Examples Of New Historicism

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Graeme Turner is an Australian professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland, Past President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Director of the CCCS. New Historicism and Cultural Studies are influenced by structuralist and post-structuralist theories, seeks to reconnect a work with the time period in which it was produced and identify it with the cultural and political movements of the time (Michel Foucault's concept of episteme – a system of understanding or a body of ideas which give shape to the knowledge of that time). New Historicism assumes that every work is a product of the historic moment that created it. Specifically, New Historicism is “...a practice that has developed out of contemporary theory, particularly…show more content…
Nevertheless, the concept of ‘culture’ is a site of disputation between historians and cultural studies analysts. In recent years, in particular, while cultural studies has taken an increasing interest in history, some historians have expressed a sense of being overtaken or displaced by cultural studies. E. P. Thompson and his The Making of the English Working Class (1978) not only constructs the English working class, ‘calling it up’ through the writing of its story, it also ushers in a new kind of history. Instead of focusing on the elite and the powerful, Thompson’s history places its distinctive emphasis on those who lived ordinary lives but who nevertheless participated in, and were the agents and victims of, historical…show more content…
Nevertheless, English historians’ resistance to theory, and their suspicion of those who come from outside their discipline (or even beyond their shores), has not entirely disappeared. However, Patrick Wright’s On Living in an Old Country (1985), for instance, demonstrated how arguments around issues of heritage and enterprise culture in Thatcher’s Britain could bring history and cultural critique together, and the case studies collected in Corner and Harvey’s Enterprise and Heritage (1991) Left historians’ reconsideration of popular cultural formations have theoretically and politically informed histories of popular movements and of popular pastimes such as cricket and football. The best of such studies give the lie to any claim that history is “untheorized”. For instance, Hugh Cunningham’s (1982) history of leisure in mid-Victorian England is theoretically sophisticated and richly

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