CFP: Economies and Currencies in Literature; ACLA Seattle

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American Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Meeting

Conference Dates: Seattle March 26-29, 2015

Economies and Currencies in Literature

Organizers: Anick S. Boyd (CUNY GC), Alisa Sniderman (Harvard University)

Deadline: October 15, 2014

This seminar will explore the representation of money, economies, and currencies in literature from a wide range of methodologies (materialist, historicist, formalist, etc.) to examine the process of value making in literature. One approach is to study the relationship between metaphor and economic exchange. As Marc Shell has shown, metaphor is itself an exchange, and language and thought internalize monetary form into what he calls “money of the mind.” And, in On Truth and Lies in the Extra Moral Sense, Nietzsche compares “truths” to “coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.”

Still another approach is to look at the larger picture of the intertwining histories of economics and literary studies. As Elizabeth Hewitt has recently noted, “even as American literary scholarship over the last thirty years has emphasized the marketplace […] the field has not entirely erased its essentially antagonistic attitude toward the economic world that is so fundamental to the production of the archive it studies.”

We invite papers that deal with the representations of economics in literature and with methodological approaches to studying the two disciplines together such as but not limited to economic criticism and rhetorical economics. How do literary texts create values? What kinds of economies exist in literature?

Interested participants should contact Anick Boyd (aboyd[at] for more information or to submit an abstract. The final deadline to submit an abstract through the ACLA website is October 15.

Please note that ACLA uses a seminar stream style for the annual meeting: participants will attend all sessions during a 2 day or 3 day seminar. More information about the conference is available at

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