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February 13 , 2008

The New Historicism


Following Clifford Geertz and other cultural anthropologists, the New Historicist critics have evolved a method for describing culture in action. Their "thick descriptions" seize upon an event or anecdote – colonist John Rolfe's conversation with Pocohontas's father, a note found among Nietzsche's papers to the effect that "I have lost my umbrella" – and re-read it to reveal through the analysis of tiny particulars the motive forces controlling a whole society. Contributors: Stephen J. Greenblatt, Louis A. Montrose, Catherine Gallagher, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Gerald Graff, Jean Franco, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Frank Lentricchia, Vincent Pecora, Jane Marcus, Jon Klancher, Jonathan Arac, Hayden White, Stanley Fish, Judith Newton, Joel Fineman, John Schaffer, Richard Terdiman, Donald Pease, Brooks Thomas.

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