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Literature Theory and Criticism Research Guide

Database Searching

The databases are a good source both for literary criticism and reference materials. Many of the same databases that are useful for general research in literature are also of interest when researching theory.

MLA International Bibliography

MLA is a good source, not only for criticism of particular works, but also for articles on theory and criticism. 

Here are some searches you can do in MLA:

Name of Work and Person -- About work just as well when you are searching for theoretical works. You can do searches like this for Edward Said and not just Joseph Conrad.

Subject Searches can work very nicely here. The subject terms are very similar to the ones in the CUNY catalog. like these:

  • Literary theory and criticism
  • Postcolonial literary theory
  • Feminist literary theory
  • etc.

If you're not sure what the exact subject terms are, try the browse function. It looks like this:

MLA Subject search with "Browse" highlighted

Keyword searches may be very useful in searching for critical concepts (for instance, performativity). 

As always, use the Find It button to access full text, electronically or in print.