Neoliberalism and Contemporary American Literature
Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro
How has American literature responded to the dominance of neoliberalism? Does it make sense to speak of an "American" literature in neoliberal times? Can literature function as either a neutral category or a privileged narrative of national imagination in a time when paradigms of the nation-state and of liberal capitalism are undergoing a prolonged shift? In the United States, as elsewhere, the association between the nation-state, liberal capitalism, and literary form has a long history, reflecting determinate relations between writer and reader within imagined national community. As this community loses its symbolic efficiency in the age of neoliberal capital, the boundaries and possibilities of literary production and representation shift. This collection of essays examines how American literature both models and interrogates the neoliberal present. Has literary realism been exhausted as a narrative form? Can contemporary literature still imagine either the end of capitalism or an alternative to it?
The Journal of e-Media Studies
Mark J. Williams
The Journal of e-Media Studies, ISSN 1938-6060, is a blind peer-reviewed, on-line journal dedicated to the scholarly study of the history and theory of electronic media, inclusive of analog television, radio, etc. plus the expansive worlds of digital media. It is an inter-disciplinary journal, with an Editorial Board that is chiefly grounded in the methodologies of the field of Film and Media Studies. We welcome submissions across the fields and methodologies that study media and media history.
Ernest Hebert's series of novels set in Darby, New Hampshire, has been hailed by the Boston Globe as "one of the most interesting accomplishments of contemporary American fiction . . . [a series] into which the texture of class is as skillfully woven as it is in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County." After almost fifteen years, Hebert has returned to this rich literary landscape for a new novel of the changing economic and social character of New England. Hebert's previous Darby novel, Live Free or Die, recounted the ill-fated love between Freddie Elman, son of the town trash collector, and Lilith Salmon, child of Upper Darby gentility. At its conclusion, Lilith died giving birth to their son. As Spoonwood opens, Freddie, consumed by grief and anger and struggling with alcoholism, is not prepared to be a father to Birch. But as both his family and Lilith's begin to maneuver for custody of the child, Freddie embarks on a course of action that satisfies none of them. Once again, Hebert masterfully conveys the natural and social landscape of contemporary rural New England. Grounded in complex, fully realized characters, Spoonwood offers Hebert's most optimistic vision yet of acceptance and accommodation across class lines.
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