20—21 may 2016
The economic crisis of 2008 has sparked the return of many cultural critics to Marx’s Capital, whose technical analysis of increasing inequality and instability in the 19th century world-system has achieved renewed authority as a diagnosis of capitalism’s past, present, and possible futures. Novel Marxisms brings together several of these critics to ask how this return might be brought to bear on the study of the novel.
If it is true, as Anna Kornbluh has argued, that Marx’s great work of political economy shares many formal features with the Victorian novels produced alongside it, can this insight be extended or corrected by further case studies in the relation between genre and economy? Where does Marx’s account of the value form intersect with the question of literary value? What is the relation of current work to the long tradition of Marxist criticism that precedes it? Where should scholarship on the novel informed by Marxist economics be headed now?