My current research project seeks to use fiction as a tool to consider the extent to which economic cultures inform social subjectivity. Drawing on novels, both pre- and post-2008 crash, from authors including Joshua Ferris, David Foster Wallace, Edward P. Jones, Evan Dara and Jonathan Franzen, I aim to map a trend in a number of contemporary American texts across the apex and crisis of neo-liberalism. This trend, I argue, represents a contesting tension between selfhood and national-global economics. By working along this unstable fault-line – where self, region, nation, world, and economics collapse into each other – I intend to generate an innovative methodology for considering American culture both in light of the present economic crisis as well in view of the interface of fiction and economics more generally.
( Joshua Ferris, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, Edward P. Jones, Evan Dara, 20th Century Literature, 21st Century Literature )