From The Dickinson College Library Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

This guide is meant to assist you in finding Literature, Film, and Drama Criticism.

For further assistance, please Ask a Librarian.

Contents

Literature Criticism

Literary criticism is the comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of works of literature. Literary criticism is essentially an opinion, supported by evidence, relating to theme, style, setting or historical or political context. It usually includes discussion of the work’s content and integrates your ideas with other insights gained from research. Literary criticism may have a positive or a negative bias and may be a study of an individual piece of literature or an author’s body of work.

Although criticism may include some of the following elements in order to support an idea, literary criticism is NOT a plot summary, a biography of the author, or simply finding fault with the literature.

Researching, reading, and writing works of literary criticism will help you to make better sense of the work, form judgments about literature, study ideas from different points of view, and determine on an individual level whether a literary work is worth reading.


Examples of some types of literary criticism are:

  • Biographical
  • Comparative
  • Ethical
  • Expressive
  • Feminist
  • Historical
  • Mimetic
  • Pragmatic
  • Psychological
  • Social
  • Textual
  • Theoretical

Print Resources for Literary Criticism

For more information on types of literary criticism and literary critics, consult the following resources:

Dictionary of Concepts in Literary Criticism and Theory REF PN41 .H36 1992

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism REF PN81 .J554 2005

A Dictionary of Critical Theory REF PN98 .S6 O77 1991

Literary Criticism Databases

Literary criticism in essays shortened from their original published versions can be found in the following databases.

Literary Criticism Databases:

Literary Index
Gale's Literary Index is a master index to the major literature products published by Gale, including Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Poetry Criticism, Drama Criticism, Short Story Criticism, Classical and Medieval Literary Criticism, Literature Criticism from 1400 - 1800, Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism, Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, Shakespearean Criticism, and Black Literature Criticism.
Literature Criticism Online
This index includes the full text of Contemporary Literary Criticism, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Literature Criticism from 1400-1800, Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, as well as Drama Criticism, Poetry Criticism, Shakespearean Criticism, and Short Story Criticism. These series represent a range of modern and historical views on authors and their works across regions, eras and genres. Note the the full-text entries may be shortened versions of the original works.


Literary Criticism can also be found in:

Essay and General Literature Index
Indexes chapters and essays contained in books of collected works.
Humanities Full Text
Covers journal articles in the humanities, archaeology, art, classics, film, folklore, history, journalism and communications, linguistics, literature, music, performing arts, philosophy, and religion.
Humanities and Social Sciences Retrospective
A bibliographic database that cites articles from English-language periodicals. Coverage includes a wide range of interdisciplinary fields covered in a broad array of humanities and social sciences journals.
MLA International Bibliography
The premier scholarly index for literature, language, linguistics, and folklore from the Modern Language Association.
Times Literary Supplement
An online database of one of the world's great literary journals, a journal which scrutinized, dissected, applauded, and occasionally disparaged, the work of the twentieth century's leading writers and thinkers.

Film Criticism

Film criticism is the comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of films.


There are two different types of publications that offer opinions about films:

  • Academic criticism by film scholars that appears in scholarly journals
  • Journalistic film reviews that appear in newspapers and other popular media.

The film critic tries to understand why film works, how it works, and what effects it has on people; while the film reviewer looks a film's production values and general enjoyability.


Leading Film Critics Include: Popular Film Critics Include:
Andre Bazin Roger Ebert
Rudolf Arnheim Pauline Kael
Siegfried Kracauer Alex Gorina
Sergei Eisenstein Leonard Maltin
Christian Metz Janet Maslin
Kaja Silverman Richard Roeper
Andrew Sarris Joel Siegel
Bela Balazs John Ivan Simon
Peter Bogdanovich Barry Norman

Print Resources for Film Criticism

Scholarly Film Criticism can be found in the following printed indexes:

The New York Times Film Reviews REF PN1995 .N4

Film Review Index REF PN1995 .F513

Databases for Film Criticism

Film Criticism can also be found in the following databases:

Film Literature Index
The Film Literature Index (FLI) annually indexes 150 film and television periodicals from 30 countries. The periodicals range from the scholarly to the popular. More than 2,000 subject headings provide detailed analysis of the articles. The FLI Online contains approximately 700,000 citations to articles, film reviews and book reviews published between 1976-2001.
Humanities Full Text
Covers journal articles in the humanities, archaeology, art, classics, film, folklore, history, journalism and communications, linguistics, literature, music, performing arts, and religion.
Humanities and Social Sciences Retrospective
A bibliographic database that cites articles from English-language periodicals. Coverage includes a wide range of interdisciplinary fields covered in a broad array of humanities and social sciences journals.
JSTOR
An interdisciplinary archive of over 600 journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Project Muse
Search journals published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
Reader's Guide Full Text
Index of articles published in approximately 175 popular magazines, news magazines, and other general interest periodicals.

Web Resources for Film Criticism

The following are web resources for Film Criticism:

American Film Institute
The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
According to the New York Times.
The Greatest Films
Reviews, synopses and historical backgrounds of several hundred films.

Drama Criticism

Drama criticism is the comparison, analysis, interpretation, and/or evaluation of dramatic works.

Various reference works describe literary criticism as essentially an opinion, supported by evidence, relating to theme, style, setting, historical context, or political context.

  • It usually includes discussion of the work’s content and integrates your ideas with other insights gained from research.
  • Criticism may have a positive or a negative bias and may be a study of an individual piece of drama or an author’s body of work.


Although criticism may include some of the following elements in order to support an idea, criticism is NOT a plot summary, an author's biography, simply finding fault with the work.


Academic criticism should not be confused with a simple review of a play or performance. A review generally focuses only on the performance's enjoyability.


Researching, reading, and writing works of criticism will help you to make better sense of the work, form judgments, study ideas from different points of view, and determine on an individual level whether a literary work is worth reading or the performance worth seeing.

Print Resources for Drama Criticism

Scholarly drama criticism can also be found in the following printed indexes:

American Drama Criticism REF PS332 .P3

The New York Times Theater Reviews, 1920-1994 REF PN1581 .N4

Selected Theatre Criticism REF PN2277 .N5 S44 1985

Databases for Drama Criticism

Scholarly drama criticism can be found in the following databases:

Arts and Humanities Search
Index to leading international arts and humanities journals and related social science and science information.
Humanities Full Text
Covers journal articles in the humanities, archaeology, art, classics, film, folklore, history, journalism and communications, linguistics, literature, music, performing arts, and religion.
Humanities and Social Sciences Retrospective
A bibliographic database that cites articles from English-language periodicals. Coverage includes a wide range of interdisciplinary fields covered in a broad array of humanities and social sciences journals.
JSTOR
An interdisciplinary archive of over 600 journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Literature Criticism Online (Include Drama Criticism)
This index includes Contemporary Literary Criticism, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Literature Criticism from 1400-1800, Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, as well as Drama Criticism, Poetry Criticism, Shakespearean Criticism, and Short Story Criticism. These series represent a range of modern and historical views on authors and their works across regions, eras and genres.
MLA International Biography
The premier scholarly index for literature, language, linguistics, and folklore.
Newspaper Source Plus
More than 850 national and international newspapers, plus 870,000+ television and radio news transcripts, including: ABC News (American Broadcasting Company), ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), CBS News, CNBC, CNN, CNN International, FOX News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and PBS.
Project Muse
Search the full-text of journals published by Johns Hopkins University Press.