How to create a class literal of a known type: Class<List<String>>

You can always cast to what you need, like this

return (Class<List<String>>) new ArrayList<String>().getClass();

or

return (Class<List<String>>) Collections.<String>emptyList().getClass();

But I assume that's not what you are after. Well it works, with a warning, but it isn't exactly "beautiful".

I just found this

Why is there no class literal for wildcard parameterized types?

Because a wildcard parameterized type has no exact runtime type representation.

So casting might be the only way to go.