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New Critical Thinking

Criticism to Come

Edited by Julian Wolfreys

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Introduces advanced students of literature to the latest critical thinking

Following a scene-setting Introduction which reflects on the state of ‘theory’ today, the 11 chapters in this volume introduce new areas of critical thinking which go beyond the standard ‘isms’: Literary Reading in a Digital Age; Critical Making in the Digital Humanities; Thing Theory; Memory Work and Criticism; Body, Objects, Technology; Criticism and ‘The Animal’; Multimodality and Linguistic Approaches to Literary Study; Critical and Creative Practice: Conditions for Success in the Writing Workshop; Affect Theory; Spectrality; Critical Climate Change.

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Introduction: New Critical Thinking, to Read so as to Become Acquainted, Julian Wolfreys
1. Turnings and Re-Turnings, Mary Ann Caws
2. ‘Peering into the dark machinery’: Modernity, Perception, and the Self in John Burnside’s Poetry, Monika Szuba
3. Modernity’s Sylvan Subjectivity, from Gainsborough to Gallaccio, Catherine Bernard
4. Little Did They Know: Toward an Experiential Approach, Sarah Pardon
5. ‘The Heart cannot forget / Unless it contemplates / What it declines’: Emily Dickinson, Frank Ankersmit, and the Art of Forgetting, Páraic Finnerty
6. Reading Microhistory: Three Layers of Meaning, Anton Froeyman
7. Writing Fiction, Making History: Historical Narrative and the Process of Creating History, Christine Berberich
8. Witnessing, Recognition, and Response Ethics, Kelly Oliver
9. A Norwegian Abroad: Camilla Collett’s Travelogues from Berlin to Paris, Tone Selboe
10. Alfred Jarry’s Nietzschean Modernism, Jean-Michel Rabaté
11. On First Looking into Derrida’s Glas, J. Hillis Miller
12. ‘A very black and little Arab Jew’: Experience and Experimentation or, Two Words for Jacques Derrida, Julian Wolfreys.

About the Author

Julian Wolfeys is Professor of English Literature at the University of Portsmouth, where he is also Director of the Centre for Studies in LIterature. He is author and editor of more than 40 books on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature and literary theory. Most recently he has published Dickens’s London and The Derrida Wordbook, both with Edinburgh University Press. He recently published his first novel, Silent Music.


New Critical Thinking is positively alarming, a ‘call to arms’. In the remarkable range of its quite brilliant essays, it arms and disarms us at once, shocking us with the serious unpredictability of research, forging a critical attitude that is always an opening to what might come about: essaying as becoming, as possibility. Utterly outstanding.

- Thomas Docherty, Professor of English and of Comparative Literature, University of Warwick

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