This introductory textbook is based on the premise that students are often baffled by their first encounters with contemporary literary theory. It simultaneously develops advanced skills in reading texts, and the ability to think in sophisticated ways about the conditions and concepts which surround and define interpretation in English Studies. Designed to bridge the gap between the ability to read texts and the ability to deploy critical theory, the book expands understanding of five key issues, using diverse textual examples, interactive exercises and discussion of possible answers and their consequences.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: I Thinking About Texts: Why and How? II What Do We Mean by Literature? PART ONE: The Study of Literature How Do We Define Literature? Literature versus Popular Fiction? Literature in the Institution Literary Canons PART TWO: Texts, Authors and Critics What is a Text? What is an Author? What Do Critics Do? PART THREE: Genre Kind, Genre, Sub-Genre The Meanings of Genre Switching Genres PART FOUR: History History, Literature, Text Why Historicise? The End of History? PART FIVE: Identities Reading the Subject Class Gender and Sexuality Nationality and Race Conclusion: What Next? Texts, Thinking, Theories Further Reading Index
CHRIS HOPKINS is Senior Lecturer in English Studies and Course Leader for BA English Studies at Sheffield Hallam University.