Critical Theory is an area in which literary scholars develop systematic approaches to literature. These approaches offer tools to explore and discover textual structures and patterns, and methods to analyse how these dynamics relate to the wider context of worldly phenomena. Critical Theory has changed how literature is read - and, in some cases, how it is written; it has brought to attention the way in which literature negotiates complex subjects such as language, identity and society. The study of Critical Theory is to read the history of ideas - encompassing areas such as philosophy, aesthetics, politics and history - with literature as the main protagonist.
The English Department at CUHK is at the forefront of expanding the field of Critical Theory. Faculty members undertake research in some of the most dominant areas of Critical Theory, including Marxism, Feminism, Poststructuralism, Deconstruction, Eco-Theory, Psychoanalysis, Postmodernism, Phenomenological Criticism, Disability Studies, Queer Studies, Narratology and Object-Oriented Ontology.
Evelyn Chan’s work focuses on critical discourses on modernism, Joseph Conrad and Virginia Woolf.
Ron Darvin examines issues of language ideology, investment, critical pedagogy, and the role of education in social and cultural reproduction.
Simon Haines works in the areas of moral philosophy and humanities.
Grant Hamilton specializes in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, literary theory, object-oriented ontology and postcolonialism.
David Huddart’s fields include autobiography, postcolonial theory, poststructuralism and literary theory.
Jane Jackson has carried out extensive research on cultures of learning, and the relationship between culture and identity.
Julian Lamb’s expertise areas include early modern language theory, and the philosophies of Wittgenstein and J.L. Austin.
Carmen Lee works on sociolinguistics, language and identity and multilingualism.
Michael O’Sullivan’s research interests include modernism, phenomenology, religion and literary theory.
Eli Park Sorensen is working on literary theory, postcolonialism, and comparative literature.