The Post-historicisms research group explores the following questions: How does one think outside the parameters of historicism? Why should we? And is the history of historicism’s decline worth probing? If so, how? A wide range of arguments, approaches, and schools of thought have emerged that either express dissatisfaction with our current (historicist) ways of doing literary history, or that ignore historicism in the way they do literary history, or that so utterly distend history (tracing it into evolutionary deep time and even geological eons) that they sunder it from anything human, and hence from anything meaningful in historicist terms.
What makes this current intellectual climate especially interesting is that scholars have not retreated from history as much as they have given themselves to exposing the limitations of history’s conceits. And as they do so, they are bringing new attention to what may be most literary about literary history. The purpose of this research group is to explore this new, post-historicist sensibility that is increasingly permeating literary studies.
Those wishing to join the discussion or learn about the group’s events and activities should contact Matthew Wickman (Matthew_Wickman@byu.edu).