How do you spot literary theories?

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toryvirals
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Obviously it's easy to spot the popular theories (e.g. Orientalism, Queer theory, etc.), but what about theories not a lot of people know about? Some people are able to read a book or journal and identify a theory that isn’t well known. Do you have to look in peer review journals? Is any peer review journal automatically considered a theory? But then what would you call this ‘new’ theory if the author doesn’t supply a name for it?
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by toryvirals)
Obviously it's easy to spot the popular theories (e.g. Orientalism, Queer theory, etc.), but what about theories not a lot of people know about? Some people are able to read a book or journal and identify a theory that isn’t well known. Do you have to look in peer review journals? Is any peer review journal automatically considered a theory? But then what would you call this ‘new’ theory if the author doesn’t supply a name for it?
I don't really understand what you are asking...

There's no such thing as identifying a "new" theory. Just because not many people (I don't know what type of persons you are referring to) know the theory, doesn't make it new.

You read a theory and then apply it to a text - i.e a feminist reading, a marxist reading, a post-structuralist reading.
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abbymonty
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I'm also a little bit confused by your question but will attempt what will hopefully be a helpful answer!

It is just a case of doing research and reading! Theory tends to fall into what I guess is almost like a genre/category - so feminist theory has lots and lots of writing which will be classed as feminist theory because so many people have different takes or opinions on things. A really good book for theory is the Norton Anthology of Critical Theory - it's huge and covers soo much but not cheap!

A book that might help you answer your own question - if no one else is able to! - is Jonathan Culler's a short introduction to literary theory. This one is small and cheap! Theory can be complicated and what I have found to be the best approach is doing a wide range of reading and then after reading a text deciding what applies to it. My teachers sometimes post relevant writings but not always.

Also there is a lot of theory that is i suppose quite general in terms of literature as it discusses the production of texts in themselves etc such as Foucault's what is an author? and Barthes Death of the author
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