New Historicism and Discourse Analysis | SpringerLinkNow, she is a third grade teacher for a charter school in Washington D. When Brandon isn't working as a teacher or a cheerleading coach for her school, she likes spending her time dancing and going out with her friends. In the future, she wishes to open her own dance studio that encompasses uplifting children and building strong self-esteem. New Historicism is theory that was developed in the s as a counter theory to the formalist New Criticism theory. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary , New Historicism is a method of literary criticism that emphasizes the history of the text by relating it to the configurations of power, society, or ideology in a given time.
Stephen Greenblatt's New Historicism. A Viable Theory?
New historicism is a form of literary theory whose goal is to understand intellectual history through literature, and literature through its cultural context, which follows the s field of history of ideas and refers to itself as a form of "Cultural Poetics". It was first developed in the s, primarily through the work of the critic and University of California, Berkeley English professor Stephen Greenblatt and gained widespread influence in the s. Harold Aram Veeser , introducing an anthology of essays, The New Historicism ,  noted some key assumptions that continually reappear in new historicism; they are:. A typical focus of new historicist critics, led by Stephen Orgel , has been on understanding Shakespeare less as an autonomous great author in the modern sense than as a means of reconstructing the cultural milieu Renaissance theatre —a collaborative and largely anonymous free-for-all—and the complex social politics of the time. Influential historians behind the eruption of the new historicism are Lynn Hunt and Michel Foucault , as they both taught at UC-Berkeley during its rise as a postmodern approach to history.
New Historicism Theorists
Literary Theory : NEW HISTORICISM, English Literature UGC NET/JRF
Stephen Greenblatt's New Historicism 2. I am constantly struck by the strangeness of reading works that seem addressed, personally and intimately, to me, and yet were written by people who crumbled to dust long ago. Temporality lies in the very nature of literature. It literally becomes history, if we define history as events before our own time. In a less philosophical approach, literature then can give us insights on the thoughts of a person that has lived long before our own time. And this is what Stephen Greenblatt expresses in his above-cited statement.
While he was teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, Greenblatt helped to found a journal called Representations , in which some of the earlier important New Historicist criticism appeared. As mentioned earlier, however, it was his introduction to The Power of Forms in the English Renaissance that spurred the growth of the New Historicism. Both of these earlier modes of analysis, according to Greenblatt , engaged in a project of uniting disparate and contradictory elements into an organic whole, whether in the text itself or in its historical background. The earlier historicism, moreover, viewed the resulting totality or unity as a historical fact rather than the product of interpretation or of the ideological leanings of certain groups. Such a homogenizing procedure allows the unified vision of historical context to serve as a fixed point of reference which could form the background of literary interpretation. Greenblatt elaborated his statements about New Historicism in a subsequent influential essay, Towards a Poetics of Culture He proposes to situate this practice in relation to Marxism , on the one hand, and poststructuralism , on the other.