Offering a refreshing combination of accessibility and intellectual rigor, How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies, Second Edition, presents an up-to-date, concise, and wide-ranging historicist survey of contemporary thinking in critical theory.
The only book of its kind that thoroughly merges literary studies with cultural studies, this text provides a critical look at the major movements in literary studies since the 1930s, including those often omitted from other texts. It is also the only up-to-date survey of literary theory that devotes extensive treatment to Queer Theory and Postcolonial and Race Studies. How to Interpret Literature, Second Edition, is ideal as either a stand-alone text or in conjunction with an anthology of primary readings such as Robert Dale Parker's Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies.
* Uses a conversational and engaging tone that speaks directly to today's students
* Covers a variety of theoretical schools—including New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Marxism—weaving connections among chapters to show how these different movements respond to and build on each other
* Offers a rich assortment of pedagogical features (charts, text boxes that address frequently asked questions, photos, and a bibliography)
"A must-read for anyone teaching or seeking to understand literary theory."
—Christopher Hogarth, Wagner College
"Robert Dale Parker's examples—personal, literary, cultural, and historical—vivify in often sprightly and unapologetically blunt language what could otherwise be a 'long, hard slog' through extremely intimidating material. His own pedagogical adventures and experiences in teaching literary theory and criticism provide an unexpectedly fresh narrative and contextual perspective."
—Tiffany Gilbert, University of North Carolina, Wilmington