NAVSA 2010: Scale and Perspective: Individual Agency vs. Invisible Hand, 11/11-11/13

full name / name of organization: 
Ilana Blumberg/NAVSA (proposed session, subject to approval)
contact email: 

How do Victorian texts (novels, in particular) stage a confrontation between the sense of moral urgency and individual agency on the part of characters (or narrator) and the more distant, less personalized, and at times ironic sense of human lives as an effect of the invisible hand? What role does economic theory play in the sense of plot as beyond the control of any one human will? What generic or narratological innovations come about in response to this newly expressed form of fate? Is there a third path between individual agency and the invisible hand?

Please send proposals of 300-500 words and one-page cv to Ilana Blumberg ( by February 15.
Session subject to approval.