This thoroughly updated third edition of Critical Theory Today offers an accessible introduction to contemporary critical theory, providing in-depth coverage of the most common approaches to literary analysis today, including: feminism; psychoanalysis; Marxism; reader-response theory; New Criticism; structuralism and semiotics; deconstruction; new historicism and cultural criticism; lesbian, gay, and queer theory; African American criticism and postcolonial criticism.

This new edition features:

  • a major expansion of the chapter on postcolonial criticism that includes topics such as Nordicism, globalization and the ‘end’ of postcolonial theory, global tourism and global conservation
  • an extended explanation of each theory, using examples from everyday life, popular culture, and literary texts
  • a list of specific questions critics ask about literary texts
  • an interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby through the lens of each theory
  • a list of questions for further practice to guide readers in applying each theory to different literary works
  • updated and expanded bibliographies

Both engaging and rigorous, this is a "how-to" book for undergraduate and graduate students new to critical theory and for college professors who want to broaden their repertoire of critical approaches to literature.

chapter 2|40 pages

Psychoanalytic criticism

chapter 3|28 pages

Marxist criticism

chapter 4|50 pages

Feminist criticism

chapter 5|32 pages

New Criticism

chapter 6|37 pages

Reader-response criticism

chapter 7|37 pages

Structuralist criticism

chapter 8|32 pages

Deconstructive criticism

chapter 11|55 pages

African American criticism

chapter 12|50 pages

Postcolonial criticism

chapter 13|6 pages

Gaining an overview