American Literary Criticism Since the 1930s fully updates Vincent B. Leitch’s classic book, American Literary Criticism from the 30s to the 80s following the development of the American academy right up to the present day.

Updated throughout and with a brand new chapter, this second edition:

  • provides a critical history of American literary theory and practice, discussing the impact of major schools and movements
  • examines the social and cultural background to literary research, considering the role of key theories and practices
  • provides profiles of major figures and influential texts, outlining the connections among theorists
  • presents a new chapter on developments since the 1980s, including discussions of feminist, queer, postcolonial and ethnic criticism.

Comprehensive and engaging, this book offers a crucial overview of the development of literary studies in American universities, and a springboard to further research for all those interested in the development and study of Literature.

chapter 1|20 pages

Marxist criticism in the 1930s

chapter 2|31 pages

The “New Criticism”

chapter 3|18 pages

The Chicago School

chapter 4|30 pages

The New York Intellectuals

chapter 5|28 pages

Myth criticism

chapter 6|29 pages

Phenomenological and existential criticism

chapter 7|24 pages


chapter 8|22 pages

Reader-response criticism

chapter 9|25 pages

Literary structuralism and semiotics

chapter 10|34 pages

Deconstructive criticism

chapter 11|21 pages

Feminist criticism

chapter 12|29 pages

Black aesthetics

chapter 14|24 pages

American criticism since 1987