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Authors: Ziegler, Heide
Title: Directions in german american studies: the challenge of the "New Historicism"
Issue Date: 1990 Konferenzbeitrag Freese, Peter (Hrsg.): Germany and German thought in American literature and cultural criticism : proceedings of the German-American conference in Paderborn, May 16-19, 1990. Essen : Verl. Die Blaue Eule, 1990 (Arbeiten zur Amerikanistik 6). - ISBN 3-89206-382-6, S. 356-368
Abstract: The object of American Studies, the culture and civilization of the United States, is, paradoxically, no longer restricted to the United States as subject matter. Instead, American texts must be seen more and more as overarching cultural texts. Second, any method indebted to the New Historicism must itself be put in historical perspective, reflecting the fact that it is usable but uncertain in its results. Interest largely seems to supplant the search for truth. Yet since this interest must be kept alive more by the inner consistency of the argument than by adducing external facts, the plot - despite the fact that it assimilates elements of varying importance - can constitute a synthesis, wherein historical interpretation triumphs over pure chance in the aesthetic ordering of the parts into a whole. Thus, in spite of its limitations, the aesthetic leanings of the New Historicism strike me as able to impart new impulses to German American Studies at the present time and lead the discipline out of its provinciality.
Appears in Collections:09 Philosophisch-historische Fakultät

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