In the thirty years since the
publication of Stephen Greenblatt's Renaissance Self-Fashioning
overthrew traditional modes of Shakespeare criticism, New Historicism and Cultural
Materialism have rapidly become the dominant modes for studying and writing
about the Bard. This comprehensive guide introduces students to the key
writers, texts and ideas of contemporary Shakespeare criticism and alternatives
to new historicist and cultural materialist approaches suggested by a range of
dissenters including evolutionary critics, historical formalists and advocates
of 'the new aestheticism', and the more politically active presentists.
Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory covers such topics as:
The key theoretical
influences on new historicism including Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser.
The major critics, from Stephen Greenblatt to Jonathan Dollimore and Alan
Dissenting views from traditional critics and contemporary theorists.
Chapter summaries and questions for discussion throughout encourage students to
critically engage with contemporary Shakespeare theory for themselves. The book
includes a 'Who's Who' of major critics, a timeline of key publications and a
glossary of essential critical terms to give students and teachers easy access
to essential information.
Neema Parvini is Visiting Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Richmond, The American International University, UK.
Acknowledgements \ A Note on Texts \ Timeline of Theoretical and Critical Developments \ Who's Who of New Historicism and Cultural Materialism \ 1. Introduction \ 2. Before New Historicism and Cultural Materialism \ i. The first half of the twentieth century: Traditional scholarship from A.C. Bradley to Moody E. Prior \ ii. The 1950s to the 1970s: Formalism, structuralism and deconstruction \ 3. Theory in Focus \ i. Clifford Geertz \ ii. Antonio Gramsci \ iii. Louis Althusser \ iv. Michel Foucault \ 4. New Historicism \ 5. Cultural Materialism \ 6. Alternative views in New Historicism and Cultural Materialism \ 7. Conclusion \ Glossary of Important Critical Terminology \ Bibliography \ Index