CFP: [Collections] Rereading the New Criticism (11/30/07; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
John McIntyre
contact email: 

We invite papers for an edited volume of critical essays reconsidering
the genesis, work, and legacy of the New Criticism, one of the dominant
literary-critical formations of the mid-twentieth century. Along with
American and British criticism of the previous generation from which it
emerged, the New Criticism played an integral role in the rise of the
academic discipline of “English.” Its advocates and practitioners
directed attention to textual analysis and interpretation, crucially
shaping techniques of what we now call “close reading,” developing an
idea of professional expertise that came to inform the careers of
academic critics, and contributing to the training of generations of

Since its fall from dominance in academic contexts in the 1970s, however,
the New Criticism has been widely caricatured, and often derogated, as
ahistorical formalism unconcerned with, even actively indifferent to,
concerns outside of “the text itself.” In the spirit of recent work by
Gerald Graff, Mark Jancovich, and Camille Paglia, this collection seeks
to interrogate and complicate myths that have circulated about the New
Criticism, offering reevaluations of its methods, goals, theoretical
underpinnings, cultural politics, pedagogical principles, and
implications for contemporary literary studies.

Although essays of any angle on the New Criticism are welcome, pieces for
consideration might

1) problematize received accounts of the New Criticism

2) revisit the conditions of New Criticism’s emergence and address their
impact on its assumptions and methods

3) reevaluate the relationship between the New Criticism and other
critical schools

4) reconsider the influence of the New Criticism on what we do now, as
critics and teachers

5) consider how the approaches developed by the New Criticism might be
mined toward the future of literary studies.

 Complete papers (5000-6000 words) should be submitted by November 30,
2007 to either:

John McIntyre:

Miranda B. Hickman


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Received on Thu Aug 02 2007 - 07:41:06 EDT