Sunday, November 11, 2007


Differences Between New Historicism and Cultural Materialism

As we have seen and read in Barry, New Historicism and Cultural Materialism have a significant overlap. In fact the main difference is politics. There are three main differences:

1. Cultural Materialists concentrate on the the interventions whereby men and women make their own history, where New Historicists focus on the the power of social and ideological structures which restrain them. A contrast between political optimism and political pessimism.

2. Cultural Materialists view New Historicists as cutting themselves off from effective political positions by their acceptance of a particular version of post-structuralism.

3. New Historicists will situate the literary text in the political situation of its own day, while the Cultural Materialists situate it within that of our own.

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