The Routledge Companion of Critical Theory is an indispensable aid for anyone approaching this exciting field of study for the first time. By exploring ideas from a diverse range of disciplines "theory" encourages us to develop a deeper understanding of how we approach the written word. This book defines what is generically referred to as "critical theory," and guides readers through some of the most complex and fundamental concepts in the field, ranging from Historicism to Postmodernism, from Psychoanalytic Criticism to Race and Postcoloniality. Fully cross referenced throughout, the book encompasses manageable introductions to important ideas followed by a dictionary of terms and thinkers which students are likely to encounter. Further reading is offered to guide students to crucial primary essays and introductory chapters on each concept.