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African American and Ethnic Literary Studies, New Historism

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Desmond Lui

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of African American and Ethnic Literary Studies, New Historism

Ethnic studies
African American
African American and Ethnic Literary Studies, New Historicism
Phillis Wheatley
A slave in late 18th century

was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman.
Reach early high points
Slave Narrative
Slave Narrative
Developed in the middle of the 19th century

Written by escaped slaves about their lives in the south

Descirbe the cruelties of life under slavery, as well as the persistent humanity of the slaves
Harlem Renaissance
During the 1920's
Major factor: The Abolition
Reconized by the highest awards
Mainly about the role of African Americans within the larger American society and what it means to be an American.
The new identity led to a greater social consciousness, and African Americans became players on the world stage.
More Heads-up
Harlem Renaissance is also known as "New Negro Movement"
Tended to incorporate oral forms
Today, African- American literature has become accepted as an integral part of American literature.
African American literature claims equality on established aesthetic grounds.
Evovled in the second half of the 20th century

AN interdisciplinary study of racialized peoples in the world in relations to ethnicity
In the U.S....
Evovled during the civil rights movement in the late 1960's and early 1970's
Epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters.
On the other hand....
New historicism is a theory that literary pieces should be read, studied and interpreted within the context of both the history of the author and the history of the critic.
New historicist reject the technique of plugging samples of a culture into a history of ideas.
tend to concentrate on those at the top of the society
what's the difference?
Old historicism(1850s~1950s) told a story from the point of view of a Western nation.

Ex: Historicist critic will read into the plays of Shakespeare through Elizabethan worldview
Labeled by...
Stephen Greenblatt in 1982

He often refers New historicism as
"cultural poetics"
Influenced by...
Michel Foucault
who insisted on the power of discourses
begins with an anecdote, often a description of a public spectacle
history discourse
history discourse
flouting the idea that a complete objective impression of the entire context
Thanks for your attention
The rises of different American ethnic groups
Asian Americans
Native Americans
Latinos and Chicanos
Alain Locke
The one who was an icon during "Harlem Renaissance
And there's more...
Critics emphasize the hybridity of all cultures, instead of undermining the values and power of the dominant culture.

Many critics now regards race as a discourse with weighty investments in ideology.
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