New Historicism and Cultural Materialism

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Macmillan Education UK, Jun 22, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 249 pages
New historicism and cultural materialism emerged in the early 1980s as prominent literary theories and came to represent a revival of interest in history and in historicising literature. Their proponents rejected both formalist criticism and earlier attempts to read literature in its historical context and defined new ways of thinking about literature in relation to history. This study explains the development of these theories and demonstrates both their uses and weaknesses as critical practices. The potential future direction for the theories is explored and the controversial debates about their validity in literary studies are discussed.

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About the author (1998)

JOHN BRANNIGAN is Lecturer in Literary Studies and Irish Studies at the University of Luton. He has published essays on new historicism, cultural materialism, Derrida and has co-edited books on Derrida and Joyce. He is currently working on a study of 1950s writings in England.

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