Literary Theory Research Guide
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Histories and Surveys
A History of Modern Criticism, 1750-1950
General Collection PN 86 .W4
An eight-volume history of Western literary theory and criticism, with discussions of
aesthetics and practical criticism. Originally focused on England, France, Germany,
and Italy, coverage was expanded to the United States and Russia in volume 3. The volumes
are organized around chapters devoted to major critics, groups, movements, or countries.
Volumes 1-6 and 8 conclude with a chronology, by country, of critical works.
The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism
General Collection PN 86 .C27
UCF Libraries has volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 7, 8, 9 thus far. Intended as a history of Western
literary theory and criticism from classical antiquity to the present. Each volume consists
of separately-authored essays on major theorists, groups, movements or schools, periods,
and genres, and concludes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
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Books and Multimedia
Use the online catalog to locate books and multimedia in the UCF Libraries. You can search
by author, title, keyword, or subject.
- To search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, search
by last name, first name without punctuation; for example:
- Leavis F R
- Ransom John Crowe
- Woolf Virginia
- SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. Here
are some example subject headings:
- American literature--History and criticism--Theory, etc.
- Canon (Literature)
- English literature--History and criticism--Theory, etc.
- Feminist criticism
- Gender identity in literature
- Literature--History and criticism--Theory, etc.
- Materialism in literature
- New Criticism
- Popular culture--Study and teaching
- Postmodernism (Literature)
- Structuralism (Literary analysis)
- If you are unsure of the exact title or unsure of the correct Library of Congress subject
heading, try a KEYWORD search using two or three of the most significant
words from the title or subject you are trying to find.
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Periodical Databases and Indexes
Use the following sources to find periodical articles about a particular literary work, movement,
or author. In some instances books, essays in books, and current book reviews also may be found
in these sources.
Reference PS 3 .A47 (1963+)
A selective, evaluative survey of important studies, editions, biographies, and reference
works dealing with American literature. An excellent source for studying trends in literary
scholarship. See also Year's Work
in English Studies (YWES)
of English Language and Literature
Microfiche PE 71 .M6 (1920-53)
Reference PE 71 .M6 (1964-90, 1992+)
An index of American and English literary studies, including periodical articles, books,
and pamphlets, with references to reviews of books listed. Especially useful for locating
British scholarship on literatures in English.
Essay and General Literature
Index to collections of essays in books, with emphasis on the humanities (especially
literary criticism). In the print edition, arrangement is by authors, subjects, and
some titles in one alphabet, with full titles of books indexed listed in the back of
An electronic database of citations to articles appearing in more than 400 English-language
periodicals dealing with the humanities: folklore, history, language, literature, music,
philosophy, religion, and classical studies. Preceded by the print index
Index AI 3 .R493 (1974+)
Lists by subject and author articles from approximately 350 English-language journals
covering such subjects as folklore, history, language, literature, music, philosophy,
religion, and classical studies. Continued by the electronic database
Humanities Full Text
Full text of 100+ core research journals (including 16 journals in language and literature)
from the year of their inception, many dating back to the early 1900's. JSTOR does NOT
cover the the last five years of journals.
Provides biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of more than 120,000 authors
from every age and literary discipline. Contains the Scribner Writer's Series which
includes 15-20 page signed essays on more than 1,600 authors and literary genres drawn
from 13 acclaimed Scribner print series; and the Twayne World, US, and English Authors
series, each of which contains the full text of 200 frequently used Twayne Literary
Masters books on individual world, US, or English authors, for a total of 600 full-text
MLA International Bibliography
Index PB 6 M6222 (1970+)
General Collection PB 6 M6 (1921-69, bound with PMLA
Both a print index and an electronic database referred to variously as the MLA or MLAIB;
sometimes called the PMLA Bibliography, but it should not be confused with the journal
PMLA. In the print version Part 1 is arranged first geographically (e.g., American literature),
then chronologically by century (e.g., 1900-1999) with authors listed alphabetically;
Part 2, commencing in 1981, is a subject index to Part 1.
Offers nearly 250 quality journal titles from 40 scholarly publishers. Covers the fields
of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies,
education, political science, gender studies, economics, and many other disciplines.
A selective and evaluative annual survey of critical and cultural theory in literature (e.g., "Colonial Discourse, Postcolonial Theory,"
"Deconstruction," "Narrative") which also includes media and cultural studies.
Year's Work in English Studies (YWES)
General Collection PE 58 .E6 (1919+)
A selective, evaluative review of scholarship on English, American, and some other literatures
in English. Each volume is organized by individual essays devoted to periods, national
literatures, major authors, or subjects. A volume now appears about three years after
the scholarship it covers. See also
American Literary Scholarship: An
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Book Review Databases and Indexes
Use the following book review databases and indexes, as well as the several
periodical databases and
indexes listed above that include book review
citations, to find reviews of a particular literary work or of scholarly books that have been
written about literature.
Book Review Digest Plus
Both an electronic database and a print index that contains citations to reviews of
English-language fiction and non-fiction books. Indexes periodicals published in the
United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Generally, more useful for reviews of fiction
than for reviews of scholarly nonfiction about literature.
Book Review Index
Index Z 1035 .A1 B6
An author (and in some cases where appropriate, title) listing with abbreviated citations
to reviews, now covering about 500 publications, some of which are electronic. Separate
title listing, begun in 1976, refers to entries in the author listing section.
An Index to Book Reviews in the Humanities
Index CB 3 .I53 (1960-90)
Ceased publication in 1990. Indexes reviews in several hundred periodicals, primarily
scholarly journals in English, with several thousand book titles included in each annual
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Handbooks and Dictionaries
The handbooks and dictionaries listed below provide assistance in defining and using appropriate
literary terms and concepts and in identifying intellectual trends and movements.
A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory
Reference PN 44.5 H37 1998
A study of theory and criticism from the 1970s and after. Includes discussions of
deconstruction, narratology, new historicism and cultural materials,
semiotics and information theory, and structuralism and post-structuralism.
Twentieth-Century Literary Movements Dictionary
Reference PN597.T94 2000
An introduction to the study of literary movements of all areas of the 20th century and all countries. Contains essays in major and minor movements and periods of literature and
literary history, indexes to biographical and critical information contained in literary reference works, and documents relating to literary movements.
Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia
Reference PN 41 .B4 1996
A comprehensive work containing brief articles on literary schools and movements, critical
terms and expressions, as well as literary allusions, plot summaries, and brief biographies
Reference PN 43 .B65 1999
Gives the derivation, source, or origin of allusions, colloquial and proverbial phrases,
biographical references, fictitious characters and titles, and words that have a tale
The Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism
Reference BH 39 .C62 1995
Provides succinct definitions of more than 450 terms relating to criticism and theory
in literature, film, linguistics, psychoanalysis, philosophy, feminist studies, media
studies, and related areas. Major concepts and schools of thought receive somewhat longer
treatment (e.g., two pages for "Deconstruction"). Pronunciation is provided for terms
when necessary. A comprehensive bibliography of 25 pages lists all the works cited in
the entry bibliographies. Cross-references within entries direct users to related entries.
An index of names includes critics and theoreticians, ranging from Freud to Foucault,
cited or discussed in the entries.
A Dictionary of Modern Critical Terms
Reference PN 41 .D4794 1987
Distinguished from traditional dictionaries of literary terms in its attempt to deal
with the application and usage of critical terms rather than simply provide literal
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory: Approaches, Scholars, Terms
Reference PN 81 .E63 1993
Entries are arranged into three major sections -- schools and approaches, scholars,
and terms -- and conclude with a list of suggested primary and secondary readings.
Encyclopedia of Literary Critics and Criticism
Reference PN 86 .E63 1999
A two-volume set containing 374 essays on individuals, theorists, and concepts from
both Western and non-Western literary traditions. Entries on theorists include a list
of principal critical works, indicate the subject's influence as a theorist, and cite
several secondary studies. Index.
A Glossary of Literary Terms [Abrams]
Reference PN 41 .A184 1993
Contains succinct essays on the terms used in discussing literature, literary history,
and literary criticism.
A Handbook to Literature
Reference PN 41 .H36 1992
A standard source of comparatively brief explanations of the words and phrases which
are peculiar to the study of English and American literature. The emphasis is on critical
terms and critical schools and movements. Contains an outline of English and American
literary history. Index of proper names.
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
Reference PN 81 .J55 1994
The 226 signed entries cover "critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools
and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and
historical periods" (introduction).
The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
Reference PN 1021 .N39 1993
Comprehensive treatment of approximately 1,000 individual entries ranging from 20 to
more than 20,000 words dealing with the history, technique, and criticism of poetry
from earliest times to the present.
The Oxford Companion to American Literature
Reference PS 21 .H3 1995
Contains more than 5,000 entries on authors and other persons, literary works, terms,
characters, movements, awards, organizations, historical and cultural events, and a
long list of other topics related to American literature.
The Oxford Companion to English Literature
Reference PR 19 .O94 2000
Entries on authors born before 1940, works, characters, movements, critical theories,
periods, groups, historical figures, terminology, literary allusions, and places related
to English literature.
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Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies
Reference PR83. H34 1998
Also known as "Harner," a reference author of the Guide. Provides " a selective , annotated guide to reference sources essential to the study of British literature, literatures of the United States, other literatures in English
[including Canadian] and related topics" (introduction). Contains more than 1, 200 entries, virtually of which are supported by detail critical annotations evaluating the
strengths and weaknesses of the works discussed. name, title, and subject indexing.
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The following selected Internet "meta-sites" provide useful information to scholars in the
field of literary studies.
A collection of links to sites dealing with English and American literature, excluding
single electronic texts. Sites are arranged primarily according to time period (e.g.,
eighteenth century), although there is a link to "Theory."
Includes a listing of Web sites organized primarily around time periods. Also provides
access on the VoS home page for visiting other related pages, such as "English Literature."
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Style Manuals and Citation Management
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed.
Reference Desk LB 2369 .G53 2003
A standard guide to research, writing, and the mechanics of paper presentation in literary
studies, including some examples for citing electronic publications (Internet sites,
electronic journals, online books, etc.). See also the MLA Style Manual and Guide
to Scholarly Publishing (Reference PN 147 .G444 1998).
The UCF Libraries subscribe to and make available online for UCF students, faculty, and staff four citation managements programs: EndNote, ProCite, RefWorks, and Reference Manager. These programs helps
researchers (1) collect citations from online sources; (2) organize references by subject, project, author, or other schemes; anmd 93) create bibliographies formatted according to MLA, APA, or other widely used citation styles.
Contents include a link to "Documenting Sources on the World Wide Web." Several examples
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Ask a Librarian
If you have questions or need additional assistance,Ask a
Librarian, call the Reference Department at (407) 823-2562, or e-mail the Department at
email@example.com. The library liaison
for English and Literatures is John Venecek
July 19, 2010