CFP: Reassessing the New Historicism

“The new historicism erodes the firm ground of both criticism and literature. It tends to ask questions about its own methodological assumptions and those of others.” –Stephen Greenblatt

Certain features of the New Historicist school—particularly its awareness of the historical contexts of both authorship and readership—have become commonplace in modern scholarship.  Other aspects of the New Historicist approach are more problematic, particularly within the field of Medieval Studies.  For this issue of Fons Luminis, we would like to solicit short articles (approximately 4000 words) from graduate students on the general topic of New Historicism. Does Greenblatt’s seminal work, Renaissance Self-Fashioning, speak compellingly to pre-Renaissance scholarship? Is the methodology still relevant to current research, or is its theory already a little dated?  Is New Historicism merely a pet theory of North American academia? What about the British analogue, cultural materialism, and/or the French analogue in the works of Michel Foucault?  Are these still helpful to us? What is the relationship between New Historicism and the more recent New Formalism? How can New Historicism, primarily a literary movement, be of use to historians and historiographers?  Articles addressing any such questions, and/or employing New Historicist principles or methodology, are welcome.

Fons Luminis has adopted a new format, soliciting articles exclusively from graduate students, while still including a keynote essay from an established scholar, as well as review articles of seminal and recent books relevant to the theme.  Our articles are peer-reviewed first by our graduate staff and then by professorial reviewers.  The new shorter article format, allowing for more submissions, facilitates discussion and provides a place for graduate students to expound upon their own ideas and respond to those of other young scholars.

Submissions or enquiries may be sent electronically to edsfl@chass.utoronto.ca. Submissions for this issue should be received by 15 July 2010.

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