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But cannot such methods, they ask, at the same time justify specious propaganda masquerading as scholarship, such as joan Peters' From Time Immemorial, where fabricated data "proves" that Palestinians are a "fairy tale"? Or French neofascist tomes revealing that the jewish Holocaust never occurred?
Contributor Hayden White concedes that the New Historicism leaves intact no theoretical basis on which to call to account even the most spurious historical revisions.
Leftists are alarmed, for example, at the New Historicists' reluctance to speak of facts.
Progressives can accept, for example, one New Historicist's fabrication of a fictitious Oxbridge graduate's British Honduras diary as an illuminating way to open his study of Colonial encounters in The Tempest (Malcolm Evans, Signifying Nothing [Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1~86]).
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Contrary to middlebrow conservatives, some contributors to this volume contend that New Historicism is itself a conservative trend.
Announcing a state of emergency, institutional guardians over literature and the humanities have denounced the "'new historicism" they consider hostile to Great Books and American values. When women, ethnic minorities, and radicals at Stanford claimed their pan of the cultural inheritance, Bennett carried the attack to Palo Alto. Aram Veeser from the opposite side of the academic-ideological divide, j.
Even oppositional New Historicists use the critical methods they question and so, Terdiman, Spivak, and Pecora suggest, replicate the authoriry they suspect.
Contributor Frank Lcntricchia avers that they revive liberalism and the postromantic sentimentalization of the ans.
Fonner Secretary of Education William Bennett struck tint with his landmark address, "'To Reclaim a Legacy"' (American Educator 21 ), and new traditionalists-including Allan Bloom, Gertrude Himmelfarb, E. Hillis Miller, then-president of the largest professional organization of English professors, decried the "turn away from theory toward history," and the journal PMLA published Edward Pechtcr's charge that "the specter of a new historicisma kind of 'Marxist criticism'" is haunting the humanistic disciplines: the New Historicism put even liberals on red alen.
Accusations of canon-bashing and "the lunge toward barbarism," reiterated in The Wall Street Journal, NYRB, the New York Times, Newsweek, and Harper's, have projected a New Historicism unambiguously Left in irs goals, subversive in its critique, and destructive in its impact.
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ARAM 'VEESER Contents Acknowledgments Introduction by H. Li[erary Criricism and the Politics of [he New His[oricism Eliubeth FO%-Genovese 213 Class~ 15 Is rberc Class jn this 16. Several of the conuibutors came to the project by way of rwo Modern Language Association special sessions that I organized: "'The New Historicism: Political Commitment and the Postmodem Critic" (1~86), with Gayatri Spivak, Richard Terdiman, Elizabeth Fox Genovcse, and Dominick La Capra; and "Professionalism, Political Commitment, and the North Ameri C"an Crilic" (1985), with Steven Mailloux, Paul Bove, Gerald Graff, Donald Pease, and Stanley Fish.