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Linguistics

Introduction to Linguistics

Ferdinand de Saussure has been described as the ‘father’ of modern linguistics through his influential Cours de Linguistique Générale (1916). There are three reasons for a belief that linguistics is of very recent origin: Linguistics is a human science, and… Read More ›

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Key Theories of Jacques Derrida

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) came to prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the publication of Of Grammatology (1967), Writing and Difference (1967) and Margins of Philosophy (1972). Derrida’s name is inextricably linked with the term ‘deconstruction‘. Largely because… Read More ›

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 ›

New Historicism

A critical approach developed in the 1980s in the writings of Stephen Greenblatt, New Historicism is characterised by a parallel reading of a text with its socio-cultural and historical conditions, which form the co-text. New Historians rejected the fundamental tenets… Read More ›

Decanonisation

In the wake on Postmodernist critique of modernism and liberal humanism, and with the vogue of Derridean deconstruction and decentering of the subject/centre, the Western canon of “great” books, not only in literature but in all areas of humanistic study,… Read More ›

The Yale Critics

The Yale School is the name given to an influential group of literary critics, theorists, and philosophers of literature who were influenced by Jacques Derrida’s philosophy of deconstruction. Many of the theorists were affiliated with Yale University in the late… Read More ›

Aporia

The word “aporia” originally came from Greek which, in philosophy, meant a philosophical puzzle or state of being in puzzle, and a rhetorically useful expression of doubt. In contemporary theoretical parlance, the term has more been associated with deconstructive criticism,… Read More ›

Deconstruction

Deconstruction involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings, rather than being a unified, logical whole. As J. Hillis Miller, the preeminent American deconstructionist, has explained in an essay entitled Stevens’… Read More ›

Derrida’s Notion of the Centre

Decentering in poststructuralism is a consequence of Derrida’s critique of binary oppositions, especially of speech/writing, where he accused Saussure of privileging speech over writing, owing to the presence, and authority of the speaker. Terming it as phonocentrism, which is a manifestation… Read More ›

POSTSTRUCTURALISM

The second half of the twentieth century, with its torturous experiences of the World Wars, Holocaust and the advent of new technologies, witnessed revolutionary developments in literary theory that were to undermine several of the established notions of Western literary… Read More ›

 Structuralist Narratology 

  Espoused by Tzvetan Todorov, Roland Barthes and , Structuralist narratology illustrates how a story’s meaning develops from its overall structure (the langue) rather than from each individual story’s isolated theme (the parole). According to Aristotle, all narratives develop longitudinally,… Read More ›

Semiotics/ Semiology

A highly influential branch of study, Semiotics or the study of signs, can be considered the foundation for literary theory. Many of the revolutionary theories of the twentieth century, such as Structuralism and Poststructuralism, Structural Anthropology (Levi-Strauss), Psychoanalysis (Lacan), Cultural… Read More ›

Linguistic Sign

Announcing a revolutionary change in the study of language, which had been hitherto philological, Saussure with his Course in General Linguistics (1916), introduced Structural Linguistics, which considers language as a system of signs constructed by cultural conventions. Constituting of a… Read More ›

Structuralism

The advent of critical theory in the post-war period, which comprised various complex disciplines like linguistics, literary criticism, Psychoanalytic criticism, structuralism, postcolonialism etc., proved hostile to the liberal consensus which reigned the realm of criticism between the 1930s and `50s. Among… Read More ›

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