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Listed on this page are the core resources for literary criticism/theory and literary history. Experiment with sources beyond MLAIB to find the widest range of scholarship.
General Searching Tips
Know Your Sources!
All databases are not the same. The contents differ, but so too do the organization and searching options.
Note the amount and type of searchable text. In JSTOR, you can search the full text of an article; in MLAIB, you can search only the citation and the subject headings. Use these differences to find the kind of information you need:
- Use the full-text searching in JSTOR to find obscure information buried in a text.
- Consult the thesaurus in MLAIB to find general terms that will be more inclusive than keywords.
- Note that LION includes the option of full-text searching, though the database includes only limited full text.
Don't settle for a bad results. Refine the search or adjust the results.
- Use the sorting options to reorder your results according to date or relevance.
- Use limits to refine a search that yields too many or irrelevant results.
- Experiment with different keywords.
Literature Online (LION)
Criticism from a variety of sources, including ABELL, the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature; also includes reference works, biographies, and a library of full-text literary works.
Dissertations and Theses at University of Alabama
An index to U.S. dissertations from 1861 to the present; includes the full text of most dissertations from 1996-present and many earlier ones as well.
Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism
This Guide presents a comprehensive historical survey of literary criticism/theory. Included are hundreds of alphabetically arranged entries and sub-entries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods. The Guide is updated annually.
The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature (1945–2010)
Comparatively addresses fiction, poetry, plays and performance, and provides critical accounts of the qualities and impact within one book. It charts the distinctive Black and Asian voices within the body of British writing and examines the creative and cultural impact that African, Caribbean and South Asian writers have had on British literature.
The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o American Literature
Leading scholars in the field present critical analyses of key texts, authors, themes, and contexts, from the early nineteenth century to the present. They engage with the dynamics of migration, linguistic and cultural translation, and the uneven distribution of resources across the Americas that characterize Latina/o literature.
The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies
The volume aims to introduce readers to key concepts, methods, theories, thematic concerns, and contemporary debates in the field.
The Cambridge Companion to World Literature
Subjects covered include cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, internationalism, scale and systems, sociological criticism, translation, scripts, and orality. This book also includes original analyses of genres and forms, ranging from tragedy to the novel and graphic fiction, lyric poetry to the short story and world cinema.
Use annual reviews to track broader patterns in the field.