In the time span of last 30 or 40 years literary theory has been playing a central role in academic studies that are related to social science and humanities. Various competing or non-competing perspectives, principals and approaches granted most of the scholar awareness about importance of methodological concerns in literary theory. Criticism no longer confines itself to the study of literature, it discourses are now stretched beyond literature. It also covers anthropology, philosophy, psychology, linguistics, political science and much else. However, for literary researchers it covers all forms of cultural productions, despite them being literary or non-literary.
In a traditional manner criticism still covers exegesis, evaluation and interpretation but it is now stretching its range over theory. Whether you consider theory as a discussion or debates on the basis of certain definition, as the search for necessary and sufficient values for critical practice, or consider theory as a process for making social, historical or ideological pre-suppositions. No matter which option you chose, it will be hard to figure out a clear boundary between theory and criticism. However, they stumble into each other on various situations.
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