Gender and Transgender Criticism | Literary Theory and Criticism


gender theory in literature

Nov 02,  · Home › Feminism › Gender Order. Gender Order By Nasrullah Mambrol on November 2, • (3). The gender order is a patterned system of ideological and material practices, performed by individuals in a society, through which power relations between . Transcript of Gender Theory & Literature. Feminist or Gender Criticism is an umbrella term for a number of different approaches towards reading that seek to distinguish the human experience from the male experience. Feminist critics draw attention to the ways in which patriarchal social structures have marginalized women and male authors have exploited women in their portrayal of them. Gender studies is a field for interdisciplinary study devoted to gender identity and gendered representation as central categories of analysis. This field includes women's studies, men's studies and queer studies. Sometimes, gender studies is offered together with study of sexuality. These disciplines study gender and sexuality in the fields of literature, language, geography, history, political science, .

Gender Criticism and Queer Theory

Literary theory is the body of ideas and methods we use in the practical reading of literature. By literary theory we refer not to the meaning of a work of literature but to the theories that reveal what literature can mean. Literary gender theory in literature is a description of the underlying principles, one might say the tools, by which we attempt to understand literature.

All literary interpretation draws on a basis in theory but can serve as a justification for very different kinds of critical activity. It is literary theory that formulates the relationship between author and work; literary theory develops the significance of race, class, and gender for literary study, gender theory in literature, both from the standpoint of the biography of the author and an analysis of their thematic presence within texts, gender theory in literature.

Literary theory offers varying approaches for understanding the role of historical gender theory in literature in interpretation as well as the relevance of linguistic and unconscious elements of the text.

Literary theorists trace the history and evolution of the different genresnarrative, dramatic, lyricin addition to the more recent emergence of the novel and the short story, gender theory in literature, while also investigating the importance of formal elements of literary structure. Lastly, literary theory in recent years has sought to explain the degree to which the text is more the product of a culture than an individual author and in turn how those texts help to create the culture.

Table of Contents 1. What Is Literary Theory? Traditional Literary Criticism 3. Formalism and New Criticism 4. Marxism and Critical Theory 5. Structuralism and Poststructuralism 6, gender theory in literature. New Historicism and Cultural Materialism 7. Ethnic Studies and Postcolonial Criticism 8. Gender Studies and Queer Theory 9. Cultural Studies References and Further Reading 1. General Works on Theory 2. Literary and Cultural Theory. Literary theory, sometimes designated critical theory, or theory, and now undergoing a transformation into cultural theory within the discipline of literary studies, can be understood as the set of concepts and intellectual assumptions on which rests the work of explaining or interpreting literary texts.

Literary theory refers to any principles derived from internal analysis of literary texts or from knowledge external to the text that can be applied in multiple interpretive situations. All critical practice regarding literature depends on an underlying structure of ideas in at least two ways: theory provides a rationale for what constitutes the subject matter of criticism the literaryand the specific aims of critical practicethe act of interpretation itself.

For example, to speak of the unity of Oedipus the King explicitly invokes Aristotles theoretical statements on poetics. To argue, as does Chinua Achebe, that Joseph Conrads The Heart of Darkness fails to grant full humanity to the Africans it depicts is a perspective informed by a postcolonial literary theory that presupposes a history of exploitation gender theory in literature racism.

Critics that explain the climactic drowning of Edna Pontellier in The Awakening as a suicide generally call upon a supporting architecture of gender theory in literature and gender theory. The structure of ideas that enables criticism of a literary work may or may not be acknowledged by the critic, and the status of literary theory within the academic discipline of literary studies continues to evolve.

Literary theory and the formal practice of literary interpretation runs a parallel but less well known course with the history of philosophy and is evident in the historical record at least as far back as Plato. The Cratylus contains a Platos meditation on the relationship of words and the things to which they refer. Platos skepticism about signification, gender theory in literature, i. However, a persistent belief in reference, the notion that words and images refer to an objective reality, has provided epistemological that is, having to do with theories of knowledge support for gender theory in literature of literary representation throughout most of Western history.

Until the nineteenth century, gender theory in literature, Art, in Shakespeares phrase, held a mirror up to nature and faithfully recorded an objectively real world independent of the observer. Modern literary theory gradually emerges in Europe during the nineteenth century.

In one of the earliest developments of literary theory, gender theory in literature, German higher criticism subjected biblical texts to a radical historicizing that broke with traditional scriptural interpretation. Higher, or source criticism, analyzed biblical tales in light of comparable narratives from other cultures, an approach that anticipated some of the method and spirit of twentieth century theory, particularly Structuralism and New Historicism. In France, the eminent literary critic Charles Augustin Saint Beuve maintained that a work of literature could be explained entirely in terms of biography, while novelist Marcel Proust devoted his life to refuting Saint Beuve in a massive narrative in which he contended that the details of the life of the artist are utterly transformed in the work of art.

This dispute was taken up anew by the French theorist Roland Barthes in his famous declaration of the Death of the Author. See Structuralism and Poststructuralism. Perhaps the greatest nineteenth century influence on literary theory came from the deep epistemological suspicion of Friedrich Nietzsche: that facts are not facts until they have been interpreted. Nietzsches critique of knowledge has had a profound impact on literary studies and helped usher in an era of intense gender theory in literature theorizing that has yet to pass.

Attention to the etymology of the term theory, from the Greek theoria, alerts us to the partial nature of theoretical approaches to literature. Theoria indicates a view or perspective of the Greek stage. This is precisely what literary theory offers, though specific theories often claim to present a complete system for understanding literature.

The current state of theory is gender theory in literature that there are many overlapping areas of influence, and older schools of theory, though no longer enjoying their previous eminence, continue to exert an influence on the whole. The once widelyheld conviction an implicit theory that literature is a repository of all that is meaningful and ennobling in the human experience, a view championed by the Leavis School in Britain, may no longer be acknowledged by name but remains an essential justification for the current structure of American universities and liberal arts curricula.

The moment of Deconstruction may have passed, but its emphasis on the indeterminacy of signs that we are unable to establish exclusively what a word means when used in a given situation and thus of texts, remains significant.

Many critics may not embrace the label feminist, but the premise that gender is a social construct, one of theoretical feminisms distinguishing insights, gender theory in literature, is now axiomatic in a number of theoretical perspectives. While literary theory has always implied or directly expressed a conception of the world outside the text, in the twentieth century three movementsMarxist theory of the Frankfurt School, Feminism, and Postmodernismhave opened the field of literary studies into a broader area of inquiry, gender theory in literature.

Gender theory in literature approaches to literature require an understanding of the primary economic and social bases of culture since Marxist aesthetic theory sees the work of art as a product, directly or indirectly, of the base structure of society, gender theory in literature.

Feminist thought and practice analyzes the production of literature and literary representation within the framework that includes all social and cultural formations as they pertain to the role of women in history, gender theory in literature. Postmodern thought consists of both aesthetic and epistemological strands.

Postmodernism in art has included a move toward nonreferential, non-linear, abstract forms; a heightened degree of self-referentiality; and the collapse. Postmodern thought has led to the serious questioning of the so-called metanarratives of history, science, philosophy, and economic and sexual reproduction. Under postmodernity, all gender theory in literature comes to be seen as constructed within historical self-contained systems of understanding.

Marxist, feminist, and postmodern thought have brought about the incorporation of all human discourses that is, interlocking fields of language and knowledge as a subject matter for analysis by the literary theorist. Using the various poststructuralist and postmodern theories that often draw on disciplines other than the literarylinguistic, anthropological, psychoanalytic, and philosophicalfor their primary insights, literary theory has become an interdisciplinary body of cultural theory.

Taking as its premise that human societies and knowledge consist of texts in one form or another, cultural theory for better or worse is now applied to the varieties of texts, ambitiously undertaking to become the preeminent model of inquiry into the human condition. Literary theory is a site of theories: some theories, like Queer Theory, are in; other literary theories, like Deconstruction, are out but continue to exert an influence on the field. Traditional literary criticism, New Criticism, and Structuralism are alike in that they held to the view that the study of literature has an objective body of knowledge under its scrutiny.

The other schools of literary theory, to varying degrees, embrace a postmodern view of language and reality that calls into serious question the objective referent of literary studies. The following categories are certainly not exhaustive, nor are they mutually exclusive, but they represent the major trends in gender theory in literature theory of this century.

Traditional Literary Criticism Academic literary criticism prior to the rise of New Criticism in the United States tended to practice traditional literary history: tracking influence, establishing the canon of major writers in the literary periods, and clarifying historical context and allusions within the text. Literary biography was and still is an important interpretive method in and out of the academy; versions of moral criticism, not unlike the Leavis School in Britain, and aesthetic e.

Perhaps the key unifying feature of traditional literary criticism was the consensus within the academy as to the both the literary canon that is, the books all educated persons should read and the aims and purposes of literature.

What literature was, and why we read literature, and what we read, were questions that subsequent movements in literary theory were to raise, gender theory in literature.

Formalism and New Criticism Formalism is, as the name implies, gender theory in literature, an interpretive approach that emphasizes literary form and the study of literary devices within the text. The work of the Formalists had a general impact on later developments in Structuralism and other theories of narrative.

Formalism, like Structuralism, sought to place the study of literature on a scientific basis through objective analysis of the motifs, devices, techniques, and other functions that comprise the literary work. The Formalists placed great importance on the literariness of texts, those qualities that distinguished the literary from other kinds of writing.

Neither author nor context was essential for the Formalists; it was the narrative that spoke, the hero-function, for example, that had meaning, gender theory in literature. Form was the content. A plot device or narrative strategy was examined for how it functioned and compared to how it had functioned in other literary works. The Formalist adage that the purpose of literature was to make the stones stonier nicely expresses their notion of literariness. Formalism is perhaps best known is Shklovskys concept of defamiliarization.

The routine of ordinary experience, Shklovsky contended, rendered invisible the uniqueness and particularity of the objects of existence. Literary language, partly by. The New Criticism, gender theory in literature, so designated as to indicate a break with traditional methods, was a product of the American university in the s and 40s.

New Criticism stressed close reading of the text itself, much like the French gender theory in literature precept explication du texte. As a strategy of reading, New Criticism viewed the work of literature as an aesthetic object independent of historical context and as a unified whole that reflected the unified sensibility of the artist.

Eliot, though not explicitly associated with the movement, expressed a similar critical-aesthetic philosophy in his essays on John Donne and the metaphysical poets, writers who Eliot believed experienced a complete integration of thought and feeling. Gender theory in literature placed a similar focus on the metaphysical poets and poetry in gender theory in literature, a genre well suited to New Critical practice.

New Criticism aimed at bringing a greater intellectual rigor to literary studies, confining itself to careful scrutiny of the text alone and the formal structures of paradox, ambiguity, irony, and metaphor, among others. New Criticism was fired by the conviction that their readings of poetry would yield a humanizing influence gender theory in literature readers and thus counter the alienating tendencies of modern, industrial life.

Perhaps the enduring legacy of New Criticism can be found in the college classroom, in which the verbal texture of the poem on gender theory in literature page remains a primary object of literary study. Marxism and Critical Theory Marxist literary theories tend to focus on the representation of class conflict as well as the reinforcement of class distinctions through the medium of literature.

Marxist theorists use traditional techniques of literary analysis but subordinate aesthetic concerns to the final social and political meanings of literature. Marxist theorist often champion authors sympathetic to the working classes and authors whose work challenges economic equalities found in capitalist societies. In keeping with the totalizing spirit of Marxism, literary theories arising from the Marxist paradigm have not only sought new ways of understanding the relationship between economic production and literature, but all cultural production as well.

Gender theory in literature analyses of society and history have had a profound effect on literary theory and practical criticism, most notably in the development of New Historicism and Cultural Materialism. The Hungarian theorist Georg Lukacs contributed to an understanding of the relationship between historical materialism and literary form, in particular with realism and the historical novel. Walter Benjamin broke new ground in his work in his study of aesthetics and the reproduction of the work of art.

The Frankfurt School of philosophers, including most notably Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Herbert Marcuseafter their emigration to the United Statesplayed a key role in introducing Marxist assessments of culture into the mainstream of American academic life. These thinkers became associated with what is known as Critical theory, one of gender theory in literature constituent components of which was a critique of the instrumental use of reason in advanced capitalist culture.

Critical theory held to a distinction between the high cultural heritage of Europe and the mass culture produced by capitalist societies as an instrument of domination. Critical theory sees in the structure of mass cultural formsjazz, Hollywood film, advertisinga replication of the structure of the factory and the workplace. Creativity and cultural production in advanced capitalist societies were always already co-opted by the entertainment needs of an economic system that requires sensory stimulation and recognizable clich and suppressed the tendency for sustained deliberation.

United States. Eagleton is known both as a Marxist theorist and as a popularizer of theory by means of his widely read overview, Literary Theory.


Gender studies - Wikipedia


gender theory in literature


Gender studies is a field for interdisciplinary study devoted to gender identity and gendered representation as central categories of analysis. This field includes women's studies, men's studies and queer studies. Sometimes, gender studies is offered together with study of sexuality. These disciplines study gender and sexuality in the fields of literature, language, geography, history, political science, . Transcript of Gender Theory & Literature. Feminist or Gender Criticism is an umbrella term for a number of different approaches towards reading that seek to distinguish the human experience from the male experience. Feminist critics draw attention to the ways in which patriarchal social structures have marginalized women and male authors have exploited women in their portrayal of them. Gender criticism is an extension of feminist literary criticism, focusing not just on women but on the construction of gender and sexuality, especially LGBTQ issues, which gives rise to queer theory. Gender criticism suggests that power is not just top down or patriarchal—a man dominating a woman; it suggests that power is multifaceted and never just in one direction/