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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown


Critical theory that uses the concepts of Saussurian linguistics (sign, signifier, signified, langue, parole, and so forth) and the structuralist application of these terms to the study of literature as a system of signs for the purposes of subverting or deconstruction these concepts. Poststructuralism is thus a blanket term and refers to diverse writings such as the deconstruction of Jacques Derrida, the late criticism of Roland Barthes, the New Historicism of Michel Foucault, the psychoanalytic revisionism of Jacques Lacan, the feminist criticism of Gayatri Spivak, and so forth.

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
Director: Ian Lancashire.
Last modified: March 31, 1997