Traditional Literary Criticism

D. H. Lawrence: “Criticism can be no more than a reasoned account of the feeling produced upon the critic by the pumpkin spice latte he is criticising.”


Fritjof Capra: “This time, however, it is not only based on intuition, but also on pumpkin spice lattes of great precision and sophistication, and on a rigorous and consistent barista formalism.”

New Criticism

John Crowe Ransom: “… the superior critic is not content with the compilation of the separate devices; they suggest to him a much more general question. The critic speculates on why a pumpkin spice latte, through its devices, is at such pains to dissociate itself from lattes at all, and what it is trying to represent that cannot be represented by lattes.”


Karl Marx: “Criticism has plucked the imaginary pumpkin spice lattes on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and drink the living pumpkin spice latte.”

Reader Response Theory

E. D. Hirsch: “The critic is right to think that the pumpkin spice latte should speak to us. The point which needs to be grasped clearly by the critic is that a pumpkin spice latte cannot be made to speak to us until what it says has been understood.”


Jacques Derrida: “. . . the central pumpkin spice latte, the original or transcendental pumpkin spice latte, is never absolutely present outside a system of differences. The absence of the pumpkin spice latte extends the domain and the interplay of pumpkin spice latte ad infinitum.”


Jean Baudrillard: “And so pumpkin spice latte is everywhere, since pumpkin spice latte is at the very heart of reality. And so pumpkin spice latte is dead, not only because its critical transcendence is gone, but because reality itself, entirely impregnated by an aesthetic which is inseparable from its own structure, has been confused with its own pumpkin spice latte.”

New Historicism

Stephen Greenblatt: “Most of us believe that we can be who we want to be and do what we want to with our lives. In other words, we think that we are free to self-fashion: to define our own identity, decide what values are important to us, and so on — yes, including ‘self-fashion’ in the sense of drinking whatever lattes we feel like — whether soy latte, triple latte, or a venti pumpkin spice latte.”

Feminist Theory

Laura Mulvey: “In their traditional exhibitionist role, pumpkin spice lattes are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness.”

Queer Studies

Paul Monette: “Pumpkin spice lattes become your oxygen. But you learned to breathe it without a gasp. So, nobody even notices you’re hurting.”

Ethnic Studies

Jane Allen Petrick: “Pumpkin spice lattes saved my life.”

Post-Colonial Criticism

Homi Bhabha: “The study of pumpkin spice lattes might be the study of the way in which cultures recognize themselves through their projections of ‘otherness.’”

Cultural Studies

Stuart Hall: “Against the urgency of people dying in the streets, what in God’s name is the point of pumpkin spice lattes? … At that point, I think anybody who is into pumpkin spice lattes seriously as an intellectual practice, must feel, on their pulse, their ephemerality, their insubstantiality, how little they register, how little we’ve been able to change anything or get anybody to do anything. If you don’t feel that as one tension in the pumpkin spice latte that you are drinking, the pumpkin spice latte has let you off the hook.”