Literary Criticism and Theory


Welcome to the exciting world of Literary Theory and Criticism!

Before we begin, let's take a look at this image that caused quite a bit of controversy. This post was a 2015 online viral phenomenon and centered on a photograph of a dress. Viewers disagreed on whether the dress was blue and black, or white and gold. Nobody was right or wrong - the perceptions depended on your eye lens construction. This is exactly the way we can think of literary theory: a lens through which we can examine literature.


The dress


For this assignment, you will research the given websites and take notes on the key points using the Cornell Note-taking Method that was taught in class. Then, you will choose a specific theory or "lens" to research in detail and teach to the class. Remember - literary theories are simply a lens that you can use to see/understand a work of literature in a new light.




You are about to work through a series of steps that are meant to help you understand the definition and purpose of literary theory and literary criticism. Be sure to take notes about the key concepts in each of these steps so that you have something that you can study and read over when you are finished your research. 



Watch the video below and take notes on the key points.



Please read and take notes on the PDF linked here: 1. Lit Crit Defined.pdf


Review the list of Literary Theories on the handout here, and list at least TWO that might interest you. 



You can consider yourself to be successful at this task if you have achieved the following:

  1. Have an understanding of what Literary Theory is, and Literary Criticism.
  2. Have written notes using one of the note-taking strategies discussed in class.
  3. Have an idea of at least 2 types of literary theories that may interest you