How to interpret literature: critical theory for literary and cultural studies

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Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 319 pages
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Offering a refreshing combination of accessibility and intellectual rigor, How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies presents an up-to-date, concise, and wide-ranging historicist survey of contemporary thinking in critical theory. Ideal for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in literary and critical theory, this is the only book of its kind that thoroughly merges literary studies with cultural studies, including film. Robert Dale Parker provides a critical look at the major movements in literary studies since the 1930s, including those often omitted from other texts. He includes chapters on New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Queer Studies, Marxism, Historicism and Cultural Studies, Postcolonial and Race Studies, and Reader Response. Parker weaves connections among chapters, showing how these different ways of thinking respond to and build upon each other. Through these exchanges, he prepares students to join contemporary dialogues in literary and cultural studies. Parker's engaging writing style relates directly to today's students and their daily lives. He underscores the connections between critical theory and students' other coursework, as well as its links to their technologically filled lives. The text is enhanced by charts, text boxes that address frequently asked questions, photos, and a bibliography.
Intellectually challenging yet remarkably readable--and devoted to the interpretation of both literary and cultural studies--How to Interpret Literature stands out from other surveys of critical theory. Its flexible format makes this volume ideal as either a stand-alone text or in conjunction with an anthology of primary readings.

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About the author (2008)

Robert Dale Parker is a Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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