20-21 February 2015


Clinton Institute for American Studies

University College Dublin


Speakers include:

Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern University)

Liam Kennedy (University College Dublin)

Walter Benn Michaels (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Donald Pease (Dartmouth College)

Stephen Shapiro (Warwick University)


How has American literature responded to the political, economic and cultural dominance of neoliberalism? What does neoliberalism mean for practices of writing, reading, and selling books? This conference will focus on the production, form and consumption of literature under conditions of neoliberalism.

We invite proposals for conference presentations – individual papers and panels. Conference themes will include, but will not be limited to:

  • The historical roots and routes of neoliberalism’s influence on American literature
  • The relationship between neoliberalism and literary form
  • How ideologies of choice, precarity, rationalization and privatization shape literary representation
  • The techniques authors have used to critique neoliberal values
  • Activist literary practices and poetics
  • New technologies of literary production and consumption
  • The compatibility of literary aesthetics with free market capitalism
  • Visions of social transformation in American literature
  • The presence of class in literary and critical analyses of the neoliberal present
  • The role of economics in literary theory and criticism


Brief abstracts (200 words) plus a short biographical statement should be sent to Catherine Carey at Catherine.Carey@ucd.ie by 17th November 2014.

The conference will take place at the UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies. Our website will feature further details about the conference, see www.ucdclinton.ie