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How do I find reception studies?

A reception history or reception study looks at how a work has been perceived at the time of its creation or over time.


How a play is recieved can be studied by researching the critical reception of the playwright or play in addition to performance reviews. You can look for scholarly articles published shortly after the play was produced, or at different stages during the life of the playwright. To do this, limit your search to specific dates. Alternatively, use bibliographies about a playwright to hone in on relevant articles.

For example :

Eugene Ionesco : a Bibliography
Bibliographie et index thématique des études sur Eugène Ionesco


Harold Pinter : an Annotated Bibliography
Harold Pinter : a Study of his Reputation (1958-1969) and a Checklist

Key terms to use in searching indexes are "reception," "reputation," or "appreciation."


Finding Performance Reviews

This page contains resources that only cover performance reviews. The more general resources on the "How to find Reviews" guide will also contain performance reviews.

Please note that the MLA Bibliography does NOT contain any reviews whatsoever.


(arranged by dates covered, most recent first)

Guide to Finding Reviews

Subject Specialist

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André G. Wenzel
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