Contemporary Cultural Responses to a Neoliberal World

deadline for submissions: 
March 26, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
University of Northampton

Keynote Speaker: Professor Paul Crosthwaite, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at The University of Edinburgh.

The Centre for Cultural and Literary Studies (CCLS) is hosting a one-day, in-person symposium to be held on 13 June 2024 at Waterside Campus, University of Northampton, UK.

This symposium invites contemporary explorations of neoliberalism as one of the defining conditions of the twentieth century. Neoliberalism values market exchange as an ethic in itself, as David Harvey notes, seeking to “bring all human action into the domain of the market” (3). The neoliberal novel is one particularly concerned with the economic rationalities of its time (Johansen and Karl 201), often questioning or challenging that rationale and testing the extent to which it dictates contemporary values.

Neoliberalism has ultimately promoted the unrestricted flow of capital, information, and commodities into every corner of the world. This symposium will explore aesthetic responses to the rhetoric of free markets, privatisation, and marketisation. 

We encourage critical analysis of cultural responses to neoliberalism as an ideology, practice, and policy, seeking to forge a dialogue between disciplinary approaches in literature, art, film, and music, to understand how neoliberalism is depicted in contemporary culture.

We invite a broad range of responses to, and depictions of, neoliberalism, including (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Postmodernism and late-stage capitalism
  • Representations of global inequality
  • Capitalist realism
  • ‘Greed is good’ and evolutionary economic theory
  • Global / regional manifestations of neoliberalism
  • Ideology, policy, and practice
  • Economic individualism and Social Communities
  • Neoliberalism and postcolonialism
  • Neoliberalism and climate change
  • Disaster capitalism
  • The role of neoliberalism in the production and marketing of art
  • Techniques of resistance: satire, parody, farce
  • Thatcher, Reagan, and neoliberal politics since the 1980s
  • Neoliberalism as a political and economic philosophy


Please submit a 200-300 word abstract and a brief author's biography (max 50 words) for 20-minute papers to  

The deadline for submissions is now 26th March 2024.

Lunch, teas, and coffees will be provided on the day - we anticipate a very small fee for each participant to cover costs, but aim to keep this as low as possible.

Submitted papers may be considered for possible publication in a special issue of an academic journal following the event.


Works cited:

Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, 2007. 

Johansen, Emily, and Alissa G. Karl. “Introduction: Reading and Writing the Economic Present.” Textual Practice, vol. 29, no. 2, 2015, pp. 201–14,        

Nilges, Mathias. “Neoliberalism and the Time of the Novel.” Textual Practice, vol. 29, no. 2, 2015, pp. 357–77,