CFP: Literature and Economics in Early American Studies (9/1/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Jennifer Baker
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CFP: Literature and Economics in Early American Studies (09/01/05;

In the past two decades what has come to be called "new economic
criticism" has flourished. The cultural workings of finance, political
economy, and money have increasingly occupied critics of
eighteenth-century British literature, American Naturalism, modernism,
and, perhaps most prolifically, postmodernism. Often such topics have
been pursued indirectly by critics of early American culture and have
functioned as part of a larger project, be it an examination of print
culture and the public sphere (as with Michael Warner's The Letters of
the Republic) or a transnational, transhistorical analysis of the
semiotics of money (as with Marc Shell's Money, Language, and Thought).
Those works in which money and the market take thematic and analytical
top billing within the early American framework, however, have proven to
be provocative and important works in our field: Michael Gilmore's
American Romanticism and the Marketplace, David Shields's Oracles of
Empire: Poetry, Politics, and Commerce in British America, 1690-1750,
and Meredith McGill's American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting
are excellent examples.

We seek essays for a volume that will address this topic in all its
variety in the literature and cultural life of the colonial, early
national, and antebellum eras. We are open to different methods and
approaches. Essays might go beyond traditionally Marxist or neoclassical
paradigms; investigate the conditions of literary production as well as
the formal structures and themes of texts; cross linguistic boundaries;
and combine literary studies, economic history, and the history of the
book. Possible topics might include the economics of colonialism,
empire, expansion, or slavery; the economics of authorship and
publishing; monetary symbolism; correspondences between monetary and
literary texts, or between credit and imagination; the representation of
racial or gender differences in economic terms; political economy;
economics and domesticity; the representation of debtor relations and
class structures.

We have an interested publisher and hope to submit the completed
manuscript for review in about a year. Please send 3-page proposal (or
completed essay) and cv to Jennifer Baker ( or
Eric Wertheimer ( by September 1, 2005.
Completed essays of 6,000-8,000 words will be due by May 1, 2006.

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Received on Fri Jun 03 2005 - 10:34:01 EDT