The New Materialism in Early Modern Studies

Part of the Early Modern Cultural Series book series


Beginning in the early 1990s, a materialism that neither Karl Marx nor Fredric Jameson would be likely to recognize achieved an important place in early modern studies. Indeed, I call this a “new” materialism not only because of its momentum as a critical genre but because it comes as a disciplinary answer to a question that the epigraph asks us to ask: What future can materialist criticism of early modern texts have after Marx? I mean the “after” in this sentence to be attached not to Karl Marx or even to the literary criticism that followed in the wake of his theories. By “after,” instead, I mean after a constellation of events during the late twentieth century that worked to lessen the attraction of materialist political theory, events familiar to anyone who has read the newspaper during the past several decades.


Literary Criticism Literary Text Materialist Alternative Cultural Materialism Critical Practice 
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© Douglas Bruster 2003

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