Practicing New Historicism, 2001

Practicing New Historicism, 2001

Catherine Gallagher


Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatt

University of Chicago Press,
19th-Century British
Critical Theory
Renaissance and Early Modern

     For almost thirty years, new historicism has been a highly controversial and influential force in literary and cultural studies. In Practicing the New Historicism, two of its most distinguished practitioners reflect on its surprisingly disparate sources and far-reaching effects.
     In lucid and jargon-free prose, Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatt focus on five central aspects of new historicism: recurrent use of anecdotes, preoccupation with the nature of representations, fascination with the history of the body, sharp focus on neglected details, and skeptical analysis of ideology. Arguing that new historicism has always been more a passionately engaged practice of questioning and analysis than an abstract theory, Gallagher and Greenblatt demonstrate this practice in a series of characteristically dazzling readings of works ranging from paintings by Joos van Gent and Paolo Uccello to Hamlet and Great Expectations. 

 Catherine Gallagher
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