Teaching Literature

american literature

british literature

multicultural/world literature

lesson plans/course syllabi



young adult literature

literary genres/mythology



critical lenses

story response/writing



professional development



How to use this site



Goals for teaching literature: What does it mean to teach literature?


Understanding students’ individual differences: Who are our kids?


Planning and Organizing Literature Instruction: How Do I Decide What to Teach?


Using Drama to Foster Interpretation: How Can I Help Students Read Better?


Leading Classroom Discussions of Literature: How Do I Get Them to Talk about Literature?


Writing about literature: How do I get them to write about literature?


Using narratives in the classroom: What’s the use of story?


Teaching text and task-specific strategies: How does the shape of a text change the shape of my teaching?


Teaching the Classics: Do I Have To Teach the Canon, And If So, How Do I Do It?


Multiple Perspectives to Engage Students with Literature: What are Different Ways of Seeing?


Teaching Media Literacy: What else is a text and how do I teach it?


Assessing and Evaluating Students’ Learning: How do I know what they’ve learned?


Text Selection, Censorship, Creating an Ethical Classroom Environment. and Teacher Professionalism: How do I Stay in Control, Out of Trouble, and Continue to Develop as A Teacher?


literary criticism

critical lenses

Glossaries on Literary Theory/Criticism

University of Toronto: Glossary of Literary Theory

Tom Fish: Glossary of literary theory terms

A Glossary of Literary Terms

Glossary of Poetic Terms

LitWiki: Literary Terms

Norton Literature Online: Glossary of Literary Terms


General descriptions of a range of different literary theories and criticism

Deborah Appleman: Literary Theories: A Sampling of Critical Lenses

Melissa Owen: A Teaching Guide to Awakening to Literary Theory high school course

Wikipedia: Critical Theory

Wikipedia: Literary Criticism

The Literary Encyclopedia

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Literary Theory

The Internet Public Library: Literary Criticism by author/texts

Voices of the Shuttle: Literary Theory

Bedford/St.Martin’s Press: VirtuLit: Critical Approaches

Annenberg/CPB: Pat Mora and James Welch: Reader Response Theory

Dino Felluga: An Introductory Guide to Literary Theory

Jack Lynch: Literary Resources: Theory

John Lye: Contemporary Literary Theory

Barry Laga: Critical Reading

Kristi Siegel: Modern Literary Theories

Skylar Burris [different critical approaches]

TCG: Literary Theory and Literary Criticism

New York Review of Books: Literary Criticism

Approaches to Reading and Interpretation

Specialized Approaches to Reading and Writing about Literature

Timelines of Major Critical Theories in the U.S.

ÉCLAT: The Essential Comparative Literature And Theory Site

Guide to Philosophy on the Internet

Illuminations: The Critical Theory Website

Literary Theory: A Literary Theory Project

Literary Theory and Criticism: A Bibliography

Modern Literary Theory

The Society for Critical Exchange

Allen Carey-Webb: Literary Theory and English Teaching

The Wellek Library Lecturer Bibliographies


Webquests: Applying critical perspectives

Different Perspectives in Literary Criticism

Discerning Literary Criticism: Applied to Frankenstein

Applying five different critical perspectives to Heart of Darkness

Applying different perspectives to “The Necklace”

The Last Moments of Lady MacBeth


Formalist/Structuralist/Genre Criticism

Formalist and Structuralist Ideas

John Lye: Structuralist criticism

How to Use Formalist Tools to Analyze Literature

I. A. Richards

The I. A. Richards Web Resource

Poems, Plays, and Prose: A Guide to the Theory of Literary Genres


New Criticism

Wikipedia: New Criticism

Johns Hopkins Guide: New Criticism

Contemporary Critical Theory: New Criticism

New Criticism and Poetry Analysis

Poetry Magic: New Criticism

New Criticism Explained

Webquest: New Criticism


Reader-response Criticism

Johns Hopkins Guide: Reader Response Theory and Criticism

David Miall/Don Kuiken Empirical research on literary reading

John Lye: Positions of Reader-response Criticism

David Chandler [reader-oriented research articles]

Russell Hunt’s articles on reader response as a social process

Stanley Fish’s theory of reader response

Read/Write/Think Lesson: Reader Response in Hypertext: Making Personal Connections to Literature

NCCREST: Reader Response [essays/studies]

READER [journal]



Wikipedia: Deconstruction

Johns Hopkins Guide: Deconstruction

Willy Maley, Ten ways of thinking about deconstruction

John Lye: Deconstruction: Some Assumptions

How To Do Deconstruction

Deconstruction: What is it?

Deconstruction on the Net: Jacques Derrida

“My Papa’s Waltz:” A Deconstructionist Reading



Wikipedia: Poststructuralism

Site of Convergence: Autobiography & Post-Structuralism

Mary Klages, Postructuralism [University of Colorado]

Michael Peters: Postructuralism and Education

Johns Hopkins Guide: Poststructuralist Feminisms

Poetry Magic: Postmodernist Poems

Chalkface Press [with NCTE, publishes high-school literature texts with poststructuralist critical analyses]



Defining Postmodernism

Jay Lemke: What is Postmodernism?

Larry Solomon: What is Postmodernism?

Postmodernism and Its Critics

The PoMo Page

Clive Beck: Postmodernism, Pedagogy, and Philosophy of Education

Mary Klages, Postmodernism [University of Colorado]

Dino Felluga [postmodern theory ]

Douglas Kellner [postmodern theory]

Martin Ryder: Postmodern theorists

Popculture.org [lots of theoretical essays on postmodernism]

The journal, Postmodern Culture

Jean Baudrillard links


Critical discourse analysis

Brett Dellinger, Critical Discourse Analysis

Sue McGregor: Critical Discourse Analysis: A Primer

Johns Hopkins Guide: Discourse Analysis

Teun Van Dijk, Racist Discourses

Norman Fairclough [critical discourse analysis papers, particularly on the application of business discourses to education]

Foucault [theory.org site]

A Genealogy of Foucault

The Foucault Site

Allen Luke [discussion of critical discourse analysis]



Bakhtin Centre

Norton Literature Online: Dialogism

John Lye: Bakhtin on language

Bakhtin and Critical Theory


Feminist Criticism/Queer Theory

Wikipedia: Feminist Theory

lots of links on gender and the media on the University of Iowa Communications Department site

Voices of the Shuttle [many sites related to feminist/queer theory]

Genders Online Journal


University of Minnesota: Voices from the Gap [women writers of color]

University of Pennsylvania: A Celebration of Women’s Writers

Online Fiction by Women Writers

Dino Felluga [gender and sexuality]

Gender role models in popular culture

Masculinity and academic discourses

Judith Butler’s theories on gender

Module on Judith Butler’s theories

bell hooks links

Susan Brownmiller

Germaine Greer

Adrienne Rich

George Landow: Queer Theory

The Men’s Bibliography

Masculinities and Representations

Media, Gender, and Identity

Theory.org: Queer Theory Resources

Webquest: Women Artists: Who Are They and Why haven't They Been Included in Art History?

Webquest: Catherine Called Birdy


Marxist Criticism

Wikipedia: Marxist theory

Contemporary Critical Theory: Marxist Criticism

Marxist Internet Archive

Marxism Made Simple

People Like Us: PBS documentary on class differences

Dino Felluga: An introduction to Marxism

Greig Henderson and Christopher Brown: Glossary of Marxist criticism

Extensive material on Marx

Rod Strickland [online course in Marxist Culture Theory]

Webquest: Effects of the Industrial Revolution

R. J. Rummel: Class and literature

Working-class Whites in literature

Webquest: Does social rank matter?


New Historicism

Wikipedia: New Historicism

Johns Hopkins Guide: New Historicism

New Historicism

Dino Felluga: New Historicism

New Historicism Explained

Stephen Greenblatt and New Historicism

Webquest: historical aspects of MacBeth


Psychoanalytic criticism

Wikipedia: Psychoanalytic criticism

Dino Felluga: Introduction to Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalytic Criticism

Poetry Magic: Application of psychoanalytic criticism to a poem

Norman Holland: The Mind and the Book

John Lye: Psychoanalysis and Literature

John Lye: Terms and Concepts

The Freud Web

Analysis of Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw”

Johns Hopkins Guide: The Post-Lacanians

jacques lacan/lacan dot com

Lacanian Links

American Imago


Semiotic Criticism

Sites of Significance for Semiotics

Click here for definitions of key terms used in semiotics

Click here For a chart illustrating the different concepts of semiotic analysis

Click here For an introduction to semiotics

What is Semiotics?

Martin Ryder: Semiotic theorists: Pierce, Eco, Barthes, Lacan, Sebeok

A semiotic analysis of magazine ads for men’s fragrances, Alexander Clare


Archetypal/Myth Criticism

Johns Hopkins Guide: Archetypal Theory and Criticism

Johns Hopkins Guide: Myth Theory and Criticism

Archetypal Criticism and Joseph Campbell

William Guerin: Mythological and Archetypal Criticism

Jungian Literary Theory

Key concepts from Northrop Frye’s critical theories

The Archetypal Hero

Cymbeline: An Archetypal Fairy Tale

Webquest: Finding Forgotten Folktales

Webquest: Women in World Mythology

Webquest: Bridging Cultures through Stories

Webquest: The Mythology Project

Webquest: Create a Heroic Character


Hypermedia/Hypertext Theory

Hypermedia theory

George Landow: Hypertext theory

George Landow: The Victorian Web

Eastgate Systems: HypertextNow

Hyperizons [journal]

Hypertext Breakdown [analyzing a hypertext]


Cultural-studies/Anthropological Criticism

Johns Hopkins Guide: Cultural/Anthropological Criticism

University of Iowa: Cultural Studies Resources

University of Iowa: Cultural Studies Theorists

Cultural Studies Central

Pop Cultures: Cultural Theory Critics

Kiss of the Panopticon: Cultural studies

University of Texas: Illuminations: The Critical Theory Website

University of Alabama students’ web pages: Anthropological theories

Critical Approaches to Culture, Communications + Hypermedia

Cultural Theory

Manchester Institute for Popular Culture Website

Theory and Culture

Would You Like Sprinkles With That? — SWIRL: Theory at Southern Oregon: Your Guide to Post-Millenial Paradigms




Postcolonial criticism

Edward Said, On Orientalism

Edward Said, The Myth of “The Clash of Civilizations”

Institute of Postcolonial Studies

Emory University: Postcolonial Studies

George Landow: The Postcolonial Web

Postcolonial critics

Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies

Webquest: The British Empire and the Legacy of Colonialism

For abstracts of the following books on postcolonial theory, see the The Untimely Past

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