Call for Proposals: Twenty Years After the New Economic Criticism. A Roundtable on Current Approaches to Literary and Cinematic Economies

The German Studies Association:
Forty-third Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon, October 3 to 6, 2019
Deadline for Submissions: January 20, 2019

The appearance of Mark Osteen’s and Martha Woodmansee’s The New Economic Criticism in 1999 can be seen as a watershed of sorts. On the one hand, it consolidated and took stock of important earlier work by such authors as Marc Shell, Jean Joseph Goux, Deidre McClosky and others. In bringing this work to the attention of a broader scholarly public, however, it also helped catalyze a range of subsequent studies on literary and cultural artifacts in their role as both products and producers of market capitalism. While the label itself never really caught on, the fundamental interest in developing “new” approaches to economic criticism, approaches that move beyond traditional Marxist categories such as class and alienation, has proven tremendously generative. As a result of these studies, scholars in the humanities have a far better grasp of the historical interrelations among the literary/cinematic, cultural, and economic spheres than was previously the case.

Inspired by the twenty-year anniversary of the volume’s publication, we invite contributions to a proposed roundtable (or series of roundtables) on the current state of economic criticism in German Studies. Rather than interpretations of individual works or theorists, what we have in mind are broadly conceived, seven-minute position statements on those methods, approaches, topics, periods, and conceptual categories that are most relevant to our critical and ethical mission as literary and film scholars. Which aspects of “the economic” as conceptual category should we be addressing and how? Contributions in both German and English are welcome. Possible topics and questions for consideration include:

The poetics of neoliberalism, financialization, crisis capitalism, the end of capitalism, etc.
Literature/film and/as economic knowledge
Literature and film in the age of financial capitalism
The financialization of daily life
Banking on words (Appadurai)
The Market as (dead?) metaphor
Utopia or critique?
Economies of authorship
How to do things with Marxism (which traditional categories of analysis are still relevant – ideology? reification?)
Production, consumption, and identity
The place of the economic in other theoretical frameworks (media studies, postcolonial criticism, gender and sexuality studies, digital humanities)  

While our primary interest is in synthetic and synoptic position papers, we will also consider lucid and analytical reviews of major recent contributions to research in this area (e.g. Vogl, The Ascendancy of Finance)

Send a 250-word proposal to the organizers by January 20:
Matt Erlin: [log in to unmask]
William Carter: [log in to unmask]

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Sean Franzel
Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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