Genre Theory and Historicism

William E Underwood, NovelTM Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genre is a word whose time has come — and gone — and might now, perhaps, be coming back again. Debates about particular literary kinds have been common in literary criticism since Aristotle's Poetics, but they acquired a new intensity and reflexivity in the third quarter of the twentieth century, as structuralists and post-structuralists struggled to redefine the concept of genre itself. From Northrop Frye's Anatomy of Criticism (1957) through Jacques Derrida's "Law of Genre" (1980), genre theory gave scholars a way to connect literary works to durable cultural patterns — or challenge the possibility of that connection.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages6
JournalCultural Analytics
Issue numberOct 25 2016
StatePublished - Oct 25 2016


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