Literary criticism has probably existed for as long as literature. We come into contact with a variety of texts in our daily lives (especially here at University of Puget Sound!) and these texts inspire inquiry, interpretation, and conversations among our friends and peers. Have you ever thought about the elements of a text that influence its interpretation or your experience of it? Would you like to learn more about the different lenses and vocabularies scholars use to view and talk about art, literature, and culture? If you get a kick out of philosophizing about what you’re reading, then we have a resource for you!
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism is an essential resource for scholars and students of literary theory and discourse, and one of our newest additions to the Collins Memorial Library. The digital edition of the JH Guide presents a comprehensive historical survey of the field and features over 300 well-written, in-depth articles on individual critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods. Not only is the guide easily browsable (by entry, topic, or name), it’s also full-text searchable. Each article contains ample cross-references and is accompanied by an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary resources. Whether you want to learn more about Virginia Woolf’s contributions to Anglo-American feminist criticism or need to brush up on psychoanalytic theory, the JH Guide can help you get started. Check it out online and you’ll be reading like Aristotle or Foucault in no time!
By Katy Curtis, Humanities Librarian