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Paradigms Found

Feminist, Gay, and New Historicist Readings of Shakespeare


Pilar Hidalgo

Paradigms Found is an indispensable book for students and teachers of Shakespeare, and for anyone interested in the diverse ways in which his plays are read and taught at the start of the twenty-first century. It traces the paradigm shift in Shakespeare studies which, beginning in the 1970s, has foregrounded the playwright’s embeddedness in the material practices and ideological constructs of his time, and focussed on the conflicts, gaps and faultlines in early modern society. The book concentrates on feminism and new historicism as the two critical schools that have brought about significant changes in Shakespeare studies, and devotes a chapter to issues in early modern culture and drama highlighted by gay scholars. Topics covered include: contrasting views on the position of Renaissance women, material feminist criticism, Renaissance attacks and defences of women, the maternal body, boy actors, myths of homosexual desire, theatrical transvestism, the role of anecdotes in new historicist practice, self-fashioning, subversion, anxiety and wonder. In tracking the shifting interests of feminist, gay and new historicist critics, Paradigms Found demonstrates the explanatory power of the new approaches, discusses their limitations and places them in the context of developments in society and the academy.


Contemporary Criticism on Janet Frame


Edited by Jan Cronin and Simone Drichel

Janet Frame’s work is notorious for the demands it makes on reader and critic. This collection of nine new essays by international Frame specialists draws on a range of critical frameworks to explore fresh ways of looking at Frame’s fiction, poetry, and autobiography. At the same time, the essays plug into the energy of Frame’s work to challenge our thinking within and beyond these frameworks.
Frameworks offers a unique perspective on Frame studies today, showcasing its major concerns as well as heralding new Frame narratives for the decade ahead. Mindful of preceding Frame criticism, these essays use their contemporary vantage-point to recast seminal questions about the relationship between Janet Frame’s work and its critical contexts.
Each of the essays makes a case for framing her work in a particular way, but all are characterized by self-reflexivity regarding their own critical practice and the relationship they assume between exegetical framework and Frame’s work. Underlying this practice, and contained within the pun of the title, are the elementary-sounding yet fundamental questions of Frame studies: How does Frame’s work work? And how do we work with her work?