth Burke". Critical Theory Reading List Several people have asked me to provide a reading list of primary sources that will give them a good grounding in contemporary critical theory, which forms the ideological foundation for large segments of the modern social justice movement. Introduction Summaries New Criticism Archetypal Criticism Psychoanalytic Criticism Feminist Criticism Marxist Criticism Reader-Response Criticism Cultural Studies New Historicism Deconstruction Conclusion. Start studying Critical Theories List. In modern times, most literary criticisms and theories fall into the categories of aesthetics and politics. Other major theories of rhetoric and philosophy include realism, which regards absolute truth as independent of yet knowable to people; relativism, which holds that reality and truth are manifold, dependent upon human influence and interpretation and Existentialism, which, as immortalized in the philosopher Descartes' quote, "I think, therefore I am," maintains that people actively construct existence, truth and reality through thought. The theories of Kenneth Burke underpin much of current rhetorical and philosophical discourse. Below is a list of sources that we have found valuable for understanding Critical Race Theory, mostly from within, though some sources that are critical of it are included as well. Mark Tadajewski, Towards a history of critical marketing studies, Journal of Marketing Management, 10.1080/02672571003668954, 26, 9-10, (773-824), (2010). The proponents of each theory believe their theory is the theory, but most of us interpret texts according to the "rules" of several different theories at a time. What Is Bhaskar's Theory of Critical Realism? Critical theory – the examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities.The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism. Critical theory articulates what we bring to literature, which presumably determines what we get out of it. The aesthetic theories of philosophers from ancient philosophy through the 18th and 19th centuries are important influences on current literary study. The Critical Race Theory training was exposed by Christopher Rufo, a contributing editor for the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.. Critical Approaches to Literature Plain text version of this document. Reader-Response Criticism (1960s-present) 6. But it was not until the broad impact of structuralism began to be felt in the English-speaking academic world that “literary theory” was thought of as a unified domain. The mods gave me the go-ahead to start a thread to compile a reading list for r/criticaltheory the way r/philosophy has. Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism _____ Below or just a few of the many literary theories or lenses that you can use to view and talk about art, literature, and culture. Art criticism is the expression used to describe the act of making selective judgments, both positive and negative, about an art piece. In 1923, Felix decided to use his father’s money to found an institute specifically devoted to the study of German society in the light of a Marxist approach. September 17, 2013 Eugene Wolters 19 Comments. Does not designate any one critical theory, but focuses on the activity of reading a work of literature. Several versions of critical theory exist, but all explain crime in terms of group differences in power. Psychoanalytic theory seeks to understand and critique literature and its implications about culture from a Freudian perspective, often examining literary content and its reflection of society or government as a symbolism of basic human motives. Sanyika Shakur, aka Kody Scott, came to . Structuralism/Semiotics (1920s-present) 7. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Karl Marx’s ideas challenged the status qu… What Are the Functions of Literary Criticism? Literary Theories: A Sampling of Critical Lenses Literary theories were developed as a means to understand the various ways people read texts. With origins in sociology and literary criticism, it argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors. This handbook grants the reader access to the tradition and the core concepts and approaches of critical theory. All literary theories are lenses Critical theories also provide a way to form insightful, meaningful conclusions based on a justified rationale. The radical theory had been used to train (or indoctrinate) federal employees, who were told during some “diversity” training sessions that the United States is a racist society, and white people are to blame.. Below I have summarized some types of literary criticism you might consider when reading or writing about literature. Crossref Volume 7 , Issue 1 While each of these approaches examines a different area of oppression, all are critical approaches to enact great social changes, not only in western societies, but in cultures worldwide. Feminist Cri… Critical theory (also capitalized as Critical Theory to distinguish the school of thought from a theory that is in some way "critical" ) is an approach to social philosophy that focuses on reflective assessment and critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures. Marxist Criticism (1930s-present) 5. In history, major critical theories abound. Post-Colonial Criticism (1990s-present) 10. Marxism and capitalism are two familiar political philosophies that also serve as critical theories for interpreting and analyzing past historical trends, as well as current events. Aestheticism – often associated with Romanticism, a philosophy defining aesthetic value as the primary goal in understanding literature. Introduction to Literature. Both formalism and New Criticism fall into the categories of aesthetics, as questions and answers about texts that stem from these schools of thought are more concerned with the literary or pleasurable qualities of a text rather than is influences and statements about society or culture. 87 Texts Every Critical Theorist Needs to Read. By the early 1990s, the popularity of “theory” as a subject of interest by itself was declining slightly even as the texts of literary theory were incorporated into the study of almost all literature. American pragmatism and other American approaches, Harold Bloom, Stanley Fish, Richard Rorty, Cognitive Cultural Studies – applies research in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive evolutionary psychology and anthropology, and philosophy of mind to the study of literature and culture, Frederick Luis Aldama, Mary Thomas Crane, Nancy Easterlin, William Flesch, David Herman, Suzanne Keen, Patrick Colm Hogan, Alan Richardson, Ellen Spolsky, Blakey Vermeule, Lisa Zunshine, Cultural studies – emphasizes the role of literature in everyday life, Raymond Williams, Dick Hebdige, and Stuart Hall (British Cultural Studies); Max Horkheimer andTheodor Adorno; Michel de Certeau; also Paul Gilroy, John Guillory, Darwinian literary studies – situates literature in the context of evolution and natural selection, Deconstruction – a strategy of “close” reading that elicits the ways that key terms and concepts may be paradoxical or self-undermining, rendering their meaning undecidable, Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Gayatri Spivak, Avital Ronell, Gender (see feminist literary criticism) – which emphasizes themes of gender relations, Luce Irigaray, Judith Butler, Hélène Cixous, Elaine Showalter, Formalism – a school of literary criticism and literary theory having mainly to do with structural purposes of a particular text, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Erich Auerbach, René Wellek, Marxism (see Marxist literary criticism) – which emphasizes themes of class conflict, Georg Lukács, Valentin Voloshinov, Raymond Williams, Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, New Criticism – looks at literary works on the basis of what is written, and not at the goals of the author or biographical issues, W. K. Wimsatt, F. R. Leavis, John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, New Historicism – which examines the work through its historical context and seeks to understand cultural and intellectual history through literature, Stephen Greenblatt, Louis Montrose, Jonathan Goldberg, H. Aram Veeser, Postcolonialism – focuses on the influences of colonialism in literature, especially regarding the historical conflict resulting from the exploitation of less developed countries and indigenous peoples by Western nations, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Homi Bhabha and Declan Kiberd, Postmodernism – criticism of the conditions present in the twentieth century, often with concern for those viewed as social deviants or the Other, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and Maurice Blanchot, Post-structuralism – a catch-all term for various theoretical approaches (such as deconstruction) that criticize or go beyond Structuralism’s aspirations to create a rational science of culture by extrapolating the model of linguistics to other discursive and aesthetic formations, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, Psychoanalysis (see psychoanalytic literary criticism) – explores the role of consciousnesses and the unconscious in literature including that of the author, reader, and characters in the text, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Harold Bloom, Slavoj Žižek, Viktor Tausk, Queer theory – examines, questions, and criticizes the role of gender identity and sexuality in literature, Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Michel Foucault, Reader-response criticism – focuses upon the active response of the reader to a text, Louise Rosenblatt, Wolfgang Iser, Norman Holland, Hans-Robert Jauss, Stuart Hall, Structuralism and semiotics (see semiotic literary criticism) – examines the universal underlying structures in a text, the linguistic units in a text and how the author conveys meaning through any structures, Ferdinand de Saussure, Roman Jakobson, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, Mikhail Bakhtin, Yurii Lotman, Umberto Eco, Jacques Ehrmann, Northrop Frye and morphology of folklore, Eco-criticism – explores cultural connections and human relationships to the natural world, Other theorists: Robert Graves, Alamgir Hashmi, John Sutherland, Leslie Fiedler, Kenneth Burke, Paul Bénichou, Barbara Johnson, Blanca de Lizaur, Dr Seuss. , most literary criticisms and theories fall into the categories of aesthetics and politics scholars took materialist and approaches. 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