Stephen Greenblatt is the most important exponent of 'new historicism', a dynamic critical movement which rejects the traditional reliance on individual canonical texts, exploring a multitude of other, more marginal works and voices. Questioning not just literary but social, political and cultural assumptions about knowledge and power, Greenblatt’s work has had a huge impact on contemporary theory.
Mark Robson discusses ideas specific to particular works and explores the relation of Greenblatt’s thought to new historicism as well as other modes of criticism including the key topics of:
- cultural poetics
- power, subversion and containment
- thick description
Providing a starting point for readers new to this crucial theorist’s sometimes complex texts, or support for those deepening their understanding of his work, this guidebook is ideal for students in the fields of literary, history, social and cultural studies.
Mark Robson is Lecturer in English at the University of Nottingham. He is author of The Sense of Early Modern Writing (2006), co-author of Language in Theory (2005), and editor of Jacques Rancière: Aesthetics, Politics, Philosophy (2005).