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Month: April 2017

Literary Criticism of Sir Joshua Reynolds

Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–92) was an eighteenth-century painter. His Discourses on Art, published in 1797, though they focus on painting, present ideas about representation which were central to the discussions of literary aesthetics and criticism going on during this period…. Read More ›

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Narrative Theory

Modern Narrative Theory begins with Russian Formalism in the 1920s, specifically with the work of Roman Jakobson, Yury Tynyanov, and Viktor Shklovsky. Tynyanov combined his skills as a historical novelist with Formalism to produce, with Jakobson, Theses on Language (1928),… Read More ›

Gay Criticism

Unlike lesbian criticism, gay criticism doesn’t tend to focus on efforts to define homosexuality. Sexual relations between men, or even just the sexual desire of one man for another, is the generally accepted criterion of gayness in white middle-class America… Read More ›

Key Theories of Marshall McLuhan

Punning that one of his books was a ‘collide-oscope of interfaced situations’, the Canadian literary critic and internationally renowned media theorist, Marshall McLuhan (1911–1980), also hints at how his conceptual terrain needs to be viewed: through multiple lenses that bring different… Read More ›

Key Theories of Gayatri Spivak

A focus on Gayatri Spivak’s education and intellectual trajectory reveals a lifelong commitment to literary-critical studies alongside genuine political engagement. Spivak was born in Calcutta, India in 1942; she later attended Presidency College at the University of Calcutta. After graduating… Read More ›

Key Theories of Paul Ricoeur

Two different traditions in the study of language and philosophy come together magisterially in Paul Ricoeur’s (1913–2005) study The Rule of Metaphor (1975; trans. 1977), with Anglo-American and ‘French’ approaches thereby brought into dialogue. While there is much talk of transdisciplinary… Read More ›

Key Theories of Slavoj Zizek

The Slovenian Lacanian Hegelian Slavoj Zizek  (1949– ) is the contemporary dialectician par excellence; the mapping of his identity via the three descriptors that open this sentence, which can be variously positioned and re-positioned, is one way of temporarily locating him…. Read More ›

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