Co-editors: Allen Dunn and Thomas Haddox
Editor info: Dunn and Haddox are faculty in the Department of English.
Publication Date: April 2012
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Synopsis: This collection of essays argues that historicism, which has come to dominate the professional study of literature in recent decades, has become ossified. By drawing attention to the limits of historicism—its blind spots, overreach, and reluctance to acknowledge its commitments—this provocative new book seeks a clearer understanding of what historicism can and cannot teach us about literary narrative. The editors have gathered contributions from leading scholars that challenge the dominance of contemporary historicism. These pieces critique historicism as it is generally practiced, propose alternative historicist models that transcend mere formula, and suggest alternatives to historicism altogether. The book attempts to shake up established modes to move beyond the claustrophobic analyses of contemporary historicism and to ask larger questions that envision more fulfilling and more responsible possibilities in the practice of literary scholarship.