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Literary and Cultural Studies

This guide will help you locate resources in literary and cultural studies. The emphasis is on material available in the University of Maryland Libraries, but some Internet sources are also included

About Subject Headings

Subject Headings for Literature fall into several categories, offering many ways to search for information on an author, work, genre, or time period:

  1. Individual Literary Authors
  2. Literary Works by Author
  3. Literary Works by Title
  4. [Name or Topic] in Literature
  5. Literatures by Region/Genre
  6. Authors by Nationality
  7. Miscellaneous Subject Headings

1. Individual Literary Authors

For works on an individual author, search by Last Name, First Name, year of birth-year of death:

  • Dickinso, Emily, 1830-1886
  • Garcia Marquez, Gabriel, 1928-
  • McCarthy, Cormac, 1933- 
  • Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849

These headings can be followed by various sub-divisions, for example:

   Bibliography         Criticism & Interpretation       Knowledge         
   Biography Criticism, Textual Language
   Characters Editions Literary Style 
   Chronology Indexes Manuscripts 
   Concordances Influence Sources
   Correspondence          Interviews Translations

  • Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886 -- Criticism and Interpretation
  • Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886 -- Criticism, Textual
  • Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886 -- Drama
  • Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886 -- Family

Many of these headings can be sub-divided even further, For example, Knowledge can be used to describe the author's knowledge of a variety of topics:

  • Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849 -- Knowledge -- Art
  • Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849 -- Knowledge -- Literature
  • Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849 -- Knowledge -- Natural History
  • Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849 -- Knowledge -- Psychology


2. Literary Works by Author

For important works with a known author, search by the author's name:

  • Eliot, George, 1819-1880. Mill on the Floss
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Hamlet
  • Wright, Richard, 1908-1960. Black Boy

These headings can be sub-divided by format or topic, for example:

  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Hamlet -- Adaptations
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Hamlet -- Criticism and Interpretation
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Hamlet -- Criticism, Textual
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Hamlet -- Sources

3. Literary Works by Title

For anonymous works, search by title:

  • Arabian nights
  • Beowulf
  • Gawain and the Grene Knight

These headings can be sub-divided by format or topic, for example:

   Beowulf -- Criticism and Interpretation        Beowulf -- Influence 
   Beowulf -- Criticism, textual    Beowulf -- Manuscripts 
   Beowulf -- Editing    Beowulf -- Sources
   Beowulf -- Film Adaptations    Beowulf -- Study and Teaching 
   Beowulf -- History and Criticism    Beowulf -- Translations

4. [Name or Topic] in Literature

Append the phrase "In Literature" to a personal name or to almost any topic:


  • Jesus Christ -- In Literature
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- In Literature


      Folklore in literature Melancholy in literature     Slavery in literature
      Food in literature  Memory in literature  Social problems in literature
      Group identity in literature    Naturalism in literature  Technology in literature
      Immigrants in literature Philosophy in literature War in literature
      India in literature Politics in literature Women in literature

5. Literatures, by Region or Genre

Search for works on literatures or specific genres by country:

  • American literature
  • English literature
  • American fiction
  • English poetry

These headings can be sub-divided by format, time period, or topic, for example:

  • English literature -- Middle English, 1100-1500 -- History and Criticism
  • American fiction -- 20th century -- Film adaptations
  • English fiction -- 20th century -- Periodicals -- Indexes
  • American poetry -- African American authors -- Translations into French

6. Authors, by Nationality

Works on authors can be found by searching Authors, [Nationality]:
  • Authors, American
  • Authors, English

You can also look for certain types of authors by nationality:

  • Dramatists, American
  • Novelists, English
  • Poets, American
  • Women Authors, English
These headings can be sub-divided by format, time period, or topic, for example:
  • Authors, English -- 19th century -- Political and social views
  • Novelists, American -- Homes and haunts -- Mississippi
  • Poets, English -- 20th century -- Interviews
  • Women Authors, American -- Biography

7. Miscellaneous Subject Headings

You may find Subject Headings for literary or critical movements. Sometimes these will be followed by a literature-related word in parentheses to distinguish, for example, Modernism in literature from Modernism in aesthetics, art, Christian theology, music, etc.

  • Ecocriticism
  • Modernism (Literature)
  • Romanticism
  • Structuralism (Literary Analysis)

Or try subject headings for the relationships between literature and other subjects:

  • Politics and literature
  • Literature and history
  • Literature and society
  • Religion and literature

These headings can be sub-divided by country or geographical region, format, time period, or topic, for example:

  • Modernism (Literature) -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th Century
  • Politics and Literature -- New England
  • Religion and literature -- Periodicals
  • Romanticism -- England -- Bibliography