I felt so confused when I saw this word. When I took Philosophy last semester we focused on Phenomenology, the study of development of human conscienceness and selfawareness as a preface to or a part of philosophy. Right away I knew this couldn't be the same thing we were talking about in class so I figured I should look into it.
Phenomenological criticism really isn't far from the philosophical study because that's were it came from. It is a form of literary criticism usually associated with the Geneva School. Critics try to anazlyze a literary work without any external references, experienceing the text passively, sympathetically, and meditatively to disconver the pattersn and relationships that make up the unique consciousness of its author. So there we have it. I'm sure no one was as confused as I was.