Students of literature, film and cultural studies need to understand key theoretical terms and concepts but often find it hard to get to grips with exactly what they mean. This book provides precise definitions of terms and concepts in literary theory, along with explanations of the major movements and figures in literary and cultural theory and an extensive bibliography. It is designed for the student who needs to know what a particular term means, how it is used, and where it comes from, and enables them to apply the terms and concepts to their own investigations. The three part structure provides clear definitions of key terms and ideas, introductions to major figures including biographical and historical overviews and an annotated guide to important works. This invaluable resource provides readers with an easily accessible and comprehensive reference guide to literary and cultural theory.