Jean Toomer‘s Cane (1923) has long been considered a signature text of both avant-garde Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. While Gothic tropes and imagery lurk throughout Toomer‘s collection of poetry and prose, Anglo-American Gothic conventions come to the foreground in the story ‘Blood-Burning Moon’. The story‘s interracial love triangle provides a locus of conflict between the post-Reconstruction American South and the haunting economic logic of slavery. Though the three characters each aspire to new racial, sexual and economic identities, they are terrorized by a society where employer-employee relations cannot escape the violence of the master-slave dialectic. Toomer does not relinquish his aesthetic experimentation and political radicalism to the Anglo-American Gothic, but instead engages the Gothic form in order to critique the violent racism of American capitalism. In this way, Toomer positions the Gothic centrally within African-American literary and cultural history.
5 The death of Cordelia and the economics of preference in eighteenth-century moral psychology William Flesch Biology recapitulates economics: at least evolutionary biology seems to be rediscovering and analysing the same kinds of ideas that the great eighteenth-century economic psychologists (from Mandeville to Hume to Smith) had explored. Over the last few years there has been a heated debate among evolutionary theorists – scientists, mathematicians, the odd humanist – about whether altruism is possible, given the core idea that evolution is driven by the
This article explores Riddells representational strategies around gender: in particular her male narrators and her female characters made monstrous by money. It argues that Riddell, conscious of social prohibitions on financial knowledge in women, employs male protagonists to subversive effect, installing in her stories a feminine wisdom about the judicious use of wealth. Her narratives identify the Gothic potential of money to dehumanise, foregrounding the culpability of economic arrangements in many of the horrors of her society. While they contain pronounced elements of social critique, they ultimately however defend late-Victorian capitalism by proff ering exemplars of the ethical financial practice by which moneys action is to be kept benign.
Throughout the nineteenth century, the term ‘uncomfortable houses’ was used to describe properties where restless spirits made life unpleasant for any living persons who tried to claim these supernatural residences as their own. This article uses the idea of ‘uncomfortable houses’ to examine how this ghostly discomfort related to larger cultural issues of economics and class in Victorian Britain. Authors such as Charlotte Riddell and Margaret Oliphant used the haunted house story as a means of social critique which commented on the financial problems facing many lower- and middle-class Victorians. Their stories focus on the moral development of the protagonists and reconciliation through the figure of the ghost, ultimately giving readers the happy endings that many male-authored ghost stories lack. Riddell‘s ‘The Old House in Vauxhall Walk’ and ‘Walnut-Tree House’ and Oliphant‘s ‘The Open Door’ serve as important examples of this ‘suburban Gothic’ literature.
The popular cultural ubiquity of the zombie in the years following the Second World War is testament to that monster‘s remarkable ability to adapt to the social anxieties of the age. From the red-scare zombie-vampire hybrids of I Am Legend (1954) onwards, the abject alterity of the ambulant dead has been deployed as a means of interrogating everything from the war in Vietnam (Night of the Living Dead, 1968) to the evils of consumerism (Dawn of the Dead, 1978). This essay explores how, in the years since 9/11, those questions of ethnicity and gender, regionality and power that have haunted the zombie narrative since 1968 have come to articulate the social and cultural dislocations wrought by free-market economics and the shock doctrines that underscore the will to global corporatism. The article examines these dynamics through consideration of the figure of the zombie in a range of contemporary cultural texts drawn from film, television, graphic fiction, literature and gaming, each of which articulates a sense not only neo-liberalism itself has failed but simply wont lie down and die. It is therefore argued that in an age of corporate war and economic collapse, community breakdown and state-sanctioned torture, the zombie apocalypse both realises and works through the failure of the free market, its victims shuffling through the ruins, avatars of the contemporary global self.
In the early years of the twentieth century, Professor Karl Lamprecht was a powerful and controversial figure in German academia, offering a universal interpretation of history that drew on an eclectic mix of politics, economics, anthropology and psychology. This article explores Mark Hovell’s experiences of working with Lamprecht at the Institut für Kultur- und Universalgeschichte [Institute for Cultural and Universal History] in Leipzig between 1912 and 1913, while also situating Hovell’s criticisms of the Lamprechtian method within wider contemporary assessments of Lamprecht’s scholarship.
In this chapter I want to instance disorientation and leverage in the university by exploring the problematic doubleness of economics as indeterminately both inside and outside contemporary cultural theory. Here, I shall argue that the interdisciplinary approach of cultural analysis has a certain amount of difficulty positioning economics as either simply
vehicle by which this knowledge passes from individual to individual, linking them into a community. The previous chapter examined nomads as human exemplars of a non-anthropocentric ethics, and nomadic economics as a system that values the wellbeing of complex adaptive systems over the wellbeing of individual species in that system. It also explored the way in which narrative codes the ineffable, expressing the meaningfulness of a being (its ‘soul’) in terms of time, event, and symbol. However, these foundational arguments about what a non-anthropocentric ethics might
This chapter attempts a theorisation of the ghost story which outlines its associations with economics in the nineteenth century. Marx, political economists, and journalists writing on economic issues all worked to make visible the seemingly ineffable and the ghost story participated in a field of spectrality which was informed by these factors. The very different theories of political
examination of rural collapse following the Second World War. The Border Trilogy spans the Second World War and the first decade following, with attention to the implications of nationalism and the military-industrial complex in the atomic age. No Country for Old Men revisits many of the themes of The Orchard Keeper , its nostalgia for a rural Texas homesteading past (instead of an eastern Tennessee rural past) undercut by brutal observations about the implications of market economics during the boom of the transnational marketplace in the 1980s. The Counselor picks