Recommended Reading / Seminal Works

We present here a list of important texts for anyone interested in English and American studies, as suggested by faculty members and students. Our students are strongly advised to familiarize themselves with these works. Links to online versions will be provided where possible.

[Please direct any suggestions or comments to the webmaster]


Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales.

Sophocles - Oedipus Trilogy

Theoretical texts:

General Theory and Analysis
Aristotle - Poetics
Bakhtin, Mikhail. "Forms of Time and the Chronotope in the Novel"
Barthes, Roland. "The Death of the Author"
Burke, Edmund. "On the Sublime and the Beautiful"
Chatman, Seymour. "Story: Events"
Eagleton, Terry. "What is Literature"
Foucault, Michel. "What is an Author"
Gerard Genette. "Order, Duration, Frequency"
Hayden White. "The Historical Text as Literary Artifact"
Lovell, Terry. "The Novel as Literature"
Lyotard, Jean-Francois. "The Sublime and the Avant-Garde"
Ricoeur, Paul. "Narrative Time"
Rimmon-Kenan, Sholomith. "Focalization and/versus narration"
Shklovsky, Viktor. "Art as Technique"
Todorov, Tzvetan. "Reading as Construction"
Tomashevsky, Boris. "Thematics"
Wolfgang, Iser. "The Reading Process"

Showalter, Elaine. "Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness"

Engels, Friedrich and Karl Marx. "The Communist Manifesto"
Hayden White. "The Historical Text as Literary Artifact"
Jameson, Frederic. The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act
Jameson, FredericPostmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
Baudrillard, Jean. "The Precession of Simulacra"

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Jackson, Rosemary. "The Fantasy as a Mode"
Pavel, Thomas. "Fictional worlds"Suvin, Darko. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction
Todorov, Tzvetan. "Definition of the Fantastic"
Woolf, Virginia. "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown"


  1. Roland Barthes, "Death of the Author" - absolutely required. :)

  2. Thank you - there should be more literature referenced here too, I think. Should Homer be included? What about Shakespeare? What postmodern stuff is important?

    Also, I'd like to hear about anything that shouldn't be on this list... I was hoping for a little more collaboration...

  3. Honestly, I think literature is something they should encounter as they go along - let them develop their own tastes, so long as they have the critical material to help contextualize it.

  4. A great selection! In SF and fantasy Darko Suvin's "Metamorphoses of Science Fiction" is a must. In postmodernism, Barhes, of course, but also Foucault's "What is the Author?"" and Baudrillard's "Precession of Simulacra".