As a researcher I am interested in the material contexts for the formation of ideas, and I try to show how cultural texts express these ideas in ways that resonate with their wider social articulation.  My work in the area of postcolonial studies has sought to link specific texts to the material structures of power that govern their production and to think about how far these texts work within and against the dominant narratives of public discourse.

Much of my research has been on questions of globalization and transnationalism, asking how a globalised economy is represented in creative texts.  I recently completed a book-length study on Precarious Labour and the Contemporary Novel. With a particular focus on fictional accounts of office work, looking novels from India, the UK and North America, this book considers how ideas of workers’ precariousness and of generational shifts from a Keynesian to a neoliberal economy are repetitively reproduced in contemporary fiction.

I am currently working on a project on the idea of the intimate economy across the twentieth and twenty-first century. Looking at textual representations of work, especially work by women, this project considers how the idea of the intimate is used to navigate or constitute a boundary between the public and the private and suggests that the idea of intimacy (of selling yourself) has become increasingly central to the concept of work in the contemporary period.

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    Liam Connell

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