|Birth Day:||November 7, 1943|
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American author and literary critic who was one of the founders of New Historicism. His biography of William Shakespeare, Will in the World, remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for more than two months.
He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1969. He later taught at both Harvard University and the University of California-Berkeley.
Greenblatt first used the term "New Historicism" in his 1982 introduction to The Power of Forms in the English Renaissance wherein he uses Queen Elizabeth I's "bitter reaction to the revival of Shakespeare's Richard II on the eve of the Essex rebellion" to illustrate the "mutual permeability of the literary and the historical". New Historicism is regarded by many to have influenced "every traditional period of English literary history". Some critics have charged that it is "antithetical to literary and aesthetic value, that it reduces the historical to the literary or the literary to the historical, that it denies human agency and creativity, that it is somehow out to subvert the politics of cultural and critical theory [and] that it is anti-theoretical". Scholars have observed that New Historicism is, in fact, "neither new nor historical." Others praise New Historicism as "a collection of practices" employed by critics to gain a more comprehensive understanding of literature by considering it in historical context while treating history itself as "historically contingent on the present in which [it is] constructed".
In 1998, he married fellow academic Ramie Targoff, also a Renaissance expert and a professor at Brandeis University, whom he has described as his soulmate.
Greenblatt was born in Boston and raised in Newton, Massachusetts. After graduating from Newton North High School, he was educated at Yale University (BA 1964, PhD 1969) and Pembroke College, Cambridge (MPhil 1966). Greenblatt has since taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard University. He was Class of 1972 Professor at Berkeley (becoming a full professor in 1980) and taught there for 28 years before taking a position at Harvard University. He was named John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities in 2000. Greenblatt is considered "a key figure in the shift from literary to cultural poetics and from textual to contextual interpretation in U.S. English departments in the 1980s and 1990s."
Greenblatt's collaboration with Charles L. Mee, Cardenio, premiered on May 8, 2008, at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While the critical response to Cardenio was mixed, audiences responded quite positively. The American Repertory Theater has posted audience responses on the organization's blog. Cardenio has been adapted for performance in ten countries, with additional international productions planned.
Stephen was married to Ellen Schmidt for nearly thirty years. Stephen married his second wife, Ramie Targoff, in 1998.
Currently, Stephen Greenblatt is 79 years, 0 months and 20 days old. Stephen Greenblatt will celebrate 80th birthday on a Tuesday 7th of November 2023. Below we countdown to Stephen Greenblatt upcoming birthday.